Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is of course hard to determine when The Church will finally open its doors to the public, and how. Construction work is now completed.


Please stay tuned as we coordinate respectfully with health and legislative authorities on what will be safe for you and our staff and volunteers, and we assure you that all safety precautions will be taken. 


    We had a very exciting pop-up art event Election Eve when Artists For Democracy/Get Out The Vote's project, organized and created by Christine Sciulli, was projected on the front of the Church just after dark on November 4th. You can watch the complete video here. Those lucky to catch it saw a dynamic response by artists about the importance of exercising our right to vote. Sciulli, who made the video, said: 


ELECTION EVE... A collective of artists from Hawaii to the end of Long Island has produced this handcrafted non-partisan Get Out the Vote video to be shared widely on social media and to be projected in various locations to encourage voters at risk of sitting this 2020 election out. Projection sites include St. Anns Warehouse (Brooklyn, NY), The Jazz Club (Stonybrook, NY) Marquee Projects (Bellport, NY), Southampton Village Hall (NY), Taylor Rental (via LABspace (Hillsdale NY) in Great Barrington MA), East Hampton Village Hook Mill (NY), VSOP Projects (Greenport, NY), Trieber Farms (Peconic, NY) , Jamesport Meeting House (NY) , Route 39 (Tuckahoe area of Southampton, NY). Other locations are being added in the last minutes throughout Long Island and the NYC metropolitan area. Downloads and sharing allowed, with proper attribution (credits follow) to honor the intellectual property of each of these generous artists. Go to @ProjectProjectVote (PROject proJECT VOTE) for more information and posts of the projected work.

    Credited were: Laurie Olinde, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Bill Morrison,mChristopher Milne, Judith Hudson, Nia Dawson, Tor Burwell, Rive Weiner, Bastienne Schmidt, Rachel Leventhal, Mie, Paloma Demers, Lindsay Morris, Ariel Pintos , Laurie Lambrecht, Caterina Verde, Mark van Wagner, JJ Veronis, Kelynn Alder, Scott Bluedorn, Alfredo Merat, We Make America, Sylvia Cedeno, Tycho Burwell, Carlos Morales, Margaret Garrett, Sylvia Hommert, LoVid, Liadain Warwick Smith, Anna Jurinich, Nora Breen, Nina Yankowitz/ Barry Holden, Andrea Cote, John Jinks, Laura Margulies, Toni Ross, Yuka Silvera Ross Watts, Watts Ross, Philippe Cheng, Candace Hill, Christine Morro, Nicole Rosenthal, Almond Zigmund, Cliff Baldwin, Orson Cummings, Maya Molin, Kerry Sharkey-Miller, Kathy Engel/Layton Miles DavisSusan Jennings, Saskia Friedrich, Amy Kirwin, Nika Nesgoda and Tali Muchnic, Virva Hinnemo, Mikko and Viggo Negroponte, Brianna Ashe, Olana Flynn, Janet Goleas, Lo’am Lapidus, Neil Parker, Christine Sciulli



Sunday January 24, 2021 at 8pm ET

A Zoom conversation with Eric Fischl (The Church), Stephen Petronio (The Petronio Residency Center) and Emily Simoness (SPACE on Ryder Farm)
Moderated by Mary Jane Marcasiano.

As multi-dimensional members of the art ecosystem, these three artists have elaborated on or transformed their original artistic careers to include community building. What motivated these art innovators to expand their work to include social issues and community? What were the most significant challenges in envisioning and building their actual physical spaces? How do they define community in the context of their projects? How do they consider equity issues within their programming?

In 2019, Eric Fischl, Guild Hall, and The Church launched a new series of talks, ART AS ECOSYSTEM, drawing together artists and arts advocates for a conversation examining the art ecosystem’s health, looking beyond the current focus on the Art Market.

Presented by the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts in association with The Church. Produced by Mary Jane Marcasiano and co-produced by Elise Trucks.

THIS IS A FREE EVENT. Reserve your place now: 

Guild Hall event page: https://www.guildhall.org/events/art-as-ecosystem-building-community-through-artist-led-transformative-spaces/

ERIC FISCHL is an internationally acclaimed American painter and sculptor. His artwork is represented in many distinguished museums throughout the world and has been featured in over one thousand publications and is one of the most influential figurative painters of our time. Born in 1948 in New York City, and raised in the suburbs of Long Island, he began his art education in Phoenix, Arizona  in 1967. He earned his B.F.A. from the California Institute for the Arts in 1972. In 1974, he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to teach painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Fischl's paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints have been the subject of numerous solo and major group exhibitions and his work is represented in many museums, as well as prestigious private and corporate collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modem Art in New York City, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, St. Louis Art Museum, Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, Musee Beaubourg in Paris, The Paine Weber Collection, and many others. Fischl has collaborated with other artists and authors, including E.L. Doctorow, Allen Ginsberg, Jamaica Kincaid, Jerry Saltz and Frederic Tuten.

