Untethered from its iconic former Southampton home, the Parrish Art Museum is soaring. In Water Mill, the expansive space has housed new exhibits, local artists and programs for the community. On Saturday, July 11th, at their Midsummer Party, Director Terrie Sultan, who oversaw the transition, stood at the Parrish doorway, welcoming nearly a thousand supporters. By her side, Tara Donovan, who had created site related pieces for the occasion. Not far from Sultan’s thoughts, artist Chuck Close, whose photos were receiving their first retrospective.
“I’m wearing a slinky in honor of her work,” Sultan told Hamptons.com, of Donovan who had transformed the retro child’s toy into a sensuous design that climbed walls and filled rooms. “She’s part of a project that we call Platform, where we invite an artist to respond to the architecture in the interiors of the space. She came, she looked around and she made her work.”
We can hardly remember a Parrish Midsummer Party without Chuck Close — until this one. “He had a studio in Bridgehampton for decades, but he moved to Long Beach in the Rockaways four years ago, to be closer to the city,” said Sultan. “He’s a wonderful artist and a great friend of the Museum. In fact, it was Chuck who suggested me to the search committee for this position, so I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He’s a friend of mine personally, a great colleague and supporter. He was unable to make it tonight, but he was here for the opening. And we have his artwork.”
The Platform series that brought Donovan’s artwork to the Parrish is one of the new programs that could only happen in its present home. The Museum is clearly living up to its promise of more community outreach. “In 2013, we did 64 programs not counting the exhibitions,” Sultan said. “In 2014, we did 92 and this year we have on the schedule about 120. We’re growing. We’re doing more. This is midway through our third year, and we’re feeling really strong about our relationships to our artists and the community.”
The Parrish Board of Trustees Officers include Frederic M. Seegal,Chair; H. Peter Haveles, Jr., President; David Granville-Smith, Vice President; Alexandra Stanton, Vice President; Norman L. Peck, Treasurer; Jay B. Goldberg, Assistant Treasurer; Douglas Polley, Secretary; Mildred C. Brinn, Chair Emeritus.
Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, visit parrishart.org.