Last week Guild Hall’s Annual Summer Gala celebrated the return of artist Chuck Close with an exhibition that is nothing short of stunning.
It has been 10 years since the renowned American artist had a show at the Guild Hall galleries and his return was enthusiastically embraced by the hundreds of Guild Hall supporters who turned out at this year’s gala. The preview cocktail party was packed, including Velvet Underground rock legend Lou Reed, whose portrait by Close was one of the dozens of paintings, prints and tapestries in the exhibition. Close jokingly told me, “I had an exhibition here 10 years ago and think I have to have another exhibition in 10 more years…I think it is in my contract.”
In fact, Close has an exhibition scheduled for the new Parrish Art Museum in three years. Speaking of the two museums he noted, “I think the area is incredibly blessed to have both Guild Hall and the Parrish in such a concentrated area. They both do great work and I am very impressed with both of their Directors.”
Regarding the support for Guild Hall, GH Academy of Arts President Roy Furman noted, “The outpouring of support for this great institution is not only a reflection of the extraordinary art that occurs here, but a testament to the extraordinary community it serves. Having Chuck back after 10 years is the icing on the cake to this year’s gala.”
After the preview cocktail party the gala moved to the beautiful home of Louise and Leonard Riggio in Bridghampton for dinner, dancing and the live auction. The auction included numerous artworks by the likes of Larry Rivers, Eric Fischl and Willem de Kooning, among others. One of the most coveted auction items of the evening was a private Heron Yacht cruise with Alec and Hilaria Baldwin for the lucky bidder and 20 of their friends. Long time Guild Hall supporter, Baldwin and his beautiful wife were in attendance at the gala.
This year’s Gala Honorees were Ninah and Michael Lynne (Museum and Major Gifts Committee Chair) for their tireless support of and dedication to Guild Hall. Music was provided by the superb jazz combo Sly Blue and the evening’s corporate sponsor was Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services.
82 years young, the venerable Guild Hall remains one of the precious jewels in the cultural necklace that makes the Hamptons like no other community in the world.