Fischl is a Fellow at both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Science as well as President of the Academy at Guild Hall. He lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY with his wife, the painter April Gornik.

For over 35 years, STEPHEN PETRONIO has honed a unique language of movement that speaks to the intuitive and complex possibilities of the body informed by its shifting cultural context. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists in many disciplines over his career and holds the integration of multiple forms as fundamental to his creative drive and vision. He continues to create a haven for dancers with a keen interest in the history of contemporary movement and an appetite for the unknown. Petronio was born in Newark, New Jersey, and received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he began his early training in improvisation and dance technique. He was greatly influenced by working with Steve Paxton and was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Dance Company (1979 to 1986). He has gone on to build a unique career, receiving numerous accolades, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, an American Choreographer Award, a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award, and a 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. His latest project is a book titled IN ABSENTIA, an intimate book that captures the traces of SPC's season lost during the 2020 pandemic. It is a limited edition of 100 signed and numbered and is available at www.petron.io for purchase.

EMILY SIMONESS is an entrepreneur, teacher, facilitator and motivational speaker. A former actress and four time national oratory finalist, Emily has worked at some of the premier theatrical venues in the nation including The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival. Recently featured in Forbes, Emily is the founder and Executive Director of SPACE on Ryder Farm, a 501c3 committed to developing the arts in and around NYC. SPACE has quickly become one of the premier centers for new play development in the country. With SPACE, Emily manages a core team of 25. In this role, she has extensive experience training new employees in workplace communication, managing junior staff and project management. Additionally, Emily has taught and developed acting curriculum for Scott Freeman Studio and OneOnOne in NYC. As a speaker and educator, Emily has run sessions on leadership, entrepreneurship and personal impact with Prime Therapeutics, UNCSA and Maggie Flanigan Studio. Emily is a consultant for Bi-Jingo, a consulting firm that specializes in communication, feedback and leadership skills for executives. Bi-Jingo's two largest clients in the US are Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. She is certified in MBTI Step I and II. In 2013, she was the chief of staff for the Beijing International Screenwriting Competition. Emily holds a BFA in acting from UNCSA.

A recent NYU Gallatin masters graduate, MARY JANE MARCASIANO is a fashion designer, film producer and social entrepreneur. After founding her eponymous design company in 1978, she was honored with the Cartier, DuPont, Cutty Sark and Wool Knit Awards, and now designs costumes for dance, film, theater and Grammy winning singer and Unicef Ambassador Angelique Kidjo. She serves as director of special projects and development to Cinema Tropical, a nonprofit promoting Latin American cinema in the US, and to IMPACT Repertory Theater in Harlem, a performance/education program for under-resourced community youth. In 2007 Marcasiano created the Made with Love Project, dedicated to raising funds for women and children in need in Brazil, Africa, and Haiti through design and production. A recurring theme in Marcasiano’s work is the culture of Africa and the African Diaspora and her master’s thesis concerned itself with the intersection of Art, Nonprofits and Social Change. She is currently working on turning her thesis UpScale: Scaling Up Nonprofit Capacity by Putting the Tools into the Hands of the Stakeholders into a book. Her current areas of concern are decolonizing, reframing and reimagining the nonprofit space through self-representation and how can nonprofits return to their community roots. She is currently designing costumes for a new theatre production Yemandja with Kerry James Marshall, Angelique Kidjo and Cheryl Lynn Bruce..


Ahead of its formal opening, The Church held an exhibition of works on paper in the historic Prime House from 12-5pm every day from Friday, September 18, to Sunday, September 27, 2020.

The works included in Tempus Fugit: An Intimate Exhibition of Collected Works on Paper in the Prime House are drawn from the personal collection of Eric Fischl and April Gornik, who have been collecting since the 1980s. The 40 works in the show depicted the human figure—nude and clothed, from drawings to watercolors to photographs—by artists active in the 20th and 21st centuries. They included Cindy Sherman, Francesco Clemente, Pierre Bonnard, Auguste Rodin, Gustav Klimt, Diane Arbus, Bill Brandt, Francesca Woodman, Alice Neel and Richard Diebenkorn among many others.

