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DAN'S PAPERS, February 22, 2008 Page 55

Arts & Galleries ARTS-IN-EDUCATION Part II: Student Art Show at Parrish Museum Celebrating student art in our public and private schools continues with a display at Southampton’s Parrish Art Museum. Combined with the exhibit at Guild Hall (featured in last week’s Art Commentary), we get a bird’s eye view of the artistic potential often neglected in other parts of the country. Gone are the days when creativity meant gluing macaroni onto a piece of paper. Or making a vase from playdough. Now in elementary schools, students learn to replicate the formal qualities of famous artists, this year, it seems, more than previous ones. Thus, we have Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” by

Photo by M.W. Weiss


Puppets from Hayground School

With Marion Wolberg Weiss

Southold Elementary School (made with straws and crepe paper), Klimt’s “Tree of Life” by Roanoke Avenue School’s first grade, and examples of Picasso’s sculpture by Cutchogue Elementary School’s third grade. Such projects are all outstanding examples of technique and style. We can only assume that the students will not get into the “habit” of copying another artist’s work as a substitute for their own imagination. Another common project is puppet-making, a highly inventive and uplifting exercise. It’s one that younger students, particularly, find enjoyable and instructive. The importance of puppets throughout history is also important, and hopefully the youngsters are taught to

appreciate such a tradition. Puppets at this year’s show include a charming focus on story from Raynor Country Day School’s fourth grade as well as an emphsis on character from Hayground’s production of Anthony and Cleopatra. While the Hayground School is known for its puppetmaking, it’s still a surprise to see the high level of craftsmanship and insight into the characters’ personalities shown by the students. Another joyful puppet display is a fantasy-inspired collection of figures mounted on a pole by Sag Harbor Elementary School. Other projects are sociological in nature, incorporating figures and images to tell a story – Sag Harbor’s Elementary School is one such example, celebrating the Village’s 300-year history with diverse media and time periods. From an aesthetic perspective, we must give credence to a project from the seventh grade at Cutchogue Elementary School. In particular, the color tonalities are mature, as are the subtle qualities of the color. These are some formal aspects we like to see, especially. It means students and teachers alike are taking art seriously. The Elementary School show will be on view at the Parrish Art Museum until March 9. The Annual High School Exhibition will be on view March 15-30.

Honoring the Artist: Michael Tyson Murphy One can say without hesitation that Michael Tyson Murphy possesses myriad talents covering the fine arts world at large, from creating paintings, drawings and digital prints to critical writing about cinema. One can also say that Murphy covers the aesthetic “waterfront,” ranging from words to images. The word-image opposition apparent in Murphy’s professional pursuits also shows up in other contradictory ways. For example, he was raised in Southern California and educated at San Francisco Art Institute, but he now lives and works in New York City. Yet a penchant for opposites extends as well to Murphy’s philosophy about aesthetics. Q: How does your idea of opposites relate to your work? A: For example, when I depict figure and ground, there can be a flip. You look again, and the figure is now the ground. In other words, it may appear as a figure, then it’s ground. Actually, in physics, space is all there is. What we see as “things” are really folded into space. Opposites draw themselves to each other. Things find them-

selves in balance. Q: How does this idea relate to your theories about moving images, film? I know you have written an intriguing critical article about Last Year at Marienbad. A: I wrote about the psychological dynamics that are displayed within the film’s image narrative. As a two-dimensional story, space plays an essential part. The narrative is really a game board; the characters are markers in the game; they are two-dimensional as well. The characters are not willing to admit who they are and where they came from. Q: I think what you’re also saying is the people can’t connect to each other; I found that true in the director’s last film, Private Fears in Public Places. The title suggests space too, and so does the film’s use of composition. But besides film, how else would you apply this use of opposition and space to other art forms? Or to art in general? A: I’m visually-oriented, so I can apply it to theatre and architecture. Art, generally, is a mediator. It gives reality a dimension. Getting back to

figure and ground, these two aspects are shifting; a “trickster” leads you in under one pretense and then changes. Q: How else, in specific ways, do you balance discordant elements? A: I like complementary colors to get brashness, like orange and blue, and I try to make it look like there’s no opposition. Q: What are you doing now that reinforces or contradicts this notion? A: I won’t go back to realistic images. I’m looking for new ways of considering new oppositions. I’m focused on the point where contradiction interacts; they are not separate. Q: Your cover this week looks realistic. A: Look at it again. It’s a still life, but it’s not a painting of a real thing. It’s from my imagination, with multiple perspectives. It’s a reproduction, not the actual image. – Marion Wolberg Weiss Mr. Murphy’s email is Dan’s Papers covers curated by Dan Rattiner and designed by Kelly Merritt and Dan Rattiner.


COMING UP Upcoming events can be seen in the following sections:

Art Events – pg. 55 Benefits – pg. 44, Movies – pg. 49, Day by Day – pg. 44, Kids’ Events – pg. 46

OPENING RECEPTIONS ASHAWAGH HALL GALLERY – “Arts 4 Bonac Tonic,” two groups, one show will run February 23-24 from 12-5 p.m. Opening reception February 23 from 5-10 p.m. 780 Springs Fireplace Road, East Hampton. 631-537-6098.

APPLIED ARTS GALLERY – “Drawing in the Age of Information” digital drawings by Roz Dimon will run through March 28. 11 Indian Wells Hwy, Amagansett. 631-267-2787. ART SITES GALLERY – Open Thursday to Sunday 12-5 p.m. 651 West Main Street, Riverhead. 631-591-2401. ATELIER GALLERY – Landscapes of James Napoleon in a one-artist show will run through February 22. 308A Main Street, Greenport. 631-4954268. BATISTE GALLERY – Group photo exhibition will run through May 1. 75 Main Street, Sag Harbor. 631-725-9494. BENTON NYCE GALLERY – Open Friday 1-7 p.m., Saturday 1-8 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m. or by

appointment. 409 First Street, Greenport. 917-8485102. BOLTAX GALLERY – 21 North Ferry Road (Route 114), Shelter Island. 631-749-3035. BRAVURA ART AND OBJECTS GALLERY – “The Modern Salon Show” will run through March 15. Open By appointment. 631-377-3355. BRIDGEHAMPTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY GALLERY – “In Our Own Images: A Celebration of Local Black Culture” featuring artwork by established painters and teenage artists. 2638 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton. 631-537-1088. BUTLER’S FINE ART – “20th and 21st Century Painting and Sculpture.” Open year round. 50 Park Place, East Hampton. 631-267-0193. CELADON GALLERY – Open Saturdays and (continued on the next page)

Dan;s Papers Feb. 22, 2008  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

Dan;s Papers Feb. 22, 2008  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...