The Guild Hall in East Hampton, Long Island is a rare hybrid of art museum, theater, film center, and concert hall. With hopes of attracting younger audiences to the eighty-year-old Hamptons staple, the center has brought in Alec Baldwin, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio, and two young New York City curators for this summer’s program.
In recent years it has struggled to pry the young culturati of the Hamptons from the beachside bars like Ruschmeyer’s and Surf Lodge. This year the Guild Hall is determined to attract the younger jetset, creating a pop-up shop with Styleliner and enlisting two young but extremely well-regarded curators, Lauren Cornell, Executive Director of Rhizome and Curator at the New Museum, and Hanne Mugaas, Independent Curator and Gallery Director of Salon 94. The two have put together an ambitious video art exhibition focusing on artists who have lived and worked on Long Island. The show features artists like Laurie Anderson, Lynda Benglis, Joan Jonas, Tony Oursler, Andy Warhol, and William Wegman. Cornell says:
The exhibition plays off the idea of Long Island as a beachy getaway. It explores the subject of escape from multiple angles: as leisure, as consumer frenzy, as a force of gentrification, and as a source of transcendence and transformation.
This summer the museum’s programming ranges from a Judy Garland Film Series to a documentary film series hosted by Alec Baldwin, concerts by Branford Marsalis, and talks with celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio and Marcus Samuelsson. The museum is also continuing a trend of summer solo shows from big-name artists. After last year’s Richard Prince exhibition, this summer the museum opens a career retrospective of work by Eric Fischl, who grew up on Long Island. While The Guild Hall is not yet attracting Hamptons regulars like P. Diddy, Jay-Z, Russell Simons, and Kanye West, it’s certainly heading in the right direction!
Escape: Video Art opens June 30 and Eric Fischl: Beach Life opens on August 11.