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.
The William P. Rayner Artist-in-Residence program is named after Billy in honor of his creative, adventurous, and giving spirit.
Q: When do applications open for the GHAIR?
A: The William P. Rayner Artist-in-Residence is currently by invitation only.
Q: What is the length of the residency? When does it occur?
A: The residency occurs in 2-4 week periods. The length and time-period of each residency is decided between the artist-collective and Guild Hall.
Q: Is there a cost to the residency? Do Artist-Collectives receive a fee?
A: There is no cost to the residency. Artists receive $625.00/week for their time in-residence. Fees may be paid to each individual artists or to the collective as a whole. Additionally, Guild Hall allocates a budget for materials, equipment, etc. to each collective.
Q: Is travel to East Hampton provided or financially covered?
A: Guild Hall will cover all fees and aid in coordinating travel from NYC to East Hampton. Travel fees for artist-collectives who are based outside of the NYC Metropolitan area will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
Q: How many artists can be part of the artist-collective?
A: Artist-collectives of 2-5 people are ideal. Larger collectives will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Is AIR focused on a specific artistic discipline?
A: Guild Hall is especially interested in interdisciplinary artists-collectives with exhibition, publication, and/or performance history, and who plan to bring the work to NYC-based or national venues/institutions.
Q: Who invites, reviews, and decides the artist-collectives for the residency?
A: Artists are invited and reviewed by a selection committee of celebrated artists, creative professionals, GH curatorial and theater staff, and members of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts. Past selection committee members have included composer Carter Burwell, artist Eric Fischl, architectural critic Paul Goldberger, photographer Ralph Gibson, theatre-maker Stephen Hamilton, science writer Dava Sobel, director/choreographer Susan Stroman, creative writer Frederic Tuten, artist Carrie Mae Weems, and poet Phil Schultz.
Q: Are there any required events or scheduled programs throughout the residency?
A: While there are no required events, residents are highly encouraged to participate in special invitation social gatherings, opportunities for mentorship, and community outreach initiatives. These events are meant to aid the development of their work and build professional ties to the area. In addition, trips to local arts and culture sites may be planned at the artist-collective’s request. Residents are required to be on site for at least four days a week.
Q: What is the living space?
A: Residents are provided with a three-floor residence within an exclusive property in the Georgica area of East Hampton. Lovingly called “The Tower,” the residence is the highest point in East Hampton and contains two bedrooms (on the ground and lower-level with adjoining private bathrooms), an open kitchen/dining/living area, a lower-level living area, and two courtyard spaces. The living areas are shared with an artist & decorator who lives on the property year-round and occupies the third-level.
Click here to view photos of the space.
For collectives who exceed two people, accommodation will be secured at an alternative house that is either a short drive or bike-ride from the “The Tower.”
Q: What is the studio space?
A: Adjacent to the “The Tower,” is an 80’ x 35’ rectangular studio. Originally designed as a painters studio, the space is equipped with high ceilings, north facing skylights, a concrete floor, and an adjoining full bathroom. The studio will be “purpose-built” for each artist collective. Guild Hall will equip the studio – from tech. equipment to a sprung floor – for each artist collective.
Click here to view photos of the space.
Q: Is there any transportation provided once on Guild Hall’s campus?
A: Guild Hall will provide bikes for each artist in residence. The residence is a 10-15 bike ride from the center of East Hampton Village. Dependent on need, a rental car can also be provided.
Q: Can guests or family members stay with me during the residency?
A: Companions or pets are not permitted to reside or stay overnight during this residency.