(Long Island, NY) The Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Galley hosted an an exciting opening for pet lovers and art enthusiast delightfully entitled ‘Paws & Reflect‘ on Saturday May 10, 2014. This heart-warming compilation of artwork reveals Richard J. Demato’s Art Gallery’s appreciation and fascination with all animals. From the elegant unusual to fascination and whimsical, these works depict favorite creatures that raise awareness and needed funds for the Southampton Animal Shelter.
Guests came to the gallery to view “Paws & Reflect” and also to SIT & STAY and enjoyed a glass of wine. There were many local and renowned artists’ works that were viewed and refreshments were served. Those who couldn’t make it Saturday can view private showings by appointment.
The Richard J Demato Gallery is committed to seeking out and showing the work of emerging and mid-career artists with a focus on Narrative Figurative Portraiture, American Magic Realism, Mixed Media, and Contemporary Landscape. The Gallery’s intent is to foster the careers of their artists through exposure to new and diverse markets both nationally and internationally as well as here at home in Sag Harbor.
Richard Demato is an individual with a head for business and a heart for philanthropy and goodwill. He has been giving back to his community for years as the President of The Retreat, the East End’s only domestic abuse shelter. He now offers a ‘sanctuary of sorts’ right on Main Street in Sag Harbor for both established and emerging artists from the East End and beyond.
“This is an excellent time for business. We believe that when things are difficult for most people with their traditional methodology it is an excellent time to have a fresh approach in a business, and a unique approach will do well. I think most businesses — if they are on one plane too long — lose their edge and I believe we have a different point of view in terms of what we are showing. We are reaching out to a lot of new artists, as well as established artists, and with a new perspective” Demato revealed when asked if perhaps opening a new gallery in the current economy might seem a bit risky to most.
Demato, a pleasant, refreshingly forthright and determined entrepreneur, went on to explain “We took the space on September 1, actually I think it was for rent for about one hour, but what basically happened was that due to my involvement with The Retreat, I have been involved with Artists Against Abuse for five years, and have been President for the last two years, I have met a lot of artists, including April Gornik, Eric Fischl, Dan Rizzie and many, many others. They have all donated their work to the agency, and I’ve always respected them.” Richard has been married to well-known artist Harriet Sawyer since 2003. After long careers in the fashion industry, they both relocated to the East End and live in North Haven.
Richard goes on to elaborate, “We were in the print business for 30 years, and we are accustomed to looking at the printed or finished product with multi-colors, and able to make an informed decision, so when this space became available, and since Harriet and I had been talking about it anyhow, I figured we’ll chase it, we’ll figure it out and that is exactly what we are doing. This is the first time I have ever had an art gallery, but in my own point of view we were the leading print design company in the country for about 25 years and that is a taste level that led us to what we are doing now.”
Richard Demato was so inspired to open the gallery that initially he filled the space with works from his own private collection. Demato reveals “Originally, when we first opened it we didn’t’t really have artwork to put in so we put in some of the artwork we have been collecting for 25 years. Now that we have artists we have taken out our personal collection so to speak, and now are showing the people we are representing.” His fabulous gallery is adjacent to the infamous Sag Harbor Movie Theater.
Among some of the artists Demato represents are Sawyer, who he indicated “has been painting for over 30 years,” Daria Deshuk, “because we are friends and we like her work; Jeff Aeling, Jacques Moiroud, and Donato Giancola, whom Demato commented “is a lovely young man. But we are also mixing in new people that really haven’t been shown out here at all.”
At the art opening I had the pleasure of interviewing Kerry Sharkey Miller who is a Sag Harbor based photographer with an extensive background in fine art and media production. Kerry developed and taught a progressive series of Media Electives in Animation and Digital Photography; designed and managed digital labs and has maintained lab equipment including Mac G5 & iMac workstations, Epson Pro Printers, Digital SLRs, Animation Stands.
She has mentored award winning independent student productions in stop motion animation and digital photography. Her early years included worked extensively on the development of the media studies curriculum and on the original assessment committee.
For more information on this Sag Harbor based photographer please visit www.ksharkeymiller.com
For more information Richard J. Demato Fine Art Gallery in Sag Harbor please visit www.rjdgallery.com.