Bluedorn’s Road Show project Bonac Blind, now at the Parrish, addresses

the housing shortage, climate change, and erosion of tradition on the East End

Scott Bluedorn at the Bonac Blind, moored last fall in Springs. Photo: Jane Schneider

East Hampton-based artist Scott Bluedorn (American, b. 1986) will join a live-stream panel on affordable housing and preservation with Southampton Housing Authority Director Curtis Highsmith, Jr.; Architect Bill Chaleff, AIA, and Preservationist Josh Halsey, moderated by Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects, on Friday, January 15, at 5 pm. Highsmith’s mission is to develop mixed-income housing opportunities in Southampton Town; Chaleff, LEED AP and principal of Chaleff & Rogers Architects, P.C., is a long-time advocate of “Green” architecture, affordable housing and sustainable planning and design. Halsey focuses on land and water preservation, and biological and environmental aspects in agricultural production at the Peconic Land Trust.

The program was created in conjunction with Parrish Road Show: Scott Bluedorn: Bonac Blind, an interpretation of duck blinds used for camouflage bylocal hunters that also serves as a dwelling. The project addresses the affordable housing crisis and the gradual disappearance of Bonac culture on the East End. Originally moored off Landing Lane, Springs, East Hampton, Bonac Blind moved to the Parrish Art Museum Meadow in December 2020.

“I’m pleased to dig deeper with this distinguished group of experts on housing and preservation to address the issues that Scott Bluedorn raised with his visionary Road Show project, which found great resonance when it was first moored it in the Springs and now at the Parrish Meadow, bringing home some real problems in the Hamptons, which are alienating communities and marginalizing the cultural heritage,” said Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects who organized the exhibition.

An intentionally ironic solution to housing, the Bonac Blind proposes that a camouflage shed can be remade into a tiny and affordable floating house, complete with off-grid amenities such as solar panels, solar batteries, a simple bed, and a hot plate. While alluding to traditional Bonac culture of hunting and austere living in the natural environment, the Bonac Blind is fully functional and decorated with original artwork. The project also references the current trend of tiny homes that are sustainable, resilient, and adaptive—as well as the desire to separate oneself (physically and hermetically) from a facet ofHamptons culture.

According to Bluedorn, who participated in the Museum’s 2019 Artists Choose Artists exhibition, “The Bonac Blind is a multi-faceted art intervention: A floating, off-grid microhome that references traditional Bonac culture of fishing, farming and hunting while also serving as a comment on the erosion of this culture due to the compound problems of housing crisis, climate change, and modernity.”


Scott Bluedorn

Scott Bluedorn (American, b. 1986) addresses climate change by integrating cultural anthropology, primitivism, and nautical tradition into his imagery that speaks to the collective unconscious, particularly through myth and visual storytelling, in a world he refers to as “maritime cosmology.” His new large-scale drawing Genesis Flux is a surreal vision of climactic upheaval, including change, renewal, and flux in the unnatural Anthropocene era and sixth mass extinction. The drawing Integrated Ocean Energy Farm is the artist’s proposition to repurpose existing structures like oil drilling platforms into floating multipurpose ‘farms’ for growing kelp (for food, biofuels, and regenerative ecosystem services), while combining value-added energy production including solar, wind, and wave power. Bluedorn, who received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York (2009), lives and works in East Hampton.


Parrish Road Show: Scott Bluedorn—Bonac Barge is made possible, in part, by the generous support of Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder, and Jane Wesman and Donald Savelson. Public funding provided by Suffolk County.

The Museum’s exhibitions and programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the property taxpayers from the Southampton Union Free School District and the Tuckahoe Common School District. 


Parrish Road Show

Now in its ninth year, the Parrish Road Show is the Museum’s annual creative off-site cultural engagement program. Every year, East End artists are invited to create new work for temporary projects and engage residents in their process. To connect art and creativity to everyday life, the exhibitions take place at public sites across the region—cultural and historical organizations, public parks and highways, and community centers—and the artists offer public talks and artmaking workshops for children and adults.


Parrish Art Museum

Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.


Parrish Art Museum construction photographs © Jeff Heatley.


AAQ / Resource: 1708 House, Southampton / Bed & Breakfast