LongHouse Reserve held its annual gala on Saturday, July 21st in its Museum at 133 Hands Creek Road in East Hampton with cocktails beginning at 6 PM. The evening’s honorees were Dustin Yellin of “Pioneer Works” in Brooklyn and Joe Melillo of Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)-two of the hippest and most influential Brooklynites.
|Inga Maren Otto, Robert Wilson, and Fern Mallis|
This gathering contained an incredible mix of artists and their patrons including Cindy Sherman and Dorothy Lichtenstein; mega Real Estate developers: Brian Fisher and Ziel Feldman; and influencers: Fern Mallis and Terrie Sultan. Sultan is the director of the Parrish Art Museum and is always impeccably dressed. She revealed her go-to designer is Morgane Le Fay who has been dressing her for nine years. Sultan likes Le Fay’s designs because they are minimally structural much like the art Sultan curates. Sultan said she visits the LongHouse at least once per season and loves the landscaping of the vast 16-acre space which is currently a Living Museum featuring pieces by Buckminster Fuller and other luminaries.
|Helene Feldman and Jackie Yellin in front of a Dustin Yellin Sculpture|
Jack Larsen, the owner, allows lectures funded by Hampton’s staple Toni Ross, to be given on his property in August, and art displayed on his estate, which will eventually become a permanent museum upon his demise. Larsen noted that people used to be embarrassed to have Brooklyn as their mailing address whereas, it is now one of the hippest and youngest neighborhoods attracting talent from near and far. Just then I spotted super hip Hamptons couple Ziel and Helene Feldman who are experts in amassing Real Estate and Art. Tonight they were excitedly viewing Dustin Yellin’s two sculptures one of which made from a garbage can materials and the other which was constructed from bathroom tiles and mimicking rockets.
|Dustin Yellin and Joanna Fisher|
Another Real Estate family that enjoys collecting Yellin’s pieces are Joanna and Brian Fisher, from the Fisher Real Estate dynasty, who were there to pay tribute to Dustin someone they have enthusiastically supported since he started “Pioneer Works” in 2012. Joanna, a VIP Gucci, and Hermès customer was wearing a bright blue Peter Hidalgo suit that she designed coupled with a multicolored Dolce & Gabbana bag. Joanna is a life force, and when she enters the room, the crowd pays attention.
|Artist Nathan Joseph|
A real attention-grabbing attendee is Robert Wilson “The King of the Hamptons” art scene who is renowned globally for his masterful works. Wilson was discussing his upcoming “Watermill Center Benefit”- one of the premier events of the summer where 25 art installations are presented from around the world. He revealed that many luminaries would be attending this year including Robert Downey Jr. and Sharon Stone as well as numerous surprise guests. Wilson counts Lady Gaga and Kanye West as friends, and his impact on the arts over his lengthy career has been immeasurable.
|Left to Right: Jackie and Dustin Yellin, Robert Wilson and Inga Maren Otto|
Another great friend of Wilson’s, Inga Maren Otto, who looks like Grace Kelly and dresses like Audrey Hepburn, wore a black Akris dress with a matching Chanel bag. Maren and her two children are head of a Real Estate Empire which recently went public. Maren blissfully recalled the 48 years she spent married to her husband, German entrepreneur Werner Otto, who died at the age of 102. She attributed her husband’s longevity to his no-fat no-sugar diet and daily exercise routine, a regimen Inga adheres to. Inga is a lover of fashion with some of her favorite designers including Akris, Chanel, and Armani. She noted how special this year’s LongHouse event was in providing an arts education for more than 3,000 students and teachers over the years.
After guests enjoyed hors-d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails sponsored by “Heavens Door,” an award-winning collection of whiskeys produced in collaboration with Bob Dylan, attendees were treated to a 40-foot wooden table of grilled vegetables, cheeses and bread along with an enormous BBQ pit comprised of a whole roasted pig and lamb.
|Jackie Yellin, Helene and Ziel Feldman and Dustin Yellin|
The evening’s theme was blue, and the Reserve went all out with an entranceway draped in blue fabrics reminiscent of Mexican prayer flags and dunes dyed in varying shades of blue. Moreover, there was a specially scented bubble installation entitled “Blue Yonder” by scent artists Julia Davis and John Zinonos. Guests then headed to the ornate tent for dinner as acoustic musicians from “Revel in Dimes” and “The High and Mighty Brass Band” played delightful tunes.
|Honoree Joe Melillo|
As guests munched on Swiss chard salad and strip steak, the Auctioneer exhorted attendees to show their neighbor they were richer and more generous by bidding higher. The first item he auctioned was an apple for $2,200 followed by a bottle of bourbon for $950, and he then asked the audience to donate money for student scholarships. David Lang, who will be producing an opera for 1,000 singers to perform on the High Line in October, introduced honoree Bob Melillo who has transformed BAM into a behemoth in the world of theater, dance, music, and art.
Melillo said BAM and LongHouse were both destinations that seek to embrace humanity. Well known astrophysicist Janna Levin, who is head of Science programming at “Pioneer Works,” introduced honoree Dustin Yellin, whom she called “insane” by living each day like it was his last by jumping out of a plane and asking everyone to come with him. She said she felt she was a part of his hallucinations with her terming “Pioneer Works” his most ambitious hallucination ever.
“Pioneer Works” is its own universe in Red Hook Brooklyn which contains educational programs, residencies, performances and exhibitions to make culture accessible to all. Yellin accepted his award with his typical boisterous enthusiasm and thanked his Momma, Jackie, and the animals, aliens, and plants for “giving us good feelings.” The band then sang Happy Birthday to Yellin who was turning 43. Guests then headed to the after party where the revelry and music continued. This incredible event was primarily put together by publicist extraordinaire Jonathan Marder – one of the best kept secrets in New York. His valiant efforts to make the night a smash success was abetted by the Gods who delayed the rain until the evening had nearly ended.
– Lieba Nesis