Dustin Yellin and BAM’s Joe Melillo Honored at the LongHouse Benefit
Enormous blue prayer flags, billowing in a mid-summer breeze, marked the entrance to East Hampton’s LongHouse Benefit, which this year honored Pioneer Works founder Dustin Yellin and founding director of the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Joe Melillo. The evening, which saw over 500 artists, collectors, curators, and philanthropists, was a tour de force of sensory stimulation.
Guests explored the 16-acre sanctuary that is the LongHouse Reserve, wandering down paths lined with sand the color of Yves Klein Blue and dotted with smudge cleansing totems burning in abalone shells and massive floral displays. Scented bubbles created by artists Julia Davis and John Zinonos floated overhead.
The many creative guests included artists Cindy Sherman and Alice Aycock, designer Jill Stuart, curator Alexandra Munroe, philanthropist Dorothy Lichtenstein, fashion and design consultant Fern Mallis, entrepreneur Ralph Pucci, and theater director Robert Wilson (whose own Watermill Center Benefit happens this weekend).
Patrons explored LongHouse Reserve’s new installations by Dustin Yellin, Helmut Lang and Alyson Shotz and perused a silent auction, hosted by Artsy, featuring works donated by Lynda Benglis, Dale Chihuly, Orly Genger, Melinda Hackett, Helmut Lang, Robert Longo, Bryan Hunt, Robert Longo, Marko Remec, Larry Rivers, Robert Rosenkranz, Toni Ross, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Bert Stern, and Johnny Swing.
After guests had a chance to explore the grounds, a gong chimed, beckoning everyone to a seated dinner where beloved LongHouse founder, the textile designer and author Jack Lenor Larson proclaimed, “This is the greatest evening ever at LongHouse.” David Lang then presented Joe Melillo with the LongHouse Art Leadership Award, citing Melillo’s initiation of BAM’s Next Wave Series which introduced the world to the likes of Robert Wilson and Laurie Anderson.
Dr. Janna Levin presented Dustin Yellin with the LongHouse Award in recognition of Yellin’s founding Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works, a cultural center dedicated to experimentation, education, and production across all artistic disciplines. The evening raised an excess of $700,000.