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The Watermill Center Announces

its International Summer Program Celebrating 30 Years

Alongside their Major Artists Programs and Annual Benefit

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The celebration will take place on Saturday, July 30 at 6:00 – 9:00 PM, and feature cocktails, performances, and installations by a roster of international artists including Tsubasa Kato, Christopher Knowles, Liz Glynn, Adam Parker Smith, Robert Nava and more! (additional names to be announced in the coming weeks).

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WATER MILL, NY – The Watermill Center, an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities located in Water Mill, NY, announces its International Summer Program celebrating 30 years of outstanding support in providing space for artistic production and cultural exchange for artists working internationally. It also coincides with the opening of their new study facility designed by set designer and Architect Stephanie Engeln and Artistic Director Robert Wilson.

Major coinciding summer programs include an exhibition partnership with 2022 Inga Maren Otto Fellow Hank Willis Thomas & For Freedoms at Parrish Art Museum (opening July 24, 2022) and The Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit (July 30, 2022). There will also be new exhibitions by Robert Nava (Inga Maren Otto Fellow) and returning alumni artist Christopher Knowles; and public presentations by Ryan McNamara and artists participating in The Center’s International Summer Program.

Marking a celebratory milestone this year, the Annual Summer Benefit includes public presentations by Christopher Knowles and Robert Nava, showing alongside Liz Glynn’s bronze figurative sculptures from her project, The Myth of Singularity, Adam Parker Smith’s iconoclastic Sarcophagi series, and Tsubasa Kato’s Pull and Raise installation, among other performances and installations. The Annual Summer Benefit unites the worlds of art, theater, design, and fashion to raise funds in support of The Center’s year-round programming. Highlighting the work of The Watermill Center’s international community, the benefit captures an evening of artistic creation and surprise.

Since 1992, The Watermill Center has hosted the International Summer Program, uniting over 80 artists from more than 25 countries for a five-week creative intensive. The Summer Program provides a unique opportunity to forge an international community of artists from a broad range of experience levels and disciplines; to investigate what it means to be a global artist.

This year, the International Summer Program will invite up to 12 artists to spend three weeks creating new installations and performances. This revised format provides invited artists with additional time, space, and resources to develop their practice in a laboratory setting, and share their work with the public during the Annual Summer Benefit.

Artists chosen for the International Summer Program receive access to an extensive collection of resources central to The Center’s experience: lectures on the arts and humanities led by international cultural luminaries; opportunities to propose and develop work for public presentation during The Annual Summer Benefit; 20,000 square feet of multi-purpose interiors and outdoor stages; a theater production archive; The Watermill Center Study Library; The Watermill Center Collection; and ten acres of landscaped grounds and sculpture gardens.

Finding inspiration in the art of the distant past, from Medieval Christian imagery to Mayan and Sumerian art, as well as popular contemporary sources such as animation, Robert Nava creates compositions that are carefully considered yet marked by a sense of naivete and spontaneity. Nava’s Fellowship will culminate in an exhibition at The Watermill Center, which will open at the Annual Summer Benefit and be on view through August.

Visual artist Christopher Knowles, a returning alumni artist whose work is featured in The Watermill Center collection, first came to The Watermill Center in 1992 for the founding International Summer Program. The Watermill Center is honored to present a comprehensive exhibition of Knowles’ work throughout the South Wing of the main building. Christopher Knowles is regarded as a poet and painter, yet his output is broader than this suggests. The work records and reorders the everyday materials around us using incantatory rhythms and repetition. Typings of language permutations, reimagined song lyrics, and interlocking blocks of the raw color commonly depict family and close friends. Sculptures are precise and direct in construction: polka-dotted cones, brilliantly hued paper cutouts, Lego structures, and accumulations of wind-up alarm clocks.

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Recipients of the Inga Maren Otto Fellowship at The Watermill Center, Hank Willis Thomas & For Freedoms will be provided with time and space to develop a series of new works by artists from the For Freedoms network—an artist-led organization that models and increases civic participation through art, collaboration, and cultural strategy. In an ongoing partnership with the Parrish, The Watermill Center has invited Thomas and For Freedoms for a residency in the Fall of 2022, which will take place concurrently with an exhibit by Thomas and For Freedoms on view at the Parrish during the Summer and Fall. During the residency, For Freedoms will organize a series of public programs and Town Halls with members of the East End community.

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Additionally, Ryan McNamara is the featured artist of The Center’s partnership with Works & Process LaunchPAD “Process as Destination” residency (June 16-29, 2022).

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For more information about The Watermill Center, its Artists-in-Residence, and its upcoming public programs, visit www.watermillcenter.org

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THE WATERMILL CENTER

Founded in 1992 by avant-garde visionary Robert Wilson, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities situated on ten acres of Shinnecock ancestral territory on Long Island’s East End. With an emphasis on creativity and collaboration, The Center offers year-round artist residencies and education programs, providing a global community with the time, space, and freedom to create and inspire.

The Watermill Center’s rural campus combines multifunctional studios with ten acres of manicured grounds and gardens, housing a carefully curated art collection, expansive research library, and archives illustrating the life and work of Artistic Director, Robert Wilson. The Center’s facilities enable Artists-in-Residence to integrate resources from the humanities and research from the sciences into contemporary artistic practice. Through year-round public programs, The Watermill Center demystifies the artistic process by facilitating unique insight into the creative process of a rotating roster of national and international artists.

The Watermill Center’s programs are made possible by awards from Cowles Charitable Trust, Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation, Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art, JAF Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, The LLWW Foundation, mediaThe foundation inc., The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, The Nightingale Code Foundation, May & Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Suffolk County Office of Economic Development, The Suffolk County Office of Film and Cultural Affairs, Leila & Mickey Straus Family Charitable Fund, and the Town of Southampton. 

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The Watermill Center | 39 Watermill Towd Road, Water Mill, NY 11976 | +1 (631) 726.4628 

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Lead images

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L: Performance by Marianna Kavallieratos at The Watermill Center. 2017. Photo © Chloé Bellemère, courtesy The Watermill Center.

R: Christopher Knowles performing “The Sundance Kid is Beautiful” during Performa 2013. Photo © Julian Mommert.

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AAQ / Resource: Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

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