‘WHIMSY,’ An Outdoor Sculpture Garden Curated By Eric Fischl At Southampton Arts Center

After completing various grounds improvements projects to enhance its three-acre property, Southampton Arts Center is undergoing further transformation with the installation of a new public art project.

“WHIMSY,” an outdoor sculpture garden curated by artist Eric Fischl, is currently being installed on SAC’s grounds, and will open to the public Memorial Day weekend.

Featuring works from artists including Alice Aycock, Louise Bourgeois, Hans van de Bovenkamp, Mel Kendrick, Larry Rivers, David Salle, Almond Zigmund, and more, this public art exhibition is free and will be open daily.

“A long-time friend and collaborator of Southampton Arts Center, Eric Fischl’s latest installation on our grounds continues to wow and inspire,” said SAC executive director Tom Dunn. “These playful sculptures are bold, vibrant, energetic works that complement our recently improved grounds. ‘WHIMSY’ is another great example of SAC’s commitment to our community, offering a safe, inclusive space for everyone to experience arts and culture.”

Among these dynamic works is Rivers’ infamous 16-foot-tall pop art sculpture, “Legs,” which has long attracted both admiration and controversy. Alice Aycock’s 10,000+ pound “Cyclone,” Louise Bourgeois’ “Eyes,” and David Salle’s “Elko Park,” which has not been seen in 30 years, will be on display.

Louise Bourgeois hanging works at SAC.

“WHIMSY is a wonderful, spirited, and intelligent show,” Fischl explained. “These works hit the right tone for the moment. They are playful – full of life, delight, and irony. It will be a memorable, dynamic outdoor exhibition.”

Architect Siamak Samii, who also serves on SAC’s board of directors, is behind other major grounds improvements, including a new brick courtyard in SAC’s iconic Caesar Garden, the establishment of new perimeters around each statue to further conservation efforts, and expansion of the north-south walkway. Samii also helped remove invasive plant species on the west lawn, and replaced a dilapidated fence on the property line. SAC’s outdoor improvements have been made possible thanks to the generosity Anke Beck-Friedrich and Jürgen Friedrich.

Group for the East End’s Anita Wright, Shinnecock Indian Nation’s Shane Weeks, Group for the East End’s Taralynn Reynolds, Southampton Arts Center’s Daniela Kronemeyer.

With help from partners at Group for the East End, The Perfect Earth Project, Long Island Native Plant Initiative, and Shane Weeks from the Shinnecock Indian Nation, SAC also installed a native plant garden on the grounds.

These efforts are a nod to the organization’s ongoing commitment to the environment as well as the community by offering a free public space for all to enjoy, any time.

In celebration of these recent improvements and the installation of “WHIMSY,” SAC will host its inaugural summer cocktail party, Whimsy in the Garden, on Friday, June 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Visit southamptonartscenter.org/cocktail-party.

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