When walking into The Night Gallery you feel like you are walking back in time. As you pull off Montauk Highway in the castle under the two stone knights of the castle and their outreached swords and pull up to the fairytale castle, you know why it is a Hampton’s landmark, and that something special is inside.
It was a thrill to be walking into the castle, or The Night Gallery, for the first time always passing it as a kid. Not knowing what to expect I was pleasantly surprised to find the inside was just as picture worthy as the outside.
The artist Sean Cawley greeted me as I walked in and took me through a journey of his art. The walls were covered with bright colored paintings, each with its own story. In almost every piece he pointed out small details and optical illusions that were amazing to see. He loves to play with depth and patterns and it shows in his art. One of my favorites being a canvas that he painted to look like a corkboard, with two small photographs painted to look like they were tacked up.
From his high school art projects, which still hold a special place in his heart, to the glimpses of his newest art still being created on an easel in the back, you get a real sense of how he grabs inspiration from the Hamptons, the ocean, and everything around him.
Sean has been in the industry for over thirty years and as painted all along the east coast. He told me that he has put over 400 paintings on canvas. But his work does not end there. He showed me a purse that he was working on with a beautiful hibiscus painted on it.
He loves to custom paint all different surfaces, and named a bunch of things I wouldn’t think could be painted. Faux finishing is one of his specialties and has even painted the walls of some of the nicest Hamptons homes with his techniques.
A large fireplace was warm and inviting and made it feel as if the The Night Gallery was a home for his art rather than a cold gallery. With music playing and even an acoustic guitar jam on the back deck, it wasn’t your typical art gallery. It is definitely worth visiting.
The Night Gallery is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 7pm-11pm and Saturday and Sunday, noon till 11pm at 59 Montauk Highway in Westhampton, New York. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Featured Image Credit: Lynne Whitehorn-Umphres