Editorial: Seeing Here Anew

Dune Road Sunset, Hampton Bays
Dune Road Sunset, Hampton Bays

It’s not as difficult as you might think to see the world around you with fresh eyes. Sometimes all it takes is a conversation with a stranger, or an interaction with art that takes your familiar surroundings and transforms them into a magical world.

One of the greatest things the arts brings to our lives is this chance for fresh perspective, this opportunity to see the world anew each day.

We’ve devoted our July issue to highlighting the works of artists — painters, photographers, musicians, filmmakers, performing artists and authors — who all give us a glimpse into the world surrounding us that we would never have had if those artists were not in our lives.

Living here year-round, you see this place in its grayest season, and by the time the summer arrives, it’s difficult to see the beauty through all the people gawking at the sights.

But there’s a hidden city here of artists quietly working, in studios and practice rooms, in their living rooms and editing suites, in our creeks and marshes, and even in our bays and harbors, weaving the threads of the real world into their dream states, into their inimitable body of experience, into their emotions, hopes and fears.

It’s become a buzz phrase here that “the arts mean business,” and while there’s nothing we like more than to hear that artists are being recognized and compensated for their work, the arts really have nothing to do with business at all.

They are a pathway to another world, a parallel universe existing alongside your breakfast special and morning coffee, alongside the terns dive bombing the bay and the ring of framing hammers harkening new subdivisions, alongside the inboard diesel hum of the work boats heading out to connect the twin forks in a way no highway ever could.

When we see these familiar places depicted by another person’s pen, or captured in their photo lens, or even hear the emotion of a place played on a piano or a violin, we are given a great gift: the chance to see the world through another person’s eyes.

That’s a gift that each and every artist tilling the field of their talent gives us every time they make a piece of art, and it’s a gift that artists give freely to anyone with open eyes and ears. Whether you choose to pay to take a work of art home or not is up to you. But the artist has no choice but to give.

Artists who are new to these shores inevitably wash up along with the massive crush of people who make their way to this end of the island in summer, and each one of them, especially if they are seeing this place for the first time, brings a new and fresh perspective to what the East End is.

Creativity is the engine that drives innovation. It’s what allows us to all dream bigger dreams, to imagine a future that is more fulfilling, more whole and more humane than the world in which we currently reside.

We hope the ongoing renaissance in the arts here only deepens and grows. It will be a great thing for all of us.

East End Beacon

The East End Beacon is your guide to social and environmental issues, arts & culture on the East End of Long Island.

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