Loving the Winter and the East End

This pop-up gallery looks more like a well-designed Montauk bungalow than a space where works can actually be purchased
"Kristen in a Cynthia Rowley Wetsuit, Bridgehampton, 2011" Robin Rice

It has certainly been a busy winter. Those looking for things to do have had a wealth of options almost every day of the week. Although some art galleries have closed or cut back hours, others are popping up like expensive boutiques in the summer.

One recent addition is the pop-up overseen by Sixtina Friedrich, Amy Pilkington, and Robin Rice in Bridgehampton’s Kathryn Markel gallery. The space is pretty and light-filled under any circumstances, but has been transformed in their presentation “What We Love About the East End.”

Initially a show of the trio’s multifaceted interests and practices, it will be expanded to include more artists and speakers this month, before it departs on April 2. The three women envision themselves as an artists’ collective that will encompass those who are like-minded and enjoy their aesthetic.

“We’re all friends,” Ms. Pilkington said recently. “We sit around and talk about things. We were sitting around, probably having some wine, and we agreed that this winter we didn’t want to hibernate if we weren’t going into the city.”

Given how crowded and overprogrammed the high season has become on both the North and South Fork, they agreed that they now prefer wintertime. “I love walking on the beach when it’s snowing. It’s so unexpected,” Ms. Pilkington said. “Now is the time to get to know people and spend time together. Some of my best friends, I don’t see all summer.”

Ms. Friedrich, who incorporates crystals into her jewelry and installations, said she loved the idea of a salon, “to bring artists together to bounce out ideas. . . . The East End has more and more interesting people living here, lots of artists. There has been an explosion of creativity.”

So the three have formed the East End Winter Salon, which will host a series of talks while it is open, beginning Sunday with Esra Ozcan, who will discuss “Turkish Coffee Fortune-Telling.”

Creating a cozy atmosphere, Ms. Pilkington has brought in furniture and throw pillows embellished with her fabric designs on bleached linen, lamps with shades using her fiber art, and a floor lamp with a tall shade composed of a rolled-up paper drawing. There are sculptural pieces of driftwood, glass receptacles for deep gray carved stones, mounted fabric paintings, and racks of her hand-dyed fiber art, made by folding, wrapping, binding, and dying fabric to achieve different patterns, some of which she then paints and stretches to resemble painted canvases.

Ms. Pilkington brought in the case in which Ms. Friedrich’s crystals are displayed, and created a tableau in the window featuring one of her crystal creations against a background of driftwood. Ms. Rice’s photographs are hung in groupings throughout the space and are also available unframed in the back of the gallery. She has chosen photographs taken on the South Fork, sometimes whimsical; among them figures in riding clothes, a nude woman on a bicycle, and swimmers.

Everything fits so seamlessly together that this pop-up gallery looks more like a well-designed Montauk bungalow than a space where works can actually be purchased. Art is infused with design and design is embellished with art, and all of it is accented with nature. It’s a subtle yet stimulating experience, and it underscores what is possible, sometimes with the most basic of materials.

Other salon events will include a talk by Carlton Schade on March 13 and a drawing workshop on March 19 with Eva Iacono.

Crystal designs by Sixtina FriedrichJennifer Landes
Fabric art by Amy Pilkington