This exhibition was made possible by the transitional moment of the sale of the Prime House, a historic 18th century residence in the village of Sag Harbor. Empty of furniture, it gave the public a window in time to see its construction, becoming perfect setting for a show of delicate works on paper - a fugitive medium that is notoriously sensitive to time and light. The timing of the show was therefore limited by a number of factors, including the medium of work shown and the logistics of the sale of the house. This made the exhibition all the more precious and meaningful in the odd, dislocated and fraught moment in history, during a global pandemic, national unrest and a much anticipated presidential election. The exhibition offered the opportunity to step back from current affairs and look closely at how artists, over more than a century, have focused on the human form and created images that are sensuous, poignant, and funny.

The Colonial-era Prime House is a landmark building in the village of Sag Harbor. Originally built in 1795, the house is named for Nathaniel Prime who was the Pastor of the nearby Presbyterian Church and served as the manse for the Presbyterian church for many years. This 2-story, 3-bay structure is typical of the vernacular Federal style popular from 1780 to 1820 when the United States of American was a new nation and searching to establish its own cultural identity. The house has period molding and fireplaces, wood beamed ceilings and 200-year-old floors. It was previously owned by celebrated Jazz musician Hal McKusick (1972-2017) and stage and screen actor Hurd Hatfield (1951-1972).

– Sara Cochran, Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Church

A selection of photographs from the exhibit may be seen HERE.

Panelists L-R Jeffrey Colvin, Andina Wekonah Smith, Bonnie Michelle Cannon, Sara Cochran, 

Willie Jenkins, and Allanah Evans 


The panel WRITING THE PAST TO RIGHT THE FUTURE is part of the larger project PRESENT TENSE: BLACK LIVES MATTER(ED) that celebrated author Jeffrey Colvin’s debut novel AFRICAVILLE and was produced by Christine Sciulli. It was organized by The Church, Arts Center at Duck Creek, Guild Hall, The East Hampton Star and Canio's Books.

Panelists included Jeffrey Colvin, Shinnocock writer and director􏰇 And􏰇ina Wekon􏰅a􏰃h Smit􏰅h, Bridgehampton Child Care and Reactional Center Director Bonnie Michelle Cannon, ac􏰅tivist Willie Jenkins􏰃, and Men􏰅tal Health expert Allanah E􏰄vans.􏰃 It was moderated by􏰇 Sar􏰇a Coch􏰇an.

Due to rain, the panel was held on August 16, 2020, virtually, by webinar.

PRESENT TENSE: BLACK LIVES MATTER(ED) was sponsored by Sag Harbor Partnership and Kenbe Foundation, with additional support from L+W Market, Harbor Market, Honest Man Restaurant, and The East Hampton Star.

In case you missed it, the panel is available online on our YouTube channel: CLICK HERE



On Sunday, August 23rd, we held our first on-site program in the garden of The Church. It was a panel discussion to celebrate the release of the book Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership: Public/ Private by Pointed Leaf Press. Since 1980, the New York City-based integrated design firm has specialized in architecture, exhibition design, interpretation, master planning and graphic design. Their monograph was designed in a unique double-sided format with a two-cover format in order to give context to the studio’s extensive work in both the public and private sectors. 

Founding partner Lee Skolnick headed up the panel along with his partners, Paul Alter and Jo Ann Secor. They talked about how the manner in which they work together over the last 30 years has evolved, as well as their perception of their profession. Technology has been a huge influence and it was particularly interesting to hear them discuss how a younger generation of architects use it and see differently because of it. They also mentioned how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed their work, and how it will drives future changes in architecture as a whole. During lock-down their entire office, that was spread across the country and the world, came together to brainstorm and experiment with different ideas and forms of public housing. It started as a playful way of working together but has delivered fruitful ideas that they believe will be useful to their work in the future.

Lee Skolnick and his firm are leading the architectural transformation of The Church into a creative cultural center. We look forward to being able to welcome you into its transformed space towards the end of this year.





We began plans for The Church with two inaugural events, held in cooperation with Guild Hall, our host while we were without a facility.


The first panel was held on SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 AT 2PM AT GUILD HALL

158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY  11937


This first panel brought together luminaries of the art world known for their philanthropy and vision.


Fischl engaged the public panel on “Art as Ecosystem” in order to identify the way art impacts communities and the world, and the way philanthropy invests in a community’s future and connection.


Panelists for the first event were FLAG Art Foundation’s Glenn Fuhrman, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation President Dorothy Lichtenstein, and MacArthur Genius artist Rick Lowe, whose Project Row Houses has radically changed an underserved Houston neighborhood and become a model for such projects nationwide.



158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY  11937


Participants for this second panel were Christine and Andy Hall of the Hall Art Foundation, business strategist and inaugural director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Christy MacLear, and renowned President of the New York Academy of Art David Kratz.



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