Opening Reception: October 6th, 2022 | 6-8 PM 

Exhibition Dates: OCTOBER 7TH – DECEMBER 22ND, 2022 

Open Hours: Wed – Sun | 12-5PM 



L-R: G.E. Smith (Courtesy of G.E. Smith), Martin Puryear 2014 Manganese Bronze (Photo by Lacko/Donahue)


Sag Harbor – HAND MADE: GUITARS ACCORDING TO G.E. SMITH & THE AMERICAN ARTISTS’ HAND ARCHIVE brings together two cohesive yet unusual collections: a group of 16 rare and classic guitars and a collection of 31 bronze cast sculptures depicting the hand(s) of visual artists. The show explores the idea of skill as something that is both acquired through study and learned through the continuous physical practice of a craft.

Renowned musician G.E. Smith has selected both acoustic and electric guitars that date from 1810-1992. Most of the guitars come from Smith’s personal collection, providing insight into what he looks for and values in the instruments. The bronze hands are a part of an on-going series by Vanessa Hoheb and Thomas Donahue, The American Artist’s Hand Archive, and includes the hands of artists Jasper Johns, Martin Puryear, Maya Lin, Titus Kaphar, Beverly Pepper, Robert Indiana, Mary Frank, William Tucker and many others. 

Smith, Hoheb, and Donahue will work with The Church’s Chief Curator, Sara Cochran, to install these extraordinary objects in an integrated exhibition on the Mezzanine level of the building. The curation of the show highlights the way these wonderful works speak to beauty, expertise, and the history of practice and artistry as they relate to skill and our physical bodies.


As Cochran explained: “This is an important exhibition for The Church given our belief that creativity is something that is open to everyone. It provides a unique opportunity for our visitors to look through the eyes of G.E. Smith and study the hands of many well-known artists – integral tools of their remarkable careers. Illustrating that any creative practice is both a mental and a physical exercise, these objects demonstrate the dedication of artists and the ways that the artistic and imaginative activities influence our bodies and our lives.”


The exhibition will be accompanied by a rich series of events and programs. Highlights include: an intimate concert by G.E. Smith and Jorma Kaukonen on December 15th; and; an Insight Sunday with Vanessa Hoheb and Thomas Donahue during which the public will (under supervision) be able to handle the hands, followed by a live public hand casting with a celebrated artist of Vanessa and Thomas’s choosing.



GE Smith w his fender

Martin Puryear 2014 Manganese bronze.jpg



American guitarist, G.E. Smith was the lead guitarist for the duo Hall & Oates during the band’s heyday from 1979 to 1985, playing on five #1 singles. After Hall & Oates went into a hiatus in 1985, Smith joined the sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live, serving as bandleader and co-musical director of the Saturday Night Live Band. He has recorded and performed with many acclaimed artists, including David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Tina Turner, and Tracy Chapman. He was the initial lead guitarist in Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour band 1988 to 1990 and served as musical director and a guitarist of Dylan’s The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration at Madison Square Garden in 1992. From 2010 to 2016, Smith played both guitar and bass in Roger Waters’s The Wall Live tour. He received a Grammy Award nomination along with Buddy Guy in 1997 for the album Live! The Real Deal along with the Saturday Night Live Band as well as an Emmy Award for the Saturday Night Live: The 25th Anniversary Special in 2000. His albums as a solo artist include In the World (1981), Get a Little (with the Saturday Night Live Band, 1993), Incense, Herbs and Oils (1998) and Stony Hill (2020) with Leroy Bell.



The American Artists’ Hand Archive was established with the mission to assemble an ongoing archive of superbly crafted bronze casts of artists’ hands with the intent to exhibit them to the public. Vanessa Hoheb is the founder and director of the Archive. She began her apprenticeship at age 17 in the studio of her father, Bruce Hoheb, mastering the skills and techniques of sculptural enlarging, mold-making, bronze casting, and restoration. She has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, led the team that restored the skin of the Statue of Liberty, and oversaw the restoration and conservation division at the Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry. She lectures at Marist College, Bard College, Pratt Institute, and John Hopkins University. Thomas Donahue is the Archive’s Artistic Director. A classically trained artist, his expertise is in sculpture, historic preservation, and architectural design. He curates a vast collection of early 19th century plaster molds, has researched and restored important historic interiors from Providence to Atlanta, worked as an artist designing for Tiffany & Co., and completed many private commissions. He is the Artistic Director for the General Society of Mechanic and Tradesmen of the City of New York. Hoheb and Donahue collaborate with the artist whose hands they are casting to identify a meaningful pose and an individualized patina that illustrates the personality and career of each of these artists.



Housed in a deconsecrated 19th century Methodist church, The Church is a 501c-3 not-for-profit organization encompassing an artist residency, exhibition space, and creativity center. It is a place where local and national artists and creatives of all stripes work, meet and inspire each other. Artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik bought the building as a shell three years ago and have led its redesign with Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership. The modern interior complements its historic frame and is emblematic of the contemporary program of events that animate the structure. The Church will increase access to the arts for our diverse audiences, foster creativity on the East End, and honor Sag Harbor’s long tradition as a maker’s village.

For more information visit: www.thechurchsagharbor.org



AAQ / Resource

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