A Whale of a Show Brings Salt Air to the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum | The Sag Harbor Express | By Dawn Watson
Dan Rizzie, an artist for more than 40 years, is best known for his colorful bird imagery. But whales have actually been on his mind for years.
He was certainly thinking about them when he and gallery owner Peter Marcelle hatched up an idea to raise money for the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum approximately four years ago. That’s when they conceptualized the idea, and the name, of the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum’s first “Whale of a Show” art benefit exhibit and sale, which debuted in 2013.
The idea behind the show was primarily to raise money for the building’s much needed renovations, Mr. Rizzie said during a telephone chat on Sunday afternoon.
“We needed to save the building from demise,” he says. “It was literally falling into itself and falling apart in front of our eyes.”
But the group art exhibition is also meant to bring people together to celebrate the village’s whaling history, and now the preservation of the whale population, in addition to strengthening the artistic community within and around the village, the artist and the gallery owner agree.
The benefits of the show are great, says Mr. Marcelle, who owns a gallery in Southampton and lives in Sag Harbor. First, the museum benefits, he says. Second, the local artists get a chance to show their work. And third, collectors get fantastic pieces, while writing off their purchases as charitable contributions.
“Everybody wins,” he says.
Now in its third year, as part of the “Salt Air Exhibition” series, the group exhibition featuring renderings of the various marine mammals of the Cetacea order kicks off the summer arts season in Sag Harbor. Participating artists for this show include: Anna DeMauro, Jamey Ellis, April Gornik, Susan Lazarus, Edwina Lucas, Jill Musnicki, David Slater, Donald Sultan, Barbara Thomas, and John Torreano. Mr. Rizzie and Mr. Marcelle served as curators of the exhibition, which opens on Friday, May 22, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and remains on display through June 21.