If you ever wanted to take part in the making of an immersive installation that occupies the near-size of a museum, you're in luck. Spots are still available through November 1, 2018 to assist international artist Francisco Alvarado-Juárez bring his latest site-specific installation "LIGHT OF THE OCEAN" spring to life. Utterly sprawling, installation-exhibition will occupy both main galleries at the Southampton Arts Center, the former (and original) home of the Parrish Art Museum, located on Jobs Lane in Southampton Village in The Hamptons.

The aim is to transform SAC into a "...magical marine environment with pathways through sand, seashells and other organic materials indigenous to the East End," according to SAC. The installation-exhibition will also featured video projections of water and marine life, around 30 large-scale acrylic paintings by of Francisco’s and thousands of repurposed painted paper bags. Heightening the experience will be sound and aura aspects woven into the art such as the smell of the ocean and the sounds of whales.

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"LIGHT OF THE OCEAN" by Francisco Alvarado-Juárez in the process of being installed at the Southampton Arts Center. Courtesy Southampton Arts Center.

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The exhibition aims to demonstrate, through vivid and colorful shapes and volumes, the exuberance of nature while pointing to its underlying fragility and ephemeral quality and encouraging action to protect it, according to SAC. Recycled paper in the form of thousands of brown grocery bags have been painted and cut by hand and will be attached to the walls one by one. All together the bags camouflage the various animals or abstract patterns that will be carefully painted, and later semi-hidden by the protruding paper.

“In my work, nature is a metaphor for the complexity of the human condition," Alvarado-Juárez explained in an exhibition announcement. "For more than 25 years, I have created installations aimed at attracting the viewer through a seemingly natural and familiar space. I use recycled paper from brown grocery bags, painted and cut by hand. The bags can take on various natural forms, giving way to multiple interpretations, and also recalling their organic origin. Once placed on the gallery walls, the humidity of each space gives each bag its particular form, changing like a plant over the course of the exhibition. Symbolically, the mundane paper bag is acquiring life.”

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Francisco Alvarado-Juárez during install of "LIGHT OF THE OCEAN" at Southampton Arts Center. Courtesy SAC.

Francisco Alvarado-Juárez during install of "LIGHT OF THE OCEAN" at Southampton Arts Center. Courtesy SAC.

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The public is invited to be part of the art making process by volunteering to help in its creation. Spots are available this week through November 1, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To sign up, email info@southamptoncenter.org; call 631-283-0967, extension 11; or click here to pick a time slot.

“Francisco’s work is compelling, beautiful, and above all, relevant," stated SAS Artistic Director Amy Kirwin. "...To be able to open up the installation to the public to view and even help prepare is exactly the kind of opportunity SAC strives to create for our patrons. It’s thrilling to be able to peel back the curtain on the creative process and let people in to work closely with the artist and experience what it is like to produce an exhibition.”

"LIGHT OF THE OCEAN" by Francisco Alvarado-Juárez opens on Friday, November 2, 2018 with a free Opening Reception taking place from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition continues on view through December 31, 2018. Admission is by a suggested $5 donation and free for children under 18 years old.

The site-specific installation also features around 30 large-scale acrylic paintings by the artist.

Francisco Alvarado-Juárez is an internationally recognized New York artist. Born in Honduras, his work has been the subject of over 45 solo shows and curated into over 80 group exhibitions. His art is held in the permanent collections of many museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC), Brooklyn Museum of Art, Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, NY) and Museo Pablo Serrano (Zaragoza, Spain).

To learn more about his work, visit his website at www.franciscoalvarado.com.

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"Male Hercules Beetle" by Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017

"Male Hercules Beetle" by Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 57 1/2 x 40 inches. Courtesy of Southampton Arts Center.

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BASIC FACTS: "LIGHT OF THE OCEAN" by Francisco Alvarado-Juárez is welcoming volunteers to assist with the creation of the site-specific installation through November 2, 2018. To sign up, click here. The exhibition opens to the public on Friday, November 2, 2018 from 5 to 7 p.m. and continues on view through December 31, 2018.

Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, NY 11968. www.southamptonartscenter.org.

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