Awards Juror Virginia Lebermann Chooses Claire Watson For Top Honors Prize At Guild Hall’s 84th Artist Members Exhibition

The 84th Artist Members Exhibition and Mary Boochever’s “Chart of the Inner Warp” opened at Guild Hall in East Hampton on Saturday, October 28, with a members-only reception.

Earlier in the day, Awards Juror Virginia Lebermann, Ballroom Marfa Co-Founder & Board President, selected Claire Watson as the Top Honors recipient.

 Claire Watson’s “Bye Gone, 2023,” is constructed of pattern parts of leather pants, leather remnants, thread, canvas, and gesso. Watson’s work encompasses drawing, sculpture, and mixed-media constructions from found materials.

Her recent work is based on shapes found in salvaged, disassembled leather clothing made with traditional sewing and self-taught tailoring techniques. 

In addition to the Top Honors prize, Lebermann awarded Honorable Mentions to Michael Butler for his acrylic painting “The Pepperidge Tree,” Philippe Cheng for an untitled work on sandpaper with archival inks, Isla Hansen for her mixed-media “Hand Tools (or Tools for No Masters)” made of stainless steel, thermoplastic and shown on wood, Mary Martha Lambert for her oil and charcoal “Revenant,” and Chris Siefert for his mixed-media “Rib.” Robert Longo received a Juror’s Special Award for “Untitled (After Cave Painting in Lascaux).”

Photo by Rossa Cole

“I’m excited by all the potential brewing at the newly refurbished Guild Hall,” shared Lebermann. “The fertile history of this multi-disciplinary institution is being ushered forward with respect and style by its current Director, Andrea Grover and Director of Visual Arts, Melanie Crader. Being a juror for the Artist Members Exhibition was a beautiful introduction to the dedicated community surrounding this illustrious East End Institution. I’m looking forward to many years of engagement in visual art, performance and education at Guild Hall.”

Mary Boochever. Photo by Rossa Cole

Since its inception, the Artist Members Exhibition has supported artists and Guild Hall by offering the works on view for purchase, with proceeds split evenly between the two. Works in all forms of media, from painting to sculpture, can be found on Guild Hall’s Shopify page, with prices ranging from $125 to $14,000. 

The Artist Members Exhibition began in 1938, and Guild Hall continues this long-standing, democratic tradition as the oldest non-juried museum exhibition on Long Island. This year’s presentation features over 300 works and showcases a variety of media. As with the concept of the Salon, established artists are exhibited alongside emerging talent and first-time exhibitors, offering a glimpse of artistic practices within the community.

This initiative allows audiences to support and celebrate the artists who live and work in our immediate region. Early AME participants included James Brooks, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, Alfonso Ossorio, Charlotte Park, Jackson Pollock, and more.

In addition to the Artist Members Exhibition, which is presented in the Marks Family Galleries North and South, 2019 Top Honors winner Mary Boochever’s “Chart of the Inner Warp” can be viewed in the Tito Spiga Exhibition Space. Boochever was chosen by former MoMA PS1 Associate Curator Jocelyn Miller. Deeply rooted in research and investigations of color systems, Boochever creates color experiences for the viewer through her paintings, sculptures, and installations.

Both exhibitions are open through January 8. Visit

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