On Tuesday, July 21st, Ashawagh Hall hosted a benefit to promote and help generate support for the founding of Accabonac House, a year round interdisciplinary artist’s retreat in the heart of historic Springs. Their mission is to nurture the creative process by providing an opportunity for artists to work alone or collaboratively without interruption in a supportive environment.
Accabonac House is particularly interested in the narrative voice and how different disciplines deal with storytelling. The non-profit offers two-week residencies, which are awarded by the advisory board and include room, board and a studio. Accabonac House was created in honor of the late Lisa de Kooning, Willem’s only child, who grew up in the house with her mother the illustrator, Joan Ward. DeKooning traded the house for a painting in 1961, which also served as his first studio in Springs. Actor Alex Kilgore, who serves as the artistic director and a board member of the newly formed non-profit, brought this event to Ashawag Hall, having been a close friend of Lisa’s and also the son of deKooning’s last great muse, Mimi Kilgore.
The opening celebration at Ashawagh Hall began at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, during which guests mingled and had the opportunity to view a robust silent auction of work by artists Gibby Haynes, Jim Tozzi, and Dan Witz, which lined nearly every wall of the hall. Proceeds from the silent auction will support this new interdisciplinary residency. Following the reception, there was a special performance called Happy Hour by the Monica Bill Barnes Company. This evocative and interpretative performance combining dance, karaoke and theater entertained the crowd and kept them amused throughout the evening. “I think Lisa would be happy with this lineup of great artists from different disciplines coming together to enrich the community,” Kilgore said. “She was all about community.”
Board members include Rachael Horovitz, Marsha Norman, Annie Baker, Adam Rapp, Gina Gionfriddo, Neena Beber, Alex Kilgore Monica Bill Barnes, Laurie Beckelman, Paul Sparks, Annie Parisse, David Wilson Barnes, Gibby Haynes, Jim Tozzi, Isabel de Kooning Villeneuve, Emma de Kooning Villeneuve, and Lucy de Kooning Villeneuve.
For more information on the Accabonac House, visit