Southampton Arts Center, Halloween Party
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Community Center

Notes from Sag Harbor, August 13

Publication: The Southampton Press
  Aug 11, 2009 5:06 PM

“Dolls and Houses” may seem like a fairly plain-Jane title for an art show, but the creations of Jeanelle Myers and Amelia Garretson-Persans are far from ordinary.

“Dolls” as defined by Jeanelle’s fantastical figures aren’t ones you’d necessarily cuddle up with or serve pretend tea to. If you haven’t seen these figures before—they were on view at the Bridgehampton Historical Society earlier this year—think of Amazon warriors, mythological creatures, or even your Aunt Betty or Uncle Al. Jeanelle’s figures run the gamut from the utterly strange to the almost familiar. Great 6-foot-tall creatures wear metallic ornaments, shiny fabric and unusual found objects, their special talismans. Others might look like your country kin wearing reintentioned scraps of dress or trousers salvaged from the mothballed family closet. Thirty-some figures will be on view this weekend at the Christ Episopal Church parish hall.

Another local artist who revels in mixing found objects with the subconscious forces of creativity is Amelia Garretson-Persans (no relation to the hardware store folk). Her “house” constructions might start with the cardboard shell of a house then morph into something else altogether. One box she calls a “Sleeping House” is a combination of puppet and house complete with teeth and mouth. Amelia’s work often begins with some domestic item, an old pin box, a candy box, things her mother collected. Then it spins off in unexpected directions. Some are about a square foot, others the size of a cubic postcard.

“They’re fun,” she says, “little jokes.” They’re strange, curious objects, more like “extrapolated memories.” As with Proust’s madeleine, she explains, memory comes flooding back and it’s the small details noticed upon recollection that prove most interesting. “Memory is a living thing,” she said. “It’s constantly being changed and rearranged in your brain.” And it can sometimes tell a story different from the one she began with.

A portion of sales from the exhibition, curated by Stacy Dermont, goes toward the pipe organ restoration and maintenance fund. Hours are Friday, August 14, from 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, August 15, from noon to 10; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Evening receptions will feature wines from the Wölffer Estate and live music by local performers. For information, call the church office at 725-0128.

The lineup of talent and entertainment at this Saturday’s Hampton House Party at the U.U. Meetinghouse is impressive and promises a recession-proof good time. Yogi G, the saucy comic creation of Geoffrey Paul Gordon, will present Kahmic Yoga. Yogi G has drawn laughs at Manhattan clubs and on NBC’s “Weekend Today” program as well as here at home.

Megan Chaskey, music coordinator of the U.U. congregation will offer Irish songs guaranteed to lift the spirits. Marianne Koerner will present selections from the Great American Songbook, which lifted American spirits during the Great Depression. Entertainers Rhonda Liss, Ralph Kotkoz and Jordy Mark will also perform.

Rhonda’s cabarets have drawn critical acclaim in Europe and New York. Jordy Mark has appeared in the New York Comedy Festival and toured Europe with the Hot Peaches theatre company. Ralph Kotkov, an art therapist with the Songs of Love Foundation, records songs to cheer chronically ill children and their families.

The House Party rocks from 6 to 10 p.m. at the U.U. Meetinghouse on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. Tickets are $45 or $40 each for groups of four or more. Twenty-percent of the proceeds goes to community outreach programs. For reservations and information, call 237-4821 or ebrolin@me.com.

At long last the tomatoes are ripe for picking! Carol the Tomato Lady announced she’ll be open for business on Saturday, August 15, much to the delight of her fans who’ve been asking for tomatoes since July. Yes, the crop is a bit late this year given the chilly spring weather, but the plants are in good shape, fortunately. “If there’s enough to pick, I might be open Friday, but definitely Saturday,” Carol said. “We’ll likely sell out quickly,” she cautioned.

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