DISPATCH - AUG 17, 2012 (5:35 p.m.)

SPRINGS, NY

The Artists of the Springs Invitational always draws a crowd. Popular among area artists, the annual show presents a mini-survey of artists working in and around the Springs, East Hampton and stretching towards Water Mill. Every year, a different curator is selected. He or she metaphorically clicks through their Rolodex of artists, reviews the artist list of those who have been selected before and then compiles a new list of artists to include.

This year, Christina Mossaides Strassfield was awarded the spot of guest curator for the 45th Artists of the Springs Invitational. Strassfield is the museum director and chief curator for Guild Hall Museum.

Strassfield will give a Curator's Tour and talk on Sat from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The Invitational concludes on Sunday. There are around 130 artists included in this year's show.

“It is truly wonderful to know that the art community in Springs is thriving and that all of these artist come together to support the Springs Improvement Society,” said Strassfield. “I was honored to be asked to serve as the Curator for the second time!”

A relatively new tradition for the Invitational is Ashawagh Honors. The preview fundraiser honors several artists for "their longtime commitment and devotion to the arts." This year's honorees were landscape painter Rae Ferren, abstract expressionist painter Connie Fox and figurative sculptor William King.

All three artists have exhibited in prior Invitationals. Ferren has also curated the annual exhibition.

The Springs Invitational is timed each year to coincide with the Fisherman's Fair. Part block party and part open air arts and craft fair, it was this annual tradition that gave rise to the Invitational. Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) and Willem deKooning (1904-1997) both exhibited work in the art show held close by their studios and homes.

Art sales benefit the Springs Improvement Society (SIS), Ashawagh Hall and the SIS’s Scholarship Fund. SIS is responsible for the care and upkeep of Ashawagh Hall.

This year's show offers an eyeful of art worth looking at.

"I love this show and being at Ashawagh Hall with so many beautiful works of art," said Beth Meredith, administrator for the Springs Invitational. "When it all comes down on Sunday I'll be sad to see the buyers come and pick up their new art and the artists take their work away."

Those who have seen the Invitational have reported that this year's show is a winner.

"The remark I hear the most from visitors to the show is about how beautifully the show has been hung," said Meredith. "Christina has a wonderful talent for arranging the art so they "talk" to each other. There are wonderful conversations going on there."
Here's just a few of the artists included in the show:

Abby Abrams, Linda Alpern, Mary Ellen Bartley, Tulla Booth, Stephanie Brody-Lederman, Arlene Bujese, Philippe Cheng, Carolyn Conrad, John Philip Capello, Linda Capello, Ralph Carpentier, Eric Dever, Sally Egbert, Amy Ernst and Eric Ernst, Janet Goleas and Elaine Grove and John Jonas Gruen.

Also, Priscilla Heine, Elwood Howell, Janet Jennings, Dennis Leri, Christa Maiwald, Karyn Mannix, Gordon Matheson, Ruth Nasca, Camille Perrottet, Maria Pessino, Leo Revi, Randall Rosenthal, Hope Sandrow, Matt Satz, Robert Skinner, David Slater, Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas, Pamela Topham, Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Charles Waller, Claire Watson, Frank Wimberley, Darius Yektai, Nico Yektai, Lewis Zacks, Evan Zatti and Amy Zerner.

Following is a sample of the scenes and artwork that are a part of this year's Artists of the Springs Invitational:

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A crowd gathers for the Ashawagh Honors benefit preview and wine reception on Aug 2, 2012. Photo courtesy of Beth Meredith.

Artwork by Grant Haffner.

Ashawagh Honors Recipients Connie Fox and William King.

Artwork by Connie Fox.

Invitational guest curator Christina Mossaides Strassfield with Ashawagh Honors Recipient Rae Ferren. Photo courtesy Beth Meredith.

Artwork by Carol Hunt.

Ashawagh Honors fundraiser co-chair Teri Kennedy with benefit volunteers Rose Zelenetz and Tracy Jamar.

Artwork by Athos Zacharias.

Ashawagh Honors fundraiser volunteers Claus Osewald and Gary Schatmayer (right) with event co-chairs Elena Prohaska Glinn and Teri Kennedy.

Artwork by Phyllis Baker Hammond.

Exhibiting artists Jim and Jana Hayden.

Artwork by Pat Moran.

Exhibiting artist Roy Nicholson with Springs Invitational curator Christina Mossaides Strassfield.

Artwork by Anna Franklin.

Artwork by Rae Ferren.

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BASIC FACTS: The 45th Artists of the Springs Invitational remains on view through Sunday. A Curator's Tour will take place on Saturday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. It is free. Hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Ashawagh Hall is located at 780 Springs Fireplace Rd, East Hampton, NY. www.ashawagh-hall.org

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© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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