DISPATCH - May 7, 2011 (Saturday); 5:05 p.m.

East Hampton, NY

If any exhibition is cherished by East End artists, it's this one.

The 73rd Annual Guild Hall Artist Members Exhibition launched with a crowd spilling from the museum onto its outdoor bricked entrance. Inclusion in the non-juried show is a given (as long as a Guild Hall membership is active).

Artworks are judged by an art world professional. Winner of Top Honors  receives a solo show at the museum.

This year's judge was Deborah Cullen, Ph.D., Director of Curatorial Programs at El Museo del Barrio in New York City.

Past judges include Benjamin Genocchio, an art critic for the New York Times, Jodi Hauptman, curator in the Department of Drawings for The Museum of Modern Art and Tracy Bashkoff, associate curator for Collections for the Guggenheim Museum. (Positions cited were held at the time of judging)

Here's the full story:

http://easthampton.patch.com/articles/guild-hall-artist-members-show-ushers-in-hamptons-art-season

Here's a look at the winners:

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"Latin Songbirds" by Christa Maiwald.

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Latin Songbirds depicts "three left-leaning Latin American leaders who are trying to reverse a history of rule by wealthy oligarchies, reject the U.S.'s and IMF's neoliberal economic policies, take control of their own resources, and improve the lives of their citizens, especially in the areas of literacy, health care, and economic well-being," states artist Christa Maiwald.

"Epic Tale of an Idea" by Darlene Charneco.

The work features Evo Morales (Bolivia), Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador) atop the body of a bird from their country.Like most of Maiwald's artwork, Latin Songbird is embroidered on cloth. She also embroiders lamp shades, pillows and other domestic-type items for her socially and politically charged art.

Epic Tale of an Idea represents a mapping of memories and their trajectories as they pull from a variety of snippets within the mind's remembrances, Charneco said.

The piece is a slight departure for Charneco. Most of her shiny "mapping" artworks contain small collaged pieces that jut from the canvas. In this multi-media work, entire structures stand out and beg to be noticed.Charneco's art is inspired by the way information is shared in the Internet age, virtual world interactions, and how human connections are made in contemporary culture.

Network theory, microbiology, virtual worlds, spirituality, evolutionary theory and Second Life are some influences that impact Charneco's intellectually-complex artworks.

"Decommissioned Chair" by Jeff Muhs.

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Decommissioned Chair was created exclusively for the Artist Members Show, said Muhs. The show is an important one and submitting a new work was a priority for the artist.

The sculpture is part of a new series where ordinary objects are stripped or "decommissioned" from their original function. The art work pays homage to the object's former function and highlighting the aesthetic value found in its design, Muhs said.
The series of meshing objects with blocks of concrete began with unusual items given to Muhs by an artist friend. The gifted items were selected with the idea Muhs might appreciate them as an artist and to create dialogue between friends. Items encased in concrete include a mink stole, an antique clamp and a shovel. Newer works in the series include a shiny tire rim and the red plastic chair.
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"Shattered Dream # 31" by Pat Moran.

Artwork by Philippe Cheng.

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Shattered Dream #31 is a reverse painting on glass. Moran uses this technique to infuse the work with greater detail than other monotype techniques used in his other artworks.His work strives to "capture a moment of an experience and to draw the viewer into a feeling of intimacy with that moment," Moran writes in his artist statement.

Cheng photographs landscapes in the Hamptons. He abstracts the view and captures the essence of atmosphere.  Cheng's work is part of Guild Hall's permanent collection.

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Photograph by Mary Ellen Bartley.

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Bartley has won Best Photograph four years running. This image is from her series, Standing Open, which depicts the interior of books.All the More Real is an exhibition catalogue from The Parrish Art Museum.

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"Toxic Garden" by Janet Culbertson.

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Culbertson's decades of work explore nature, man's exploitation of it and possible result if extremism rules. She puts it this way on her website: "I am fascinated by our complex love yet exploitation of nature. For me painting is an affirmation of my concern and sense of awe for my subject, the natural world and its creatures."

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"Chuck Close" by Athena Savalas.

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This year's winner was especially apropos as Athena Savalas is both a new submitter to the Artist Member show and an artist who is truly emerging, said Guild Hall director/chief curator Christina Mossaides Strassfield.

"MTA Brooklyn" by Lawrence Wolfson.

Savalas makes pen and ink drawings of famous artists she feels a connection to. Close is an artist Savalas admires for his style and technique, Savalas states. "His incredible use of detail and lighting have always fascinated me..."The drawing was the first one Savalas made after moving to the Hamptons, she said.

It's difficult to tell from his image, but Wolfson's work on paper is made up of tiny strips of paper collaged together in tight vertical strips.  The works are intimate and require moving close to get a better look at the intricate artworks.

The series is a new one. It began with Wolfson exploring his developing interest in visually-busy and complicated-designs printed on paper or fabric.  Noticing the paper waste created from his art making  plus "printed waste from and discarded by our popular culture" took him in a new creative direction, Wolfson stated.

The current series uses maps and advertising materials. Each has its own visual vocabulary and are deliberately small so viewers "have to go up close and 'read' what is there," Wolfson said.

BASIC FACTS: Guild Hall's 73rd Annual Artist Members Exhibition is on view at the East Hampton museum through June 11, 2011.   www.guildhall.orgA Meet the Winners panel will be held on June 4 at 1 p.m. The discussion will be moderated by Michelle Klein, assistant curator and Lewis B. Cullman Education Associate for Guild Hall.

Here's the HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"Brothers" by Gerry Giliberti.

"Wetlands #17" by Barbara Groot.

"Lucky" by Jack Dowd.

"Untitled" by Lawrence Ellenberg.

Artwork by Michael Slifka.

"Vicars of Duddingston Loch" by David Gamble.

"After the Long Ride Home" by Gil Turpin.

"Untitled" by Grant Haffner.

"Marilyn" by Laura Benjamin.

Artwork by John Philip Capello.

"Astronomical Instrument of Obscure Origin" by Robert Schwarz.

"Building Boom" by Anna Plesset..

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© 2011 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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