Plein air painters and photographers love and appreciate nature. So do conservationists and preservationists. The links, differences, and experiences of their reasons why takes a Hamptons perspective in a panel discussion on Saturday. Presented by Peconic Land Trust and Peconic Plein Air, panelists will discuss their experiences of making art in public, what drives and inspires them, vanishing landscapes, conserving and community, and what makes the East End a special place for artists and those who live and visit here.

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"Dam Pond North Fork" by Casey Chalem Anderson. Oil on canvas, 4 x 6 feet.

"Dam Pond North Fork" by Casey Chalem Anderson.

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“Connecting Art & Conservation” will be held on Saturday from 3 - 5 p.m. at Market Art + Design at Fairfield Farm at Mecox Bay in Bridgehampton. N.Y. The panel is free with art fair admission.

Panelists include Peconic Land Trust President John v.H. Halsey and  Vice President Rebecca Chapman with Plein Air Peconic artists Gordon Matheson, Casey Chalem Anderson and Kathryn Szoka. Adding perspectives from painting internationally and preservation efforts by the Nature Conservancy are Laura Grenning of Grenning Gallery and artist Marc Dalessio. Hamptons Art Hub Publisher and Managing Editor Pat Rogers will moderate the panel.

"Art can be a powerful advocacy tool for conservation," said Chapman. "The power of walking into a room and seeing a landscape that is familiar – or one that is familiar but gone – cannot be underestimated. Through landscape art – paintings and photography – we are connecting people with the environment around them.

"People long for vistas lost and well as celebrate familiar views. When witnessing both the lost as well as the protected, the viewer gains a deeper appreciation for the role conservation plays in their own community. The visceral connection often creates lifelong conservationists."

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"Hibiscus at Phillips Pond" by Susan D’Alessio.

"Hibiscus at Phillips Pond" by Susan D’Alessio.

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"People are often conservationists without even knowing," Chapman continued. "Landscape art can be the tipping point for moving appreciation into action. Our work with the artists of Plein Air Peconic has shined a light on the impact conservation can have on communities. By showing works – both en plein air paintings and landscape photography – the viewer is reminder of beauty around them – and sometimes the pain of the loss."

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"Plein Air Dunes at Sag Pond" by Gordon Matheson.

"Plein Air Dunes at Sag Pond" by Gordon Matheson.

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Sometimes the reflection of the loss is realized when viewing a painting of a natural vista which is now a shopping area, a private home or changed due to its natural or human impact. The Vanishing Landscape series by photographer Kathryn Szoka is even more direct: she selected natural vistas that were likely to change and photographed them as both a record of a community and its culture and a preservation point.

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"Hendrickson Farm" by Kathryn Szoka.

"Hendrickson Farm" by Kathryn Szoka.

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En plain air painter Casey Chalem Anderson put it this way. "My experience is that it gives the viewer a reference, a way to stop and see the sky, water, land. The artist points it out, underlines it. The landscape art brings awareness into the consciousness of the public by literally framing the natural beauty that is being preserved. You might whiz by in your car and casually notice that Dam Pond on the North Fork is a very nice open space but when you see a 6 foot by 4 ft oil painting, it becomes arresting. You take time to let it sink in and recognize the majesty of nature."

"Without the conserved land, the artists don't have inspiration and the public loses natural areas- every space will have a house on it changing the treasured rural landscape into suburbia," said Anderson. "The art reminds people of this, helps them to care."

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Casey Chalem Anderson & Michele Margit at Scallop Pond.

Casey Chalem Anderson & Michele Margit at Scallop Pond.

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Hosting the panel that explores the intersection between art, the East End of Long Island and conservation was a natural for Market Art + Design. They selected the Peconic Land Trust as its recipient for its opening night Preview. The move also signifies a change in Art Market Productions previous Hamptons art fair. The 2015 edition incorporates design into its fine art contemporary art fair plus closer connections to the Hamptons and East End community.

"I’m thrilled about our new partnership with Peconic Land Trust," said Max Fishko, Market Art + Deign director and Managing Partner of Art Market Productions. "The trust will be our Beneficiary Partner this year, and we’re looking forward to supporting the important work they do with landowners, municipalities, and communities to conserve Long Island’s working farms and natural lands."

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"Path to Bay" by Michele Margit.

"Path to Bay" by Michele Margit.

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BASIC FACTS: “Connecting Art & Conservation” panel discussion takes place on Saturday, July 11. from 3 to 5 p.m. at Market Art + Design. Admission is free with a fair pass or VIP card.

The discussion features Peconic Land Trust President John v.H. Halsey and Vice President Rebecca Chapman, Plein Air Peconic artists Gordon Matheson, Casey Chalem Anderson and Kathryn Szoka, and special guests Laura Grenning of Grenning Gallery, and artist Marc Dalessio. The panel is moderated by Hamptons Art Hub Publisher and Managing Editor Pat Rogers.

Market Art + Design is located at Fairview Farm at Mecox, 19 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. www.artmarkethamptons.com.

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Copyright 2015 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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