Defenders of the Water, a charity art exhibition that supports A Walk On Water (AWOW), is coming to Montauk Yacht Club on Sunday, August 27 from 2 to 10 p.m.
Montauk-based artist Salvatore Termini and East Hampton-based artist Alexander Reinwald, who also performs automotive restorations and manages automobile collections, are the brains behind the exciting event.
“Alexander and I have been putting on a show every summer. We wanted to call this event Defenders of the Water – it was kind of a play on these Land Rovers that Alex has been working on for years and we thought it would be a great way to bring all these things together,” he noted. “We always want to do one a year that’s a big one, and we always want to make sure we do it for a good cause. That was really the motivation behind it.”
Termini saw the impact of A Walk On Water firsthand during the organization’s 2nd Annual East Coast Surf Therapy Event in Montauk last year. “It’s surf therapy for special needs children and adults and it’s really, really amazing,” he explained. “I volunteered as one of the instructors. The way that the kids react and the smile on their face is priceless.”
Defenders of the Water will feature artwork from Gregory Johnston, Joe Termini, Kelia Moniz Termini, Peter Dayton, Rogan Gregory, Terence Connors, William Quigley, Raphael Mazzucco, Scott Rudin, Termini and Reinwald.
When deciding who to include in the show’s lineup, Termini started with someone that had helped guide his career early on. “It started off with my brother Joe, who has been making art for years. I took over his studio when I was younger. Joe’s a professional photographer now that travels all over the world, he photographs bands and all types of creative people,” Termini noted. “Originally, Joe sort of inspired me to start getting more serious about my art, about ten years ago. So, Joe was definitely an easy choice because I always try to involve him in anything I do.”
The curators then sought out artists that they admire and respect. “From there, Gregory and Rogan, and all these other guys, we basically picked people that we were inspired by. A bunch of the guys are collectors of Alexander and my works and they’re mentors of ours,” he shared. “We picked people that we really are inspired by and own our work and we own their work, so it’s almost like this good feeling of appreciating each other’s creative process and having such a respect of that.”
There was also a comfort factor that came with selecting familiar faces. “We wanted to be with a community of our peers. It felt like if we were going to be doing something bigger, I wanted to be with family and people that I love,” he explained. “Scott Rudin, I’ve known him since I was eight years old, we’ve been surfing together. All the time spent at beaches, his photographs reflect that and it’s just that brotherhood that we’ve had for so long and that amount of time that we’ve spent together, it’s just really cool to be from sandy kids on the beach to this many years later involved with a big event like this.”
The afternoon will also feature bites from Pretty Southern owner and chef Sam Talbot, who appeared on season 2 and 14 of Bravo’s Top Chef, and music from two local favorites.
“The Squeezery, in Amagansett, is going to be selling green juices, Sam’s going to be providing a couple of dishes that he really likes. He’s going to have two big barbecues set up and he’s just going to be going to town, which I love,” Termini told us. “Montauk Hard Label will be there. We’re also going to be having two different DJs: Jack Luber and Robbie McKinley. And that all comes full circle because I used to work for Robbie – he’s an interior designer.”
Termini and Reinwald are delighted to give other artists an opportunity to gain more exposure in a world that can be rather exclusive. “We curate a gallery called the Atlantic Terrace and we have a bunch of people who are like mentors to us and we’ve been speaking to them and they’re older guys in the art world that have done the gallery scene, have shown in New York, have been in Chelsea, have really done the big stuff, and every time we talk to them they’re like, ‘You guys are really doing it right. You’re doing it grassroots because the gallery scene is now basically just this established edifice,'” he explained. “It’s not really giving anyone a shot anymore. It’s almost like the numbers are set already and the people that are established in the hierarchy are established, but for the other artists, it’s really hard to break out that way.”
As long as the demand’s there, they plan on continuing their grassroots approach. “We just keep on finding new venues to show our work. We just started working with The Squeezery and we do music events there,” he shared. “We have live painting, and we’ve been doing it at The Surf Lodge.”
“I’d never thought I’d have a venue where I could show all my friends’ work,” Termini added. “We have a crazy lineup of artists.”
Admission to Defenders of the Water is free and a portion of the proceeds from the event will support AWOW.
Montauk Yacht Club is located at 32 Star Island Road in Montauk. For more information about A Walk On Water, visit awalkonwater.org.