To welcome old friends and newcomers alike to its new Water Mill space, the Parrish Art Museum is throwing a weekend-long open house. Admission is free, with a few special events priced at $15, beginning with Friday night's light show that may ring nostalgic bells for Baby Boomers. An art-focused chamber premiere marks the official opening Saturday, along with a downtown-style electronic music collaboration Saturday night. Sunday's bubbly afternoon of hands-on fun is devoted to families.
Free admission continues through Monday, when you can quietly absorb art from the Parrish's nearly 2,700-piece permanent collection and the new museum's first loan exhibition, "Malcolm Morley: Painting, Paper, Process," by the British-born Bellport artist, on view through Jan. 13.
Here's the weekend lineup:
Known as the "forefather of the VJ culture," Joshua White shines a bright light on the Parrish's preview. White pioneered the psychedelic "liquid light" visuals that accompanied concerts at Bill Graham's Fillmore East. But his far-out optics have roots in Southampton, where in 1966, White experimented with lights and music at L'Ousin, a waterfront nightclub. By the following year, the "Joshua Light Show" was the state-of-the-art brand, designing visuals for The Doors, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The 6 p.m. show will inaugurate the museum's multipurpose Lichtenstein Theatre, and will feature Nick Hallet on vocals and electronics with guitarist Zach Layton in an original piece created for the occasion. Admission is $15.
* Inspired by the works of Charles Burchfield, soon to be enshrined in the collection on permanent display at the new Parrish, "Watercolors" makes its professional premiere (previously performed by students) in two matinees tomorrow. Nell Shaw Cohen, a Sag Harbor native, composed the work in four movements to reflect through wind instruments four Burchfield watercolors -- "Glory of Spring (Radiant Spring)" from the Parrish collection, plus "An April Mood," "Autumnal Fantasy," "Sun and