The 30Squared Group is back at it again.
Back in January of 2015, after being inspired by artist and “daily painter” Aubrey Grainger, an assemblage of East End-based artists set out to create 30 paintings in 30 days, hence the moniker. “I kept running into my friends and when I asked them what they were doing, they complained they just weren’t painting or creating. I told them, grab a cup and saucer out of your cabinet, shine a light on it and paint it!” Grainger explained about her motivation.
But, for 30Squared, the effort was not just about creating content at least once every day, for an entire month. It was also about connecting with other creative minds, and supporting and encouraging all 20 plus members. “A group of artists, working mostly alone in their studios, but connected with this challenge and encouragement from each other. It’s great that we have this opportunity to show what we have produced with the endeavor,” Lucille Berrill Paulsen of Water Mill relayed.
While now 30Squared is less focused on the daily, they use Facebook as a platform to regularly champion each other’s artistic energy, utilizing the social media site to easily connect members that reside in Sagaponack, Water Mill, Amagansett, Springs, Southampton, and even the North Fork.
“Creating art involves a lot of time alone. For five years the 30Squared group has been a source of companionship in spirit and the shows a chance to celebrate our achievements,” Mary Anne Bennet of Amagansett shared. “I have always felt that I need to paint because I live where it takes me. I start with an idea in my head and watch it come to life on the canvas.”
For the 30Squared Group’s 5th Annual Art Show and Sale, Summer Finale 2019, 18 members will showcase their paintings, photographs and drawings at the Water Mill Museum. Featured artists will include Mary Anne Bennett, Kitty Brumberg, Susan D’Alessio, Patricia Feiler, Gail Gallagher, Aubrey Grainger, Pat Hadley, Cyndi Loewen, Ann Lombardo, Anthony Lombardo, Jean Mahoney, Kathy O’Dell, MaryAnne Renz, Eileen Dawn Skretch, James Slezak, Pamela Thomson, Maureen Travers, and Pam Vossen.
“The work that I am showing is part of a series of portraits of family members depicted as religious icons,” Berrill Paulsen noted. “I guess to me, art is something that never lets me say I’m bored.”
Summer Finale 2019 will debut on Thursday, September 12 and remain on view through Sunday, September 22.
“I have been an active artist, drawing and painting, for several batches of years in my life. As a young artist, after F.I.T., I was a fashion illustrator in New York,” Ann Lombardo of Water Mill explained. “Took a break, then, later I took up studying oil painting in the classical realistic style. But through it all the common thread for me is learning. When I stop learning new approaches, ways of seeing, ways of painting, I get bored. The ever-inclusive 30 Squared team helps me keep learning because of the feedback I receive. It puts ‘creating art’ on my priority list, never out of the picture.”
For many, the group’s engagement serves as an artistic spark. “I feel bummed and a little guilty when I don’t create for a stretch… but never excluded. Then, happy when I am creating again,” Lombardo added. “Once an artist, you have to get and have an artistic life.”
The Opening Reception – Meet the Artists – will take place on Saturday, September 14, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Water Mill Museum is located at 41 Old Mill Road in Water Mill. For more information, call 631-726-4625 or visit watermillmuseum.org.