The exhibition “A Sense of Place,” which opens tomorrow at the Southampton Arts Center, has a very clear objective, according to the artist Bastienne Schmidt, who organized it: “I wanted to see how artists interpret the idea of place. Is it something spatial, something political, something social, something emotional? It can really manifest itself in multiple ways.”
The 10 artists in the exhibition, all of whom work on the South Fork, engage the idea of place with a diversity of approaches and mediums, including abstract painting, installation, sculpture, mixed media, and photography.
The idea for the show has been percolating for a long time, according to Ms. Schmidt. “It goes back to the sense of my own personal place, because I grew up in Germany, Greece, Italy, and America, and I’ve traveled extensively. I think some people need local roots in one place, and others are nomads. I always felt I was a nomad, but now the East End is the place I feel I belong in. It’s interesting to see it from both sides.”
Both Almond Zigmund and Toni Ross will be represented by installations. Ms. Zigmund’s work combines geometry, color, and patterns to subtly transform space and how it is perceived. While Ms. Ross’s stoneware has long consisted of individual pieces, more recently it has extended to installations. Her work has three parts, one an altarpiece inspired by different Renaissance sculptors.
The diffusion of light and process of layering in Christopher French’s recent abstract paintings suggest the East End metaphorically, while Philippe Cheng’s photographs of the landscape blur specific topographical elements to capture the region’s unique light and color.
Michelle Stuart will show her “Milkwood Seeds” and pieces from her “Extinct” series, which, like much of her work, reflect the physical imprint of the landscape. Mary Heilmann’s paintings, one of which consists of two joined canvases, engage painterly space.
The landscape designer Edwina von Gal’s “Worlds Within Worlds” evokes the beauty and complexity of Long Island’s vistas through a series of circular dioramas. Saskia Friedrich is showing three canvases and colorful, Matisse-like shapes that function as a floating element between sculpture and painting. Louise Eastman, who works in weaving and ceramics, has printed marigolds on a textile in collaboration with Janis Stemmermann.
Ms. Schmidt works in a variety of mediums. In “We the People,” local pumpkin seeds and the title phrase, which was inspired by her recent participation in the Women’s March in Washington, are sewn into a large but delicate swath of paper.
The exhibition came to fruition after several conversations between Ms. Schmidt and Amy Kirwin, the arts center’s director of programs. An opening reception will take place Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m., and the show will run through April 9.