Year in review 2021

AFew year 2020, just about any year after could be rated higher overall, but 2021 has certainly had some real highlights on the East End art scene. Let’s take a look at some of the exciting arts news covered in Dan’s papers This year.

“Lady Grace” by Hans Van de Bovenkamp on the large lawn of WHBJim lennon

1. Launch of Dan’s Papers SculptTour

Launched in spring 2021, Dan’s Papers SculptTour dazzled summer visitors and Hamptons alike with a collection of sculptures by the great Hans Van de Bovenkamp. Several of the statues stood at Westhampton Beach, while others were scattered across the Montauk Highway. We had the pleasure of interviewing Van de Bovenkamp about his Dutch origin, his illustrious career and the works included in the tour, presented in partnership with the Louis K. Meisel gallery. We even had a selfie contest and awarded a fabulous prize to the person who took the best photo alongside one of the statues. If you know where to look, you might still see these brilliant works across the Hamptons.

July 16, 2021 Dan's Papers cover by Howard Stern
July 16, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover by Howard Stern

2. Howard Stern promotes the cover of his Dan’s Papers

Shortly after his first Dan’s papers cover art in December 2020, radio legend Howard Stern took The Howard Stern Show to tell his listeners about the ongoing development. On a January broadcast, he discussed his desire to appear in the December 18, 2020 issue specifically after his wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, was interviewed about his animal advocacy for the issue. On July 21, he returned to the cover with another work of impressive realism.

The recently reopened Sag Harbor Cinema
The recently reopened Sag Harbor CinemaMichael heller

3. Definitive reopening of sites

With the Bay Street Theater, Guild Hall and other great East End venues reopening a few months after the March 2020 closure, North Fork music and comedy fans have been eagerly awaiting the Suffolk reopening date. Theater shortly thereafter. That date, however, would not arrive until August 27, 2021, when they welcomed fans of the Lords of 52nd Street to go wild under a slew of new safety precautions. The Sag Harbor Cinema also saw its long-awaited comeback this year, although the wait was much longer – from December 16, 2016 to April 9, 2021. With intense fundraising and the elaborate redesign, the cinema reopens was already in preparation for years. when COVID struck and drastically slowed down the process. By the end of 2021, all major locations in the East End have survived the pandemic and customers couldn’t be happier.

Guild Hall at East Hampton
Guild Hall at East HamptonBarbara lassen

4. The guild hall celebrates its 90th anniversary

Speaking of Guild Hall, East Hampton’s iconic institution has celebrated 90 years of performing arts, fine art and more. Summer patrons were treated to a virtual poetry reading, outdoor plays and film screenings, the 75th Annual Clothesline Art Sale, family workshops, KidFEST, conversations with actors black and indigenous change, a culinary series, Selections from the Permanent Collection and more.

The 2021 Hamptons Film Festival poster featuring "Find beauty in a dark place" by Toni Ross
The 2021 Hamptons Film Festival poster featuring “Finding Beauty in a Dark Place” by Toni Ross

5. Film festivals are back in force

Many annual event planners have done what they can to engage event enthusiasts with virtual-only offerings in 2020, but it was clear that film festivals were greatly benefiting from a more personal touch. Hamptons International Film Festival, Hamptons Doc Fest, OLA The Latino Film Festival and North Fork TV Festival each hosted 2021 events that were a much-anticipated return to form, with in-person screenings, Q&A with filmmakers, parties, and other festivities. And, as pictured above, Toni Ross’ 2021 HIFF poster art, “Find beauty in a dark place” was a success in itself.

2021 East Hampton Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game Players
2021 East Hampton Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game Players

6. Dan’s Papers sponsors the artists and writers game

For the first time, Dan’s Papers sponsored the East Hampton Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game, and we’ve done it all. Every week before the August game, we kicked off the new Up at Bat series, which gave prolific local writers from Ken Auletta to Alec Baldwin a page to write about whatever they wanted. The sponsorship of the 73rd annual game ended with a massive game day program with great interviews, story pieces and more – and a win for the artist team.

Daisy Tapley and Spalding Gray as portrayed by Eric Fischl
Daisy Tapley and Spalding Gray as portrayed by Eric FischlCourtesy of Eric Fischl

7. Saints of Sag Harbor

The church, a literal former church turned cultural center, opened with a work of art in each of its 20 windows, depicting the “Arts Saints of Sag Harbor” as the church’s co-founder and window artist Eric Fischl. In honor of the 20 Saints – Daisy Tapley, Spalding Gray, James Fenimore Cooper, George Balanchine, Herman Melville and others – we have printed a 10-part series detailing each Saint’s contribution to the Sag Harbor art scene.

Daniel Bluman wins the 2021 Hampton Classic Grand Prix
Daniel Bluman wins the Hampton Classic Grand Prix

8. Hampton Classic is back

The Hampton Classic Horse Show returned after a year of hiatus, and we’ve covered it from all angles this year. We printed the program, previewed the new security measures, profiled a young sweater, visited the shops and photographed the fabulous participants. The weeklong event was a huge success, attracting thousands of participants and awarding the LONGINES Hampton Classic Grand Prix of $ 300,000 to Israeli jumper Daniel Bluman.

Tovah Feldshuh and Dr Ruth Westheimer
Tovah Feldshuh and Dr Ruth WestheimerCourtesy of Bay Street Theater

9. The year of Tovah Feldshuh

The year 2021 can be accurately described as the year of Tovah Feldshuh. The Broadway and TV star released his first memoir Lilyville: mother, daughter and other roles I played, she performed in the Bay Street Theater Become Dr Ruth who then moved to the Museum of Jewish Heritage and was honored by the Ellen Hermanson Foundation for its generous support of their vital work in the field of breast health. We covered Feldshuh’s amazing year via multiple features, podcasts, and photo ops, and look forward to more of it in 2022.

Functional designs of Wendell's Castle on display at Christie's / Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Functional designs of Wendell’s Castle on display at Christie’s / Carpenters Workshop Gallery

10. Art Wave 2021 in Southampton

Following Southampton Village’s 2020 law requiring vacant storefronts to be filled with art installations, the village has seen a major wave of new art galleries and other art events on its streets. Phillips Art Auction House, Denis Leon Gallery, Peter Marino Art Foundation, A Is for Art, Lex Weill Gallery, Black & White Gallery / Project Space, Hauser & Wirth, Loves Gallery and Christie’s / Carpenters Workshop Gallery all popped up in the months leading up to 2021. The Southampton Arts Center even hosted the Hamptons’ first Fine Arts Fair and Craftsmen Fair, which complemented the weekly Farmers and Craftsmen Market nicely.

About Madeline J. Carter

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