DISPATCH – October 26, 2011 (Wednesday; 8:45 a.m.)

Southampton, NY

Ever wanted to experience speed-dating but weren't really looking for a date? Curious if there might be creative people living nearby, but don't know how to connect? If so, the Parrish Art Museum may have something of interest.

This Thursday night (Oct 27), the first installment of Lightning Round will present 12 artistic types in rapid-fire succession on the stage of the museum's concert hall. The premise is this: Each person has six minutes to present 20 slides. Slides automatically advance every 20 seconds, so lagging isn't possible. When time's up, the time's up and it's onto the next person. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free for Parrish members and $5 for non-members.

Lightning Round aims for cross-pollination of the arts. Each installment will feature a mix of artists, designers, architects, writers, musicians, chefs and other "culture-makers from the region," said Andrea Grover, orchestrater of Lightning Round and associate curator with the museum.

On tap for the first event are architect Maziar Behrooz, artist and musician Jameson Ellis, mushroom farmer David Falkowski, hip hop artist, writer, filmmaker, screenwriter and artist Michael Holman, gallery director and international surfer Tripoli Patterson, artist Hope Sandrow, African American Museum of the East End co-founder and poet Brenda Simmons, clothing designer Alissa Smith, dyi designer-stylist Jocelyn Worrall, "Hamptons Magazine" editor-in-chief Samantha Yanks, "Edible East End" editor and co-publisher of "Edible Brooklyn" and "Edible Manhattan" Brian Halweil and "Edible East End" photo editor Lindsay Morris.

The point is to introduce talent that's hiding in plain sight and to provide time for talk and introductions, said Grover. Socializing takes place afterwards during a wine and beer reception with music by deejay Mister Lama. If all goes well, Lightning Round will become a regular offering of the Parrish Art Museum, she said.

"The museum's mission and emphasis is that we are an art colony," Grover said. "We are constantly thinking of ways to bring groups of creative people together. Using this format, people are guaranteed to find new professionals that they might be interested in getting to know."

The program has the support of the artists who are stepping up as presenters.

"This is a great addition to our community," said artist and presenter Hope Sandrow. "I see this as a beginning. It's an open dialogue within the artistic community. It's nice the Parrish is stepping up and taking the lead. We need more opportunities for casual conversation among people with creativity interests."

Lighting Round is based on PechaKucha Night (chit-chat in Japanese) which brought together architects and designers to meet, network and show 20 images of their work in 20 seconds, Grover said.

PechaKucha Night got its start in Tokyo in February 2003 and has "turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide," according to www.pecha-kucha.org/.

The concise format requiring swift presentations seems like a good fit for the time-strapped and for who enjoy learning a little about a variety of disciplines. Lighting Round also provides the chance to meet people outside of specific creative circles who may share interests, Grover said.

"We hope to open the possibilities for friendships and for project collaborations," Grover said. "We hope this will continue to reverberate after Lighting Round is over."

Discovering the face behind the name is a great start, Sandrow said. Meeting people in aligned creative fields is more challenging when living in "our car society," a necessity for non-urban living, she said. In NYC, walking from place to place can yield unexpected encounters and introductions. Other creative types may be more easily noticed in the mish-mash of everyday living where plenty of paths cross.

The event's format, while designed for speed, can still allow for creativity, said Grover. Slides can be chosen so they remain longer than 20 seconds, she said.

Presenters can choose to coordinate their talk with the images or speak on topics independent of the visuals. Grover  has heard of team presentations and people who dance or sing with the slide projections.

"This is our first one," she said. "I think the presentations might become more creative as we go along. Artists like to break the rules and be creative."

Sandrow intends to present artwork images that demonstrate the breadth of her artwork. These days, her name conjures her work with chickens as cultural symbols and catalysts for questions. Over her career, Sandrow's art has channeled concerns with identity, myth making, science, social issues and more. During the presentation, Sandrow also intends to explain how her art led her to re-enact Edouard Manet's painting, "Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe" alongside Montauk Highway in a nude-colored leotard, and the re-enactment's connection to her art in general.

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BASIC FACTS: Lightning Round will be presented on Thursday, Oct 27, at 6:30 p.m. at the Parrish Art Museum on Jobs Lane in Southampton. Admission is $5 or free for museum members. Visit www.parrishart.org for details.

MISC ADDITIONAL FACTS: Alissa Smith is the owner of Smith boutique in Southampton Village. She also teaches sewing and design classes.

Hope Sandrow's art is part of collections held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and the New School--all in Manhattan. Her art is also part of the collection held by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Michael Holman formed the experimental band, Gray, with Jean-Michel Basquiat. Gray performed at CBGB's, Hurrah's, Club USA, Tier 3 and The Mudd Club. Holman's installation art and video art was exhibited in The Mudd Club, Club 57, Tier 3 and A-Space. Passionate about Hip Hop and Hip Hop culture, he's worked to "propel Hip Hop onto the global stage" through books, articles, interviews and film and television productions, according to the Parrish. He organized and managed the Hip Hop dance crews The Rock Steady Crew and The New York City Breakers and produced the television show "Graffiti Rock." In addition, Holman wrote the screenplay to "Basquiat" by Miramax and produced and directed children's programming for Nickelodeon including "Blues Clues."

Jameson Ellis's art has been exhibited at the Islip Art Museum, The Andy Warhol Museum in PA and Currier Museum of Art in NH. Gallery exhibitions include Salomon Contemporary in NYC and East Hampton, The Drawing Room in East Hampton, Glenn Horowitz Bookseller and John MacWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in East Hampton and other venues. Ellis's art has been exhibited in Munich, Germany; Paris, France; Budapest, Hungary and more.

Brian Halweil is a senior fellow at Worldwatch Institute, where his work focuses on organic farming, biotechnology, hunger and rural communities. He is the author of "Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket."

Maziar Behrooz of Maziar Behrooz Architecture is the architect who designed "The Arc House" in East Hampton. The curved structure is part of a multi-level private residence that's garnering a lot of media attention. Here's a link to check it out at Arch Daily: http://www.archdaily.com/106968/arc-house-maziar-behrooz-architecture/.

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

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