Approximately 600 people gathered at the Southampton Arts Center on February 9 for the opening reception of “Takeover! Artists in Residence.” The new exhibit, curated by Amy Kirwin, has proven to be a successful breeding ground of creativity for not only the artists but the public as well. Two of the artists featured are Laurie Lambrecht, a Bridgehampton resident who integrates fiber work into her photography and Ruby Jackson, who currently lives in Sag Harbor. Indy caught up with Kirwin and the two artists to see how things have been panning out.
How did you select the artists for Takeover?
Amy Kirwin: I chose some based on knowledge of their work or personally knowing them and their personalities. A couple were recommended based on me looking for specific mediums to have diversity among each artist in residence. It was important that they be comfortable with the format — being open to working with people watching them, talking to the public, and also being willing to give a certain amount of time to SAC in the galleries during visitor hours.
Some of the artists are already friends, and have been placed in the galleries near each other to promote collaboration and conversation.
Have any surprising collaborations come from it?
AK: Collaborations are beginning to happen, but something that is even more satisfying are the new friendships that are being formed between the artists.
What is your artistic medium/style?
Ruby Jackson: Some of my work is abstract but inspired by nature, especially marine life. Other work, like my clay miniature food, and rooms are figurative. I guess I would say my style is the Ruby Jackson style.
I play with different materials, like polymer clay, plaster, wood, and paper. For the past eight years, I’ve been intrigued by glitter glue. It dries to a sturdy plastic that wears well with time, and has endless possibilities.
What aspect of Takeover do you find most exciting?
Laurie Lambrecht: Sharing my work and the process of making it to the local community has been rewarding and a pleasure, as has been being with the other artists and having spontaneous conversations in the relaxed atmosphere nurtured by the Southampton Arts Center.
In what ways has your creativity changed during the Takeover?
LL: Last weekend I taught a workshop in weaving for the first time at the SAC. It was a joy to have the opportunity to share something that I love doing and to potentially inspire others. Teaching there has led to me thinking about planning more workshops.
I have been using the journeys to and from Southampton as an opportunity to start a new photo project that has been in my head for a while. Most days I spend time observing with my camera the tidelines in the bays in the vicinity. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing the accumulation of images in my studio at Takeover as proof prints.
RJ: I took Laurie Lambrecht’s class in weaving, and am totally inspired. She is a wonderful artist and teacher, and she’s opened a new, wild, wonderful world of weaving to me. I hope to take every one of the artist’s classes. The best part of Takeover has been getting to know these other fabulous artists. Not only are they each uniquely talented, but they each have a lot of heart, warmth, and passion for what they do.
Bravo to Amy for bringing together a very compatible, creative group. And, for even thinking of this in the first place. She is forming a genuine artists’ community.
How does working in the public eye differ from working remotely?
LL: The work I do while at the Center is really process work rather than thought centered. It is very difficult for me to concentrate and make choices without being immersed in solitude and quiet. I work a bit at home to develop ideas and then bring pieces to continue on at SAC.
RJ: Being a teacher and performer prepares a person for being, speaking, and working in public. Acting classes, and 18 years of giving tours at the Pollock-Krasner House was good practice. Many years performing magic shows as the Amazing Rubini was also helpful.
Personally, I am easily distracted, and I want to be available to talk to visitors. So, I have not been productive. But I’ve gotten lots of good ideas. I really need solitude and quiet to create.
“Takeover” is on view through April 14. Visit www.southamptonartscenter.org for more information.