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August 17, 2011

Southampton: Eastward Ho!

By Rachel Wolff | Art

Locally grown: Fulvio Massi, Familiar Refrain, 2011. Courtesy of the artist

Long before there were jitney stops, Citarella outposts and Christie Brinkley sightings, there were artists, firmly planted on both shores of Long Island's East End. A group of painters that called themselves the Tile Club made the trek as early as 1878; the Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art opened in 1891 under the directorship of American Impressionist William Merritt Chase; and by the mid-20th century, such artists as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner called the East End home. (Pollock and Krasner's former house has been converted into a museum and study center.)

The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton has made a mission of preserving these artists' legacies, and in 2009 the 114-year-old institution launched a biennial exhibition that bridges the past and present. The second edition of "Artists Choose Artists on the East End" opens at the museum on August 21. Curator Andrea Grover asked seven established East End artists (Alice Aycock, Ross Bleckner and Gary Simmons among them) to assess hundreds of submissions and select two local artists whose work will be exhibited alongside their own. "The exhibition is a way to show that there's a continuity from the earliest moments of artists living out here until now," Grover says. "It's also a way to create a network of artists living here today." 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, New York; 631-283-2118; parrishart.org.

Some things never change: A Guide to the Hamptons