The Kulture Collective Beach Fire series at Sound View. (Photo courtesy of Sound View Greenport)
Who is art for? How to make it a more meaningful and accessible experience? These are some of the burning questions to discuss during the Beach Fire series at Sound View in Greenport. Just grab a chair around a crackling campfire on the beach as the sunset transforms the sound into a blaze of golden hues and join in the conversation.
Free Sunday night gatherings, limited to 20 people, are run on a first come, first served basis and feature artists, collectors and curators chatting by the fireside with anyone curious or passionate about art.
“It’s about bringing people together,” said Brian Gorman, curator of the Beach Fire series and managing partner of the creative agency Army of Moon People, “and how sharing opinions can change their lives and the lives of those around them. “
Although many associate the top-flight art collecting crowd with the Hamptons, North Fork has become an artist destination, attracting artists like Lisa Yuskavage, Elizabeth Peyton, TJ Wilcox, John Currin and Rachel Feinstein and gallery owners from Chelsea. like Barbara Gladstone.
“The North Fork has always made its own way,” said Brooklyn-based Gorman, who spent many summers at his parents’ house in the East. “Greenport was once a biker town. Einstein lived in Southold [in the summer of 1939]. There are various ways of thinking, being and expressing oneself here. Being an individual is always a priority; people here have always had room to get out of their way.
Sound View hotelier Erik Warner was the original idea behind the series and encouraged Gorman to foster an artistic community.
“Most hoteliers wouldn’t understand the value of doing something like this just for the good of the community,” Gorman said. “When we started, we were responding to the void we all felt during the pandemic. “
As townspeople settled and moved to North Fork during the lockdown, many still felt isolated.
“It felt like it was necessary,” Warner said. “In times of fear and uncertainty, I was made to want to do more for the places and communities where I felt protected and cared for.”
Why the arts?
“Artists often lead the charge in new ways of thinking and better ways of existing,” Warner said. “It’s like they’re forced to find and share meaning. I needed and sought to find more meaning for myself, to create more meaning for my family, friends and community.
And there is no better universal language “to connect, and [help people]to experience something in an inspiring and attainable way ”than s.
So far, his desire to stir up the community through the arts resonates.
In just five weeks, the series has drawn regulars from near and far, from docents at the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to local curators. Last Sunday, legendary New York gallerist Gracie Mansion was part of the small circle who were captivated as Eric Shiner, former director of the Andy Warhol museum, courted and regaled guests with stories gleaned from his years there and as Executive Director of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn and Artistic Director of White Cube Gallery in New York.
Other speakers included visual artist and photographer Nona Faustine, whose work explores what it means to be a black woman in America, and Brendan Fernandez, a Canadian performance artist of Kenyan and Indian descent who teaches the theory of art at Northwestern University.
This Sunday, October 3, artist Jonathan Rosen will discuss NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which have shaken up the art collection because the work can only be viewed digitally. While the conversation is bound to be heated, Gorman advises layering, though he does provide blankets for guests. He intends to keep those talks outside for as long as he can, as he welcomes speakers like actors and designer Waris Ahluwalia, who has appeared in the Spike Lee and Wes Anderson films and designed Kenzo and Gucci, architect Stephanie Goto, whose commissions include the Calder Foundation. and the New York gallery Hauser & Wirth.
“The key is that it maintains that sense of intimate community,” says Gorman.
Registration is recommended; book your tickets online from the Thursday before the event.