While artists have always found ways to visit and stay on the South Fork, an older, more formal approach to residency used in other places is taking root here in the form of a new program for visual artists.
The Flag Art Foundation announced last month that it has launched a summer program to provide a six-week residency in a farmhouse in Sagaponack. The foundation runs a three-year-old exhibit space in West Chelsea and was founded by Glenn Fuhrman, who, as a partner of MSD Capital, is the money manager for Michael Dell of the Dell computer company. The Flag space received some attention two years ago for having a show for artists whose galleries had recently gone bust.
Since then, it has shown a program of independently organized exhibits in which the art may be for sale but the space makes no money from the transactions. Mr. Fuhrman is also a contemporary art collector.
Stephanie Roach, the foundation’s director, said the residency program was part of the evolution of the foundation and grew out of its “unconventional shows and special relationship with established and emerging artists. We thought it would be a great idea to have an incubator, to provide a great environment for an artist to work.”
The first artist chosen for what is called officially the Summer Hamptons Art Residency Program is Lesley Vance of Los Angeles, who was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2010 biennial exhibit. Her work deconstructs and reinvents the genre of still life as a painted surface independent of the object depicted, so that all that are left are the brushstrokes that document that process.
In an interview in Flash Art, she said, “I have to let the original composition go so the new one can find itself. I think about 17th-century Spanish painters Zurbaran and Cotan, whose intense color choices and extreme contrasts nearly transform their arrangements into otherworldly events.”
Ms. Roach said the residency was an effort to help “a promising voice create new work.”
Mr. Fuhrman chose the location for its historical appeal to artists and because of the community of artists here now, which he has encountered on his own summer visits.
“It’s an opportunity for them to get away and have that moment away from the city,” Ms. Roach said.