A group of local watercolor artists will present a new art show called “Watercolor+” on Friday, September 23rd from 3 pm to 7pm, Saturday, September 24th from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday, September 25th from 11am to 4pm at Ashawagh Hall, 780 Springs Fireplace Rd, East Hampton.
Featured artists include Kirsten Benfield, Nancy Brody, Barbara Dilorenzo, Laurie Hall, Beth Meredith, Lesley Obrock, Janet Rojas, Jerry Schawbe and Carol Sigler. Paintings will include watercolors, pastel, print and acrylics with a heavy concentration on landscapes, abstraction and the convergence of nature in both.
Kirsten Benfield is originally from New Zealand living and working in East Hampton. As a traveller, observation of her travels has been recorded in watercolor. “And in Exploring my sense of place on the East End, I bring the two places together in landscapes, and mind-scapes”. Kirsten has developed her own style that is now Heavily influenced with texture, structure and atmosphere. Kirsten has been involved in many of the Springs Improvement Societies curated shows, East Hampton Arts Council events and Guild HallMembers Shows and The Sag Harbor Church.
Nancy was born in Detroit, MI and moved to New York City in 1980 in order to be involved in NYC arts and culture. She has spent her career in non-profit arts management for organizations such as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 92Y, The Rubin Museum of Art, The National Academy Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a Volunteer. She was a docent at the Parrish Art Museum for the past five years and currently produces Artist Studio Tours for the Volunteers of Guild Hall.
Nancy and her husband, Bob, bought an old Farmhouse in East Hampton in 1985. In 2016, after 35 years of living and working in NYC, they moved full-time to East Hampton. The move has been an important event that has brought much joy and fulfillment to both of their lives. It was always her dream to paint, and by living full time in East Hampton, surrounded by the extraordinary light and nature, as well as the many talented artists she has met, creating art has become an integral part of her life. Giving up NYC was an enormous change yet extremely gratifying. Starting a new life has been a transformative experience. Art making and the physical beauty of the East End has been a big part of that transformation.
Nancy started painting in 2016 with artist Barbara Thomas at the Parrish Museum. She studied watercolor with Janet Jennings from 2018-2021 where she met the current water+color+works group. During the pandemic, she took Pastel workshops with Roisin Bateman over Zoom while continuing to paint with the group. She is most appreciative to be a part of water+color+works painting group and thanks them for their continued support and enormous inspiration. It’s never too late to try and achieve your dreams.
While working as an art director in New York City Barbara began painting in plein air on the East End of Long Island.
Eventually moving to East Hampton she now maintains a studio there. Working Mostly in watercolor her landscape painting now migrates more towards abstraction. Nature and the nature of things continue to be her inspiration.
Her work has been exhibited at Guild Hall, Ashawagh Hall, the 50th Springs Invitational and galleries in East Hampton including Elizabeth Dow and Ille Arts and is in private collections in New York and the East End. She is a member of the East Hampton Arts Council and “water+color+works” an East End art group.
Laurie grew up in Buffalo, New York and started taking art classes at the age of five at the Albright Knox Art Gallery. She took classes at the University of Buffalo all through her childhood which led her to the Rhode Island School of Design. She graduated with a BFA in Textile
Design and moved to New York to begin her forty-six year career as a Textile Designer. She continued taking classes at SVA and Greenwich House Pottery.
In 2019 she retired and moved to East Hampton. Although she had always painted, she states “I never had the freedom to paint full-time without the constraints of my commercial work”.
She took some new classes in painting and printmaking and was invited to join the water+color+works group. As she says, “my paintings, especially my watercolors, are developing and changing and I feel that I am starting to have my own personal identity as an artist”. She has exhibited at Guild Hall, Ille Arts and Ashawagh Hall. She is a member of the National Association of Women Artists and the Artist Alliance of East Hampton.
Janet Rojas got her introduction to watercolor painting by taking a series of adult education classes at East Hampton High School. She has also studied with Janet Jennings.
Both her representational and abstract works are inspired by the Serenity and nature of the East End. Janet has participated in shows at Ashawagh Hall, Guild Hall, Ille Arts, the Watermill Museum, Amagansett library and the South Street Gallery in Greenport, NY.
She is a founding member of water+color+works and also a member of the Artists Alliance of East Hampton.
Color, gesture and line continue to be an important manifestation of inspiration for Jerry Schwabe’s painting, photography and sculpture. In the show watercolor+, Jerry Schwabe exhibits a group of watercolor and Monotype paintings that demonstrate his ability to convey atmosphere and mood through color as well as expressive forms and lines. His art is inspired by nature and he is deeply affected by the light and colors in the natural world of the Hamptons and East End.
Jerry Schwabe’s art has been exhibited at Guild Hall, John Jermain Library, Long Island Museum, the Bridgehampton Historical Museum, Quogue Library Gallery, The White Room Gallery, Rosalie Dimon Gallery, East End Arts, Elizabeth Dow Home, LaMantia Gallery, Ashawagh Hall, Serena & Lily, Coastal Home, Salmagundi Club and more.
He won “Best Photography” for Hamptons Art Hub’s 2016 Juried Art Competition & Exhibition and won the “President’s Award” 82nd AAPL 2010. Nationally, his art has been exhibited in at the Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture – Florida and The Pace Cultural Center – Colorado. His work is held in numerous private collections. Schwabe studied at the National Academy School of Fine Arts, New School University, Art Students League of New York, School of Visual Arts with Bruno Lucchesi, Victor D’Amico Institute, Amagansett Applied Arts, Kenneth LeRiche and with Michael Viera, Kimberly Monson, Janet Jennings and Dennis Leri.
Carol Craig Sigler
Carol Craig Sigler was born in New York City and raised on the East End of Long Island.
After completing her studies she and her Husband lived in Europe for several years where she studied painting. The couple returned to New York where she continued painting at The New School.
After a career in western medicine, three wonderful children, and a large acupuncture practice, she was able to continue painting here in East Hampton. Time, emotion, space, rhythm, life, surrounded by light fractured by water have helped create her style.
“I am confident that I will continue searching for this thing that never remains the same.”