In October 2018, Casey Dalene and Damien Roman, from Guild Hall and Roman Fine Art respectively, two creative hubs of East Hampton, introduced Hamptons Art Salon at The Maidstone. The “neutral platform to unite the art community on the East End,” as Dalene described it, provides an opportunity where people can gather to discuss the art industry.
Past guests have included Alice Hope; The North Fork Art Collective with Kara Hoblin, Scott Bluedorn, Cindy Pease Roe, and Verona Penalba; Jeff Muhs and wife Beth McNeil; Southampton Arts Center Director Amy Kirwin, and Executive Director Tom Dunn; and Marina Gregory, Scott Sheppard, Mitsubishi Salmon, and Myung Gyun You, Guild Hall artists-in-residence.
The Hamptons Art Salon is held on two Tuesdays monthly at The Maidstone hotel. This year, Roman has stepped away from the project, and Esperanza León of Art Solar is stepping into the co-host spot, and, with Dalene, will continue the partnership with John Marony and Jenny Baker of The Maidstone.
Art Salon guests can enjoy complimentary appetizers and drink specials, in addition to a prix fixe dinner of $29 by Chef Ian Lowell.
Visit the facebook page for updates on future events.
What is the core idea behind Hamptons Art Salon?
Esperanza León: It provides a time and space for friends and colleagues and the members of our vibrant and vital year-round community to come together and engage in conversation with each other and with our featured guest(s) around diverse topics related to arts and culture. The setting is ideal because it feels like we are simply gathering in someone’s living room, making it less of a lecture and more of an interaction and change of thoughts and ideas.
Has it been well attended?
Casey Dalene: Attendance has been great. We kicked off the first Art Salon with 45 attendees. The following salons have had between 25 to 35 attendees. The space at the Maidstone is so intimate and a smaller crowd is really nice, giving everyone the opportunity to speak.
What has the learning curve been like?
CD: The biggest learning curve has been navigating the space and the run of the show. We have moved the event from the dining room to the lounge space, giving it a much more conversational atmosphere. The guest speakers have been a huge hit and we are continuing to receive extremely positive feedback from the art community. I think it is a refreshing platform giving artists, curators, and art enthusiasts a chance to sit and talk to one another in a very intimate, educational platform.
What makes this event unique?
EL: Every single evening has been distinctly special and had its own dynamic. I feel the more relaxed we are as hosts the more at ease our special guests and the public feel, and the more successful the evening. We want people to feel enriched — transformed even — by an interesting conversation in which they also partake and to go away with a new idea, visual stimulus, or knowledge that inspires and motivated them beyond the content of that evening.
What’s been the greatest success amid all of it?
CD: The connection to our community. The population on the East End is small and sometimes the art world seems small, but we are constantly surprised to be learning about a new artist or art movement. It is really endless and such a broad topic that is continually growing and changing.
EL: It seems like such a small thing that we are doing. Various people have said how much they appreciate that we organize these gatherings so that they can get out for a few hours and connect with others in their field or get a personal introduction to individuals, organizations or happenings in our area that they might not have otherwise discovered. What has been so gratifying for me is that our guests really appreciated the opportunity to participate and truly enjoyed being a part of the salon, and our public has responded so positively to each experience.
Reach out to the Hamptons Art Salon on Facebook, where the group also posts events, @artsalonandthemaidstonehotel. Instagram @hamptonsartsalon or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.