Rosario Varela Red, Gold, and You
Red, Gold, and You is an outdoor installation and durational piece by artist, Rosario Varela. Installed in Guild Hall’s Minikes Garden for two weekends, cellular patterns of red paper and gold tape weave through the trees and shrubbery while a team of mindful artists alter and gradually redesign the piece, embracing the beauty of impermanence and chance.
Varela’s artistic curiosity stems from a passion for tactile experience, and a unique eye for pattern. From organic and gestural to precise and organized, her work in painting and ceramics reflects the patterns found in her natural surroundings, and the responsive effect of material in her hands. Red, Gold, and You expands the scope of Varela’s work, exploring a new medium and scale for the artist; returning to her roots in graphic design and architecture, and responding to the everchanging circumstances of a global pandemic.
Varela found herself paused in the studio when the pandemic first broke-out. Not wanting to return to her ceramics or paintings, she discovered a roll of abandoned red paper. In experimenting with the material, Varela began creating links of various diameters, connecting and interconnecting them, forming cellular patterns. At times when the paper would tear, she would rejoin the ends with gold tape; a nod to the Japanese practice, Kintsugi. The process soon became a meditative act, allowing the artist to reflect on her, and society’s, need for connection and restoration.
Red, Gold, and You expands this experience by opening the process to both a trained team of artists, comprised of Guild Hall’s Teen Arts Council, and the viewing public. Artists and patrons will interact to detach, reshape, and adjoin the paper links, replicating Varela’s experimentation and transferring the ownership and over-all design of the work from artist to community. In the best of worlds, this process involves collaboration, respect, and risk-taking, embracing the beauty of decay, appreciating the impermanence of our creation, and applauding the performance of our community.
In tandem with the installation, Guild Hall will host a blood drive in partnership with the New York Blood Center (NYBC) on Friday, October 23, 11:30am–5:30pm. Guild Hall has organized blood drives in East Hampton during the most threatening of times, responding to the needs of World War II in the 1940s and through the 70s during the Vietnam War. According to NYBC, blood from volunteer donors is needed every two seconds to help meet the daily transfusion needs of cancer and surgery patients, accident and burn victims, newborns and mothers delivering babies, AIDS and sickle cell anemia patients, and many more. Today’s pandemic has shuttered reoccurring donation drives, causing an anticipated 75% decrease in donations. In hosting a blood drive during Varela’s Red, Gold, and You, Guild Hall transfers the artist’s reflection on connection and restoration towards the civic act of blood donation; acknowledging Guild Hall’s founding mission to be “a gathering place for the community where an appreciation for the arts would serve to encourage greater civic participation.”
Casey Dalene, Curatorial Asst. & Lewis B. Cullman Assoc. for Museum Education
Anthony Madonna, The Patti Kenner Fellow in Arts Education
Rosario Varela is an inaugural Guild Hall Community Artist-in-Residence. The Community-Artist-in-Residence program seeks to engage and support four regional artists. Given either an indoor exhibition space or outdoor performance and/or installation site on the Guild Hall campus, the artists will work with community groups to devise, create, and develop new work to be on view through the Summer and Fall months. Artists will be chosen by the senior leadership of Guild Hall based on the community-aspect of their work and a history or interest in public practice. Other Artist-in-Residence include Monica Banks, Viv Corringham, and Lindsay Morris.
Red, Gold, and You is on view during regular Museum Hours. The Guild Hall Gardens are self-monitoring spaces. We ask that patrons reserve a visitation time, observe proper physical-distance, observe maximum capacity signage, and wear face-coverings on the grounds.
Rosario Varela (b. 1964, Argentina) studied graphic design at the University of Architecture in Buenos Aires and continued at the University of California in Los Angeles. In the early 90’s she joined the Brentwood Art Center, where she began the study of fine arts. In 1989 she moved to New York and delved deeper into drawing and sculpture at various institutions, including the Art Students League of New York, the School of Visual Arts, and the New York Studio School. She currently lives and works in Amagansett, NY.
Her work has appeared in many group exhibitions and invitationals including Guild Hall Museum, Solar Gallery, and Folioeast exhibits in East Hampton; Celadon Gallery in Water Mill, Keyes Art Gallery in Sag Harbor, Ashawagh Hall in Springs, NY; the Harlem ArtWalk, and New Century Artists Gallery in New York, NY; the Brentwood Art Center in Los Angeles, CA, and several more venues in Manhattan and The Hamptons.