DISPATCH - FEB 1, 2013 (11:30 a.m.)

EAST END AND SETAUKET, NY-

Black History Month is upon us and art galleries and artists are presenting different sides of the Black Experience. There are four galleries on the Eastern End of Long Island that are presenting art shows exploring issues that can range from ugly to beautiful and the complications in between.

Tonight, two exhibitions collaborate to present nearly simultaneous art openings in Riverhead. East End Arts is holding an artist reception for its juried group show "Diversity" tonight 5 to 7 p.m. The Suffolk County Historical Society holds its opening from 6 to 8 p.m. for "Hidden and Forbidden: Art and Objects of Intolerance, Depictions of Blacks in America."

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"Babel: My Life" by Katherine Liepe-Levinson, Riverhead. Photograph. Courtesy East End Arts.

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On Saturday, the Southampton Cultural Center opens its exhibition ""Visual Heritage IV: Contemporary African-American Artists.” On Feb 15, Gallery North in Setauket opens its show "A Celebration of Color."

The "Hidden and Forbidden" exhibition at Suffolk County Historical Society takes a hard look at discrimination through American history to commemorate Black History Month. The group show of art and objects raises issues of slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, racism and homegrown terrorists. The Hometown terrorists include the Ku Klux Klan, commercial exploitation, "character characterizations" and stereotypes of Blackness, according to the historical society.

The exhibition was curated by Georgette Grier-Key Ed.D, David Byer-Tyre and Kathryn Curran. A three-part lecture series and a fundraiser in April will be offered in support of the show.

"Diversity" at East End Arts is an open call juried show that explores the concept of diversity through a broad lens. The show is the first in a series of seven open call exhibitions exploring the concept of "Celebrating our Diversity."

"Diversity" opened on Jan 18. It was juried by abstract artist Frank Wimberley. The show presents 64 artworks that were selected from over 150 entries, according to East End Arts.

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"Paint" by Ruth Nasca, East Hampton. Acrylic on movie poster. 1st Place. Courtesy East End Arts.

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Awards were given for Best in Show and for the top three artworks.

The Best in Show was bestowed to Katherine  Liepe-Levinson of Riverhead for her photograph "Babel: My Life." First Place went to Ruth Nasca of East Hampton for her mixed media piece  "Paint."  Second Place was awarded to Marion Jones of Southold for her collage "Trusting My Instincts." Third Place went to Nannette Tiano of Calverton for her photograph "Tulle #1."

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"Trusting My Instincts" by Marion Jones, Southold. Collage. 2nd Place. Courtesy East End Arts.

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East End Arts and the Suffolk County Historical Society collaborate again on Feb 16 with the presentation of the talk and panel discussion "Discrimination in 'Post-Racist' America." The event will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the Suffolk County Historical Society.

Panelists include Erica Corbin, Director of Community Life and co-chair of the Diversity Council at the Collegiate School at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Also expected is Randy Clancey, Diversity Coordinator at the Collegiate School at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. They will be joined by Tina Andrews, an actor, artist and playwright.

The panel is expected to discuss the "subtle and nuanced discrimination in our society today," according to East End Arts.

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"Tulle #1" by Nannette Tiano, Calverton. Photograph. 3rd Place. Courtesy East End Arts.

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Southampton Cultural Center lets the artwork do the talking in their annual exhibition "Visual Heritage IV: Contemporary African-American Artists.” The exhibition has an opening reception on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. Participating artists include Tina Andrews, Brent Bailer, Manuel Hughes, Rosa Hanna Scott, Reynold Ruffins, and Danny Simmons.

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Artwork by Reynold Ruffins. Courtesy Southampton Cultural Center.

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In addition,  Tina Andrew's “The Mistress of Monticello” will be presented on Feb 2, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and on Feb 10 at 2:30 p.m.  General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students under 21 years old with ID. For details, visit www.scc-arts.org.

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Artwork by Manuel Hughes. Courtesy Southampton Cultural Center.

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Gallery North in Setauket is presenting "A Celebration of Color" from Feb 15 to March 17. The not-for-profit gallery invited eight accomplished artists of color to contribute works that "...celebrate the art, history and cultural richness that resulted from the African Diaspora," according the gallery.

Exhibiting are Robert Carter, Francks Décéus, Stephanie Dinkins, James Hoston, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Phillip Smallwood, Ann Tanksley and Emmet Wigglesworth. The artists will discuss their work on Feb 24 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Ideas explored include connection, displacement, identity, marginalization, cultural signifers, African culture, spirituality and more.

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"Iconology" by Stephanie Dinkins. Photograph. Courtesy Gallery North.

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BASIC FACTS: "Hidden and Forbidden: Art and Objects of Intolerance, Depictions of Blacks in America" opens today and remains on view through June 1 at the Suffolk County Historical Society, 300 West Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901. An opening reception will be held on Feb 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org

Lectures in support of the exhibition will be held on Feb 8, Feb 15, 16 and 22. The panel discussion "Digging” the Roots of Inequality: Archaeological Investigations of Ethnicity and Race on Long Island' will take place on March 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. The panel will be moderated by Georgette Grier-Key. Expected presenters are Allison Manfra McGovern, Jenna Wallace Coplin and Meg Gorsline. For details, see suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org

"A Celebration of Color" will be exhibited from Feb 15 to March 17 at Gallery North, 90 North Country Road, Setauket, NY 11733. The artists will speak about their work on Sunday, Feb 24, from 3 to 5 p.m. gallerynorth.org

"Visual Heritage IV: Contemporary African-American Artists” opens on Saturday and remains on view through Feb 27. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. The gallery is located at Levitas Center for the Arts, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton Village, NY 11968.www.southamptonculturalcenter.org

"Diversity" remains on view through Jan 18 at East End Arts Gallery, 133 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901. An artist reception takes place on Feb 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. www.eastendarts.org.

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© 2013 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub.

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