Exhibition Review: The Watermill Center Summer Benefit 2017
By Isabella Weiss
This past weekend The Watermill Center hosted its annual summer benefit for its residency program, an event which entails a plethora of outdoor installations and performances created collaboratively by both residents and international artists, a silent and live auction of reputable works, an attractive display of fashionable attendees, and a glamorous dinner. In its setting, variety, and quality this event completed the art-lover’s dream. There was a collective sense of fantasy and discovery when meandering the paths of The Watermill Center’s garden, unknowing what fabulous artwork would next emerge from the foliage. Apart from its emphasis on the fantastical the event exhibited a prominent social and political bent. Many of the artworks address the prodigious issues of our day, while emphasizing most prominently race-based violence and inequality as well as political insecurity. This demonstrates high art culture’s current interest in and patronage of socially-engaged artists and artworks. This event provided a venue for installation and performance works to be displayed while auctioning more economically viable works, such as paintings, sculpture and photographic prints, in order that these might serve as a means to fund the dissemination of important social messages. Such a charitable and socially aware event bodes well for the future willingness of high art culture to address the practical and pressing issues of our time.