All About Art as August Cranks Up

Amazing how different the reactions can be to the phrase “three weeks to go.”

“Three weeks to go ’til school lets out for summer vacation” is filled with yearning and impatience; “three weeks to go until Memorial Day” is filled with hope and bright expectations. “Three weeks to go until the 4th of July” means the front edge of that high energy plateau of the real, full-on summer season is in sight.

But “three weeks to go until Labor Day” carries the weight of the end of things, and in many cases a slight sense of desperation, the urge to squeeze every last drop of summer pleasures from the remaining days before … the start of school, the return to work, shrinking daylight, falling into fall. You can see it in the calendar, now so densely packed with activities that you have to throw a dart to make a decision on what to do.

The surfeit of events and activities this weekend, for example, is all about art in our village, with visual art in the lead, literary art close behind, and music moving up. And the Episcopal bishop is coming to town.  

“Melinda Hackett: “ Opening Reception at Library Art Gallery

Getting things rolling, an artist’s reception for “Melinda Hackett: Visual Playground” at the Quogue Library Art Gallery will be held on Friday, August 11, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

“pool” by Melinda Hackett (2017), oil on paper, 30″ x 44″

Melinda Hackett has lived part-time in Southampton since childhood, and paints from a studio there. Her large, colorful oil paintings, as well as a series of monotypes on display in this show, were created with an eye to transporting the viewer to a “foreign place, where nature can be experienced without knowing it fully,” she suggests, “and where reality is communicated through the senses.”

“There is a sense that the activity continues outside the borders of the paintings as the forms flirt with the edges or get chopped off by them,” the artists says, “some forms are just coming into being while others have already ‘come out’ and some just like to watch.” Saucy.

The oil on paper paintings in the main gallery are extensions of Hackett’s “super nature” series and explore ideas about nature as seen through a microscope, a telescope, and in the artist’s mind’s eye. “The interconnected forms are at play, in flux, taking aim or at peace with each other,” she says, and through the use of color, line space and paint she works to create “worlds both internal and external, a drop of water or an infinite universe.”

In her series of monoprints from 2009, Hackett uses color, shape and line to create the atmosphere, and the references are to mid-century modern textile design. In these prints, spindles, ladders, jacks, bubbles and curlicues traverse the picture plane, navigate the portals and lead the viewer’s eye on the visual journey.

The artist received her MFA from Parsons School of Design, founded and ran an art gallery in lower Manhattan in the ’80s, and has been a printmaker in residence at the Vermont Studio Center for many years. She has exhibited her work in both solo and group shows in New York, Connecticut and the East End, and her work is in the permanent collection of the Parrish Art Museum.

Lulie Morrisey and Christy Murray are chairs for this show.

While at the library—whether to see the art exhibition or for any other reason—be sure to check out the two pieces of sculpture by Phyllis Hammond installed in front and behind the library for this summer’s outdoor art installation. The vibrant and color saturated sculptures will remain in situ at least through September.

Meanwhile, savvy art lovers have the option of going to the artist’s reception for the Melinda Hackett show early, so they can get over in time to hear the speaker at the next event less than a block away, or later, after the speaker is done at the next event, which is:

Quogue Historical Society Benefit Cocktail Party Friday; Art Show Saturday

The annual Quogue Historical Society “Celebrate Art!” benefit cocktail party will be held once again this year at the Quogue Field Club Junior Sports Clubhouse on Club Lane on Friday, August 11, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Charles Riley II
Charles Riley II

This year’s featured speaker will be Charles A. Riley II, giving a talk at 5:30 on his new book, “Free as Gods: How the Jazz Age Reinvented Modernism.”

The Jazz Age was an extraordinary era of artistic genius during which the dialogue among an expat community of artists—including Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gershwin, Picasso, Sidney Bechet, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Nancy Cunard, and Archibald Motley Jr., among others—was instrumental in the creation of some of the era’s greatest works.

Mr. Riley is an arts journalist and critic for, curator, professor of English, and the author of 28 books on art, architecture, and public policy. Tickets for the event are available at two levels: Fernand Léger tickets go for $60 and Pablo Picasso tickets are $100 ahead of time; all tickets are $100 at the door. Tickets may be purchased on the Society’s website:

The annual Quogue Historical Society Art Show & Sale will be held the following day, Saturday, August 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Village Green off Jessup Avenue, rain or shine. Some 40 artists from the East End will be exhibiting their work, ranging from oils to pastels to photographs at a variety of prices. A $5 family donation is recommended.

From 11 to 11:15 a.m. there will be a performance by the young singers of the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe. This tasty preview of music from the QJTT’s upcoming production of “Seussical Jr.” will set the stage for the annual Children’s Art Show, always one of the most popular elements of the Quogue Historical Society art show. Many of the young artists with work on view in the show took advantage of art lessons sponsored in part every summer by the Counselman-Oxholm Fund.

Meanwhile, as the artists are packing up at the close of the QHS Art Show and Sale on Saturday, just down the street there’s still more art to check out and one more artist to meet at the next event, which is:

Quogue Gallery Hosts Artist’s Reception Saturday for Sally King Benedict

The East End debut of a wide range of work by the rising young talent Sally King Benedict will be the next exhibition at the Quogue Gallery.  “Through Ocean Eyes” is on view through August 30, with an artist’s reception scheduled on Saturday, August 12, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The exhibition represents a generous sampling of Benedict’s versatility, featuring eight mixed-medium paintings, four ink drawings on paper, and a group of hand painted ceramic plates and platters.

