Hamptons Dance Project as Inaugural Residents 

Photo: Joe Brondo for Guild Hall


January 14, 2022—East Hampton, NY — Guild Hall announced today the launch of the new Guild Hall William P. Rayner Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program, located in East Hampton, NY, which supports artist collectives/collaboratives working in all disciplines by providing housing, a studio space, and focused time to develop or refine new work over a two to four week period. The inaugural residency has been awarded to the Hamptons Dance Project from January 9 – January 23.

The new residency is named in honor of the late artist William P. Rayner, “Billy Rayner,” an accomplished watercolorist and travel writer whose East Hampton studio was open to other artists for classes and mutual support. The program was founded by Katharine Rayner, who provided the vision for maintaining her late husband Billy’s legacy by championing the creative process. The program is administrated by Guild Hall, which has a 90-year history of supporting artists in the region. The joint venture expands on Guild Hall’s existing AIR program (established in 2016) and deepens its investment in artistic development.

The Guild Hall William P. Rayner AIR Program provides a supportive environment for experimentation that includes accommodations, a studio space, and a commissioning fee. Residents connect with accomplished artists, community leaders, and art supporters at weekly salon dinners. A key component of the program is mentorship from select members of the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts and professional staff. The program is customized for each artist group, and culminates with a presentation of the work-in-process.


Hamptons Dance Project

Hamptons Dance Project (HDP) was founded by Jose Sebastian, dancer and HDP Artistic Director. HDP calls on a diverse team of top-flight dancers from American Ballet Theatre and master choreographers to present dynamic new works that push the boundaries of classical dance. Their annual Hamptons event honors the East End’s legacy as a creative hotbed and artistic haven to promote dance as a pillar of the area’s rich cultural landscape. Through innovative programming that includes world premiere commissions, HDP initiates an ongoing physical dialogue between artists and audiences that promotes deeper understanding of our lives and ourselves. Throughout their two-week residency, HDP will be focused on embodying new works for the company, the classic Don Quixote and Justin Peck’s Chutes and Ladders. HDP will have several creative mentoring sessions with Guild Hall Academy of the Arts member and Five-time Tony Award winning director & choreographer, Susan Stroman.

Dancers in-residence include, Jose Sebastian, Craig Salstein, Lauren Bonfiglio, Catherine Hurlin, Tyler Maloney, and Michael de la Nuez. HDP will return in Summer 2022 for an additional residency and their annual Hamptons event.


William P. Rayner

William P. Rayner (1929–2018), known by his friends as “Billy,” was a watercolorist and travel writer who was born in Washington D.C. and educated at the Taft School and the University of Virginia. After thirty-years as editorial business manager for Conde Nast, he chose to dedicate his time to painting and traveling with his wife, Kathy Rayner. His empathy, discernment and artistic freedom made him a unique figure, who easily bridged the worlds of society and art with his aesthetic insight and deep kindness. Billy and Kathy’s exceptionally happy marriage created warmth and originality around them that they shared with their friends in the form of constant travel and exploration, settings inspired by exotic adventures, gardens created in dunes, and rescue pups tumbling underfoot. He was on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for ten years was President of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, served on the board of the Rhode Island School of Design, the Parrish Art Museum, and Henry Street Settlement. His first book of essays, Wise Women, was followed by Notes and Sketches: Travel Journals of William P. Rayner, published in 2013. Prints and watercolors from Notes and Sketches were exhibited at Guild Hall in the Summer of 2014.

Hamptons Dance Project dancers rehearsing in the residents studio.
Photo: Joe Brondo for Guild Hall



Guild Hall, one of the first multidisciplinary centers in the country to combine a museum, theater, and education space under one roof, was established in 1931 as a gathering place for community where an appreciation for the arts would serve to encourage greater civic participation. For nine decades, Guild Hall has embraced this open-minded vision and provided a welcoming environment for the public to engage with art exhibitions, performances, and educational offerings. Art and artists have long been the engine of Guild Hall’s activities and the institution continues to find innovative ways to support creativity in everyone. The full roster of artists participating in the 2022 Guild Hall William P. Rayner Artists-in-Residence program will be announced at a later date.


For more information about this and other programs, visit www.guildhall.org.

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158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937




AAQ / Resource: Ben Krupinski Builder