New Parrish Museum comes to the library

COURTESY PHOTO | The New Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.

New Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan Ms. Sultan will take Shelter Islanders on a behind-the-scenes tour of the extraordinary new East End arts destination at 6 p.m. on Friday, February l as part of the Friday Night Dialogues series at the Shelter Island Library.

“We have nothing to stop us but our imagination,” Ms. Sultan told The New York Times, as the $26.2 million, 34,400-square-foot museum, situated on 14 acres just off Montauk Highway in Water Mill, opened its doors last November — and planted its flag as the arts mecca for the entire East End. It’s all about accessibility — to artists, to patrons, to art lovers and to the community.

The New Parrish’s 12,200 square feet of sky lit exhibition space nearly triples the size of its former quarters. New works and innovative programs abound — artists’ residencies, such as the Platform project, collaborations with other institutions, a shared residency program and East End Stories and  the associated series student art show.

For the first time in the museum’s history, which dates back to 1898, some 7,600 square feet in seven galleries are dedicated to the Parrish permanent collection, mostly American art, focused on East End artists, ranging from the late 19th century to the present.
The museum has some 2,600 paintings, sculptures and works on paper, much of which was mostly kept in storage. Also groundbreaking is the addition of a café and a theater for films, lectures and performances.

Ms. Sultan joined the Parrish Art Museum in January 2008, three years after the Water Mill property had been acquired and she directed the creation of its new campus. Included in her 25-plus years as a museum professional are senior positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She has organized more than 40 exhibitions and is a respected author. She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics, was a founding board member of Etant donnés, the French-American Endowment for Contemporary Art and, in 2003, was awarded a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

Friday Night Dialogues at the Library is free with donations appreciated. You can also can pick up a voucher good for a 10-percent dinner discount that night at either La Maison Blanche or Sweet Tomato’s.

Coming up on February 8, Matko Tomicic, executive director of The Longhouse Reserve, discusses one of the East End’s most exquisite natural treasures.