Large Plate 1 10.5x10.5
Large Plate 1 by Sally King Benedict, 10.5 x 10.5, Hand-Painted Ceramic, 2017

The keynote for the exhibition is set by a light-filled painting evocative of summer: By the Bays Beach, a work that brims with pictorial incident and the pleasures of coastal life, from rippling waves to sun-filled windows. The forms and colors of this painting, like the artist’s ink drawings, call to mind works by Matisse when he was painting along the Cote d’Azur during the summer season. In a similar way, Benedict’s brushwork on the ceramics recalls the happy period when Picasso was working with master potters in the same part of France.

By the Bays Beach-50x40
By the Bays Beach by Sally King Benedict, 50 x 40, Mixed Media on Canvas, 2017

Benedict’s work often engages in dialogue with acknowledged masters of modern art history. For example, the sweeping gestures and calligraphic drips of Going Light and Bright draw on the repertoire of Abstract Expressionism while adding some of the vibrant palette of such brilliant colorists as Helen Frankenthaler and Hans Hoffmann.

Sally King Benedict lives and works in Atlanta. Her work has been featured in major publications, including Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Domino, and Southern Living, among others. She earned her BA in studio art at the College of Charleston in 2007.

Roger Rosenblatt at “Conversations with the Author” Series

On Sunday, August 13, at 5 p.m. the final guest of this summer’s Sunday Conversations with the Author series will be one of the East End’s leading literary lions, Roger Rosenblatt.

The author of, among much, “Thomas Murphy,” “The Boy Detective,” “Unless It Moves the Human Heart,” “Kayak Morning,” and “Making Toast: A Family Story,” Roger is also a playwright, essayist, raconteur, proud dog owner, a distinguished professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook Southampton, and also, if you live in Quogue, your neighbor.

Among his many honors and awards, he is the recipient of the 2015 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement and the Chautauqua Institution President’s Medal.

Tickets are $20 and are on sale now, and patrons are advised that tickets may not be still available at the door on the day of Roger’s appearance. For more information, call 631-653-4224, ext. 101.

Meanwhile, the Quogue  Library will continue to offer readings and author talks for which there is no charge, but which still require registration by calling 631-653-4224, ext. 101.

First up in this category is happening tonight, Thursday, August 10, at 6 p.m., when Erin Gettler will share tips from her book, “The Bird Watcher’s Digest Butterflies Backyard Guide: Identify, Watch, Attract, Nurture, Save.”

Next Thursday, August 17, David M. Griffin, author of “Lost British Forts of Long Island,” will give a reading accompanied by a slide show at 6 p.m. His book focuses on the years after the Revolutionary War had broken out and New York City had fallen in 1776, when the forces of the king of Great Britain developed a network of forts along the length of Long Island to defend the New York area and create a front to patriot forces across the Sound in Connecticut.

Mr. Griffin will discuss the lost history and harrowing stories of Long Island’s British forts.

Call the library at 631-653-4224 to register for either of these programs.

Bishop Joins Reverend Dannals at Church of the Atonement

This Sunday, August 13, the Reverend Robert S. Dannals will preach at the service of Holy Eucharist at 8 a.m.  The 10 a.m. service will be a Holy Eucharist Rite II officiated by The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano, Bishop of Long Island, who is visiting Church of the Atonement. Reverend Dannals will preside at a baptism during that service.

All are welcome to attend either or both services at the Episcopal church at 17 Quogue Street.

Just a few more weeks for children in the community age 7 to 14 to sing in the junior choir at the church, led by Patricia Osborne Feiler, organist and choir director. Rehearsals are at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at

C of A choir
Church of Atonement choir this past Sunday, August 6, with (back row) Barbara Callahan, The Reverend Dr. Robert Dannals, Dan Johnson, Mary Vogel and Alison Weiskopf. –Suzanne Lightbourn Photo

Westhampton Beach PAC World Cinema Series and Casino Night

Breaking the Tuesday night commentary pattern for World Cinema screenings at the Performing Arts Center, the film running next week on Wednesday, August 16 and Thursday, August 17 only  will be “Pop Aye,” made in Thailand, about a disenchanted architect recovering his long lost elephant. The commentary will be offered on Wednesday night.

Tickets are $17; $11 for seniors; and $7 for WHBPAC Film Society members. For details and to purchase tickets in advance, visit and click on World Cinema.   

On Saturday, August 19, the PAC is hosting a gala Casino Night under a tent on the Great Lawn opposite St. Mark’s Church. Check the PAC website for details.

Everyone wants a ride on the big brush jumper at the annual Quogue Fire Department Open House.

Quogue Association Hosting Annual Beach Blanket Blowout August 18

Bless their hearts, the community minded folks at the Quogue Association are once again hosting the perennially popular oceanfront summer blowout quaintly referred to as the annual Village Beach Party at the Quogue Village Beach on Friday, August 18, from 6 to 9 p.m.

All are invited to attend and enjoy the company of fellow Quogue residents while dining under the stars at the Village Beach. Music provided by:  DJ Mike Variable of East End Entertainment Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken Fingers, Salads, Watermelon. Beer, Wine, Lemonade, Water “Q” Kites Free for children. Bonfire on the beach.

Admission is $25 for adults, $15 for children 5-12, Children under 5 FREE. All are welcome. Please join us!!! They put three exclamation points on the request to “please join us,” so you know they really, really want you to come.

St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church Bake Sale August 19

The Stewardess and Deaconess boards of the 100-year-old St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church at 39 Montauk Highway in Quogue are holding a Church Bake Sale on the Village Green on Saturday, August 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be cakes, brownies, cupcakes, pies and all manner of delicious baked goods. Great food for a great cause. Be sure to stop by.

At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email and ask to be put on the mailing list, or just to visit and feel free to follow.

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