Artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik, habitués of Sag Harbor for 37 years, compile their insider guide to the Hamptons’ underknown, yet most extraordinary art destinations.
The Arts Center at Duck Creek, East Hampton
It sounds like a cliche, but it’s not: The Arts Center at Duck Creek Farms is a gift to our community of South Fork and a model for anyone anywhere who seeks innovative and vibrant ways of preserving history and legacy while transforming it. At the heart of any healthy community is the economy of sharing, and at that core is where the arts live, thrive, and are meant to be. On any given day, you will see artists, musicians, art and music lovers, working stiffs, retirees, young families with young kids, or people from just down the road who are taking some time off, looking for distractions, strolling the grounds, and taking in the brilliance of Duck Creek’s exhibitions and performances.
It’s a wonder that in the middle of nowhere, off the beaten path, on this modest piece of property with an old house and barn, you find a place where innovative and unpredictable programming for the arts brings your day to life. — Eric Fischl
The Church, Sag Harbor
This community creativity center, affectionately named The Church, was founded by April Gornik and myself in a former Methodist church, built in 1835 in Sag Harbor. The brilliant renovation by architect Lee Skolnick, Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, will take your breath away.
The focus of this repurposed church building is to bring to our community the broadest range possible of the arts and crafts, including dance, music, visual art, performance, readings, lectures, sewing circles, print workshops, and artist residencies. — EF
Elaine de Kooning House, East Hampton
Off the beaten path and open largely by appointment, Elaine de Kooning’s former home has been a vibrant artists’ residency since 2011. After her death, it was owned by sculptor John Chamberlain, then painter Richmond Burton. Watch for fascinating programming: One of the more interesting things I’ve seen was a performance by Lonnie Holley in 2020.
This summer, Elaine de Kooning House and Studio was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. — April Gornik
Onna House, East Hampton
This is one of the most elegant mission concepts in an exquisitely renovated modernist 1960s East Hampton home created by designer and collector Lisa Perry. Onna House is tucked away on a quiet neighborhood street in town — you’d have no idea it’s there if you hadn’t been told. — EF
The Ranch, Montauk
The former property of Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, the 26-acre Ranch has become an art destination for anyone checking out the super-cool Montauk summer life. Max Levai’s vision for including both high and esoteric art experiences in one of two horse barns that he tastefully renovated, as well as art installations on the grounds surrounding the grazing pastures and corrals of this still-working ranch, is brilliant. — EF
Sag Harbor Cinema, Sag Harbor
After a ferocious fire nearly destroyed the Sag Harbor Cinema in December 2016, it was bought and rebuilt by the Sag Harbor Partnership and the East End community to become a state-of-the-art, brilliantly curated, not-for-profit theater that boasts some of the best programming in the country with a lively roster of contemporary, popular, and art films. It also has a well-attended rooftop bar and terrace for members and moviegoers. — AG