ArtHamptons Returns to Bridgehampton

ArtHamptons brings its fourth international art fair to Bridgehampton this weekend. It launches tonight with an Opening Preview Party from 6 to 9 p.m. The fair continues through July 10, 2011. Daily admission is $15 or $25 for a three-day pass. Tickets for the Opening Party are $95 and include 3-day admission.

This year’s fair presents 77 galleries from 10 countries, according to ArtHamptons. There will be 4,000 artworks made by 500 artists in the temporary building housing the sprawling art fair. The international galleries are based in Japan, Greece, Spain, Finland, China, Israel, Canada, Korea and the U.K. The fair building—constructed specifically to house the fair—stretches 50,000 square feet.

Artwork is modern or contemporary and made by established artists. Prices range from $1,000 to several million, according to ArtHamptons. Mediums presented include paintings, drawings, photography, art glass and sculpture.

Visitors pass through a sculpture garden before entering the fair. This year, sculptors include Thomas Ramey, Kevin Barrett, Gino Miles, Dennis Leri, Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Steve Zaluski, Nova and others. Each work is presented through a gallery.

New is a focus on fine art photography. Presented at photoHamptons, photography galleries are located throughout the fair. Tours highlighting fine art photography with an eye on how to invest and collect will be held Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. They are led by Ruben Natal-San Miguel, president of Natal-San Miguel Fine Art Photography Consulting Svcs.

Another focus this year is artwork from the U.K., said Rick Friedman, founder of ArtHamptons and the Hamptons Expo Group. Eleven galleries are participating in this year’s fair—doubling the number from last year.

Fair highlights include artist book signings and meeting ArtHamptons award winners. The abstract expressionism painter Mary Abbott receives this year’s ArtHamptons Lifetime Achievement Award. She will sign catalogues in the Collector’s Lounge on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.

The first Art Patrons of the Year Award goes to Russell Simmons and Danny Simmons. The pair co-founded the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in 1995, along with their brother, Joseph (Rev. Run) Simmons of RUN-DMC hip hop fame. Russell Simmons and Danny Simmons continue to lead the non-profit organization. Danny Simmons is a visual artist in his own right. Russell Simmons is a media and fashion mogul. His accomplishments include contributions to the hip-hop label Def Jam.

The brothers will be on hand on Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m. to receive the award and sign books.

Another highlight are screenings of the short film, “Full Circle: Before they Were Famous.” The movie features Andy Warhol stars Ultra Violet and Taylor Mead. Screenings will be held on Friday and Sunday at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. A panel discussions and signing follow the screenings.

Bay Street Theatre presents a cast party for its current play, “Betty’s Summer Vacaction” on Sunday from 4 to 5 p.m. A silent auction for a 1981 John Chamberlain screen print to benefit the theater is part of the fun.
A full line-up of special events and galleries exhibiting at the fair can be found at www.arthamptons.com.

In a pop culture twist, a fictionalized opening party for ArtHamptons will be part of an episode of the television show, Royal Pains. The USA Network expects to broadcast the episode on August 17 at 9 p.m. ArtHamptons founder Rick Friedman has a cameo in the episode, he said.

Ultimately, ArtHamptons has become an integral part of the summer art season on the East End, Friedman said.

“Hamptonites and art lovers have come to appreciate and look forward to experiencing the selection of fine art in the dynamic global art marketplace that we create for four days,” he stated.

ArtHamptons will be held from July 7 to 10, 2011 at Sayre Park, 154 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton. The fair opens daily at 11 a.m. It closes at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

For information, visit www.arthamptons.com.

pat rogers

Pat Rogers is a freelance writer specializing in arts and culture on Long Island. When not going to art openings or interviewing actors or musicians, she’s looking for the next interesting story.