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DAN'S PAPERS, June 12, 2009 Page 28

The Art Movement that Created Its Own, New Word

“East Hampton Light Preserve” by Casey Anderson

By Amelia Persans In a recent interview, photographer Kathryn Szoka raised an interesting point that illustrated the deep connection between geography and culture. She explained the genesis of the word landscape, pointing out that the word did not actually exist before that type of painting was popularized by the Dutch painters of the 17th Century. Landscape painting will be celebrated in the next several weeks, through events organized by The Peconic Land Trust, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of farmland and natural lands on the East End, and its partner organization, The Plein Air Peconic art group. The Plein Air Peconic is a group of landscape painters and photographers from the East End who formally banded together in 2006 to work with the Peconic Land Trust. Their first event of

the summer is an art opening at the Clinton Academy in East Hampton on June 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. John Halsey, President of the Trust, said that working with the Plein Air artists has positively impacted the work of the Trust by appealing to a new, artistic demographic. It also helps to raise awareness of the Trust’s work. He added that Trust staffers are always on hand at art openings to answer any questions about its work. The history of the Clinton Academy functions as an interesting mirror to the mission of the Peconic Land Trust. After its initial construction in 1784, the building withstood massive renovations a century later, before it was ultimately restored to its original condition in 1921 by a non-profit organization. This was the first historic restoration in East Hampton to be undertaken by a non-profit. As a symbol of a local non-profit’s success in preserving a historic landmark, the Academy makes an appropriate choice as a venue for a Peconic Land Trust event. On June 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., members of The Plein Air Peconic will hold a “Paint Out” on the grounds of the Academy. Artists will sketch and paint the gardens behind the building, and present an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about the artistic process. Onlookers will get a sense of an artist’s compositional decisions, color palette, and the many stages a piece goes through before its completion. For a more academic perspective on landscape

“Brown Hills Rd., Orient” by Kathryn Szoka

painting, the Academy will host a roundtable discussion where art, land conservation, and history intersect. Discussion members for the event, occurring on June 30 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., include John Halsey, Richard Barons from the Clinton Academy, and three Plein Air artists, Casey Anderson, Eileen Skretch, and Kathryn Szoka. Halsey hopes that attendees will come away not only with a sense of the area’s natural beauty, but also of its agricultural utility. He hopes discussions like these will emphasize the importance of remembering and respecting the area’s history. A reception will follow the event. The Clinton Academy is located at 151 Main St., East Hampton and is open Thursdays and Sundays, 12 to 4 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday, July 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closing reception on July 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. Call 631-324-1850 for more info.

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Dan's Papers June 12, 2009  
Dan's Papers June 12, 2009  

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,...