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Kiss, kiss by Adam Handler (Vered Gallery)

Galleries Gear Up for Annual Thanksgiving Art Walk - by Jean Nayar for Hamptons Magazine

Anyone who lives in the Hamptons has a lot to be thankful for. But Hamptons' residents and visitors alike have an extra reason to feel grateful this month. The third annual ArtWalk Hamptons will take place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, and offers a quieter, more personal way for Hamptonites and their guests to appreciate the local arts scene.

It's unlike ArtMRKT Hamptons, Art Southampton, and ArtHamptons, the competing fairs that cater to the collector community and beach crowd. The frenzied summer season, when New Yorkers and international art aficionados descend upon the East End, was always intended to be an opportunity to mingle, sell, and purchase art. ArtWalk Hamptons, on the other hand, was instigated as a more community focused counterpoint, with gallery owners in the South Fork participating in self-guided or artist-led tours through their galleries in East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Amagansett, Water Mill, Bridgehampton, and Southampton. "I envisioned it as a kind of bookend to the season, which begins in May and runs through the holidays," says ArtWalk's founder and director, Kathy Zeigler.

In an earlier incarnation, Zeigler worked in New York City with a nonprofit group called, which aimed to animate vacant real estate by transforming empty buildings into settings for temporary, site specific installations and inspiring the surrounding communities to become comfortable with experimenting with art. Seeing an opportunity to apply this experience during the Hamptons off-season, Zeigler loosely banded together a string of galleries in East Hampton to launch the day long ArtWalk Hamptons in 2011.

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