Featured Story

Art on a summer night at The Pridwin: Benefit event encouraged participation

The Pridwin Hotel hosted a Summer Drawing Party on Thursday evening, with easels set up around the front lawn overlooking Peconic Bay.

The event, sponsored by Galerie, an art magazine, was a benefit for the New York Academy of Art, a graduate school in Manhattan dedicated to teaching traditional techniques that enable students to realize their artistic vision.

With cocktails provided by another sponsor, Wolffer Estate, and lobster rolls served by The Pridwin, guests enjoyed the breeze off Crescent Beach while the setting sun offered a gentle light.

Max Rohn, left and his wife, Joey Wollfer, enjoy the Drawing Party at The Pridwin. (Credit: Susan Carey Dempsey)

John Wellington, an artist who graduated from the Academy in 1987, coached the guests to get them started on capturing the likeness of a model with the pencils and paper provided at each easel, offering tips like holding a pencil as a guide to the angle of the model’s arm.

He also stressed the importance of the erasers provided, saying, “I always make mistakes. Life is spent correcting my corrections.”

After the brief lesson, several more models came out and guests began sketching. Some were visiting the Island for the first time, like Justin Wadlington, a painter from Philadelphia, who came with Dejinay Reed.

Actress Naomi Watts said she’s enjoyed visiting the Island from her vacation house nearby.

Actress Naomi Watts was a guest at The Pridwin’s Drawing Party. (Credit: Susan Carey Dempsey)

Longtime Island residents Alex Gonzalez and Raoul Martinez said they had fond memories of The Pridwin with its old-fashioned charm, and were pleased that the hotel had kept the same feeling.

The Pridwin reopened in 2022 following a two-year renovation by the Petry family and their partners, Cape Resorts, whose founder Curtis Bashaw, was one of the hosts for the evening.

The Summer Drawing Party was the second held at The Pridwin, building on its success last year. It’s one of several gatherings that make the most of the hotel’s location and expansive lawn overlooking the bay. The Pridwin was a sponsor of the Shelter Island Fireworks in July, hosting a special dinner for the event outdoors, and initiating a Full Moon dinner later in the summer.

The tradition of Wednesday barbecues on the lawn was brought back recently, with diners enjoying the view of sailboats parading by, and will continue into September, Mr. Bashaw said.

The finished products on the easels ranged from a few quick strokes, to cartoons, to intricate portraits, but the atmosphere was friendly and supportive, with all encouraged to try their artistic talents and enjoy a beautiful Shelter Island evening to benefit a good cause.