Creative Haven: Black Artists of Sag Harbor

(February 17-August 27, 2023)

Costigan Gallery, Art Museum

A community with rich African and Native American histories, Sag Harbor became home to an outstanding, emergent, and well-connected community of Black artists by the early 1960s. Drawn to the area by its historic foundations as a home to whalers in the 18th and 19th centuries and Black summer residents in the 20th century, artists brought a modern sensibility and camaraderie to their work and experiences rooted in this community. This exhibition features the work of a total of 12 artists, including Frank Wimberley (b. 1926), an outstanding abstract painter who vacationed in Sag Harbor beginning in 1960 and built a home there in 1965; abstract expressionist and collagist Al Loving (1935-2005); the talented couple Reynold Ruffins (1930-2021), a famed illustrator who was also a painter of energetic acrylic compositions, and his wife, Joan Ruffins (1932-2013), an Impressionist artist who trained at Cooper Union in the 1950s; and Nanette Carter (b. 1954), an abstract collagist who was profoundly impacted by her formative experiences with artists such as Wimberley and Loving. A rich exploration of creative work and connections between artists, the exhibition will feature 12 artists in all, including work by Claude Lawrence (b. 1944), Harlan Jackson (1918-1993), and Michael Butler (b. 1955), who is also serving as a guest co-curator of this exhibition.