Eric Fischl and April Gornik’s The Church has selected Jim Gingerich to be the artist residency, exhibition space, and creative center’s first visual artist in residency. From March 25 through April 23, Gingerich will delve into his new series of sculptures entitled The Hallelujah Maquettes.
“I’m extremely happy for this special opportunity to work at the beautiful studio at The Church,” Gingerich expressed. “Clearly a great honor and a call to action. I plan to push ahead with my sculpture as well as a new series of paintings referencing my abstract work from the 70s and early 80s.”
He continued, “If I can feel the magic in my hands and put that feeling into a figure – like a spark struck into dry kindling -and blow a flame to life, then hopefully the viewer feels this warmth and feels connected to the creation and becomes part of the performance. This sharing of emotion, this imaginary projection of one’s self into ‘the other’ – to inhabit the other body and experience that life for a moment – this is a form of compassion, of aesthetic empathy.”
When starting to explore a new series, Gingerich, who has a studio in Bridgehampton, poses two queries: “Does it have a heart? Will this make people feel better or worse?”
Throughout his 50-year career, Gingerich has created thousands of paintings and drawings. “Working at The Church is a very special opportunity,” he noted. “The interior is inspiring as it is its own work of art.”
Gingerich’s work can be found in the public collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yale Art Gallery, Duke Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Fine Art, Art Museum of South Texas, Arkansas Art Center, and the Richmond (VA) Art Museum. In addition to being featured in solo and group exhibition across the United States throughout the years, his pieces have caught the eye of Jimmy Buffet, Eric Clapton, Robert Deniro, Melanie Griffith, David Gruber, Mariel Hemingway, Don Johnson, Roy Scheider, Kurt Vonnegut, and other notable names.
“I’ve never minded having an edgy existence, in fact, I prefer not knowing to knowing,” he reflected. “I have made a very big bet with my life, but it takes courage every day to walk in the studio alone like a boxer into the ring, especially when things are as challenging as they have been during the pandemic.”
Gingerich follows the Martha Graham Dance Company, who took part in a residence at the Sag Harbor space during February.
“We are delighted to have Jim working in the space,” Sara Cochran, executive director and chief curator of The Church, explained. “It feels so hopeful to see the studio full of his paintings and sculpture and to see him busy creating. After such a dark year, it is great to see creativity in action.”
The Church’s mission is to “foster creativity on the East End of Long Island and honor Sag Harbor’s long tradition of technical and artistic innovation as a makers’ village.”
For more information, visit www.sagharborchurch.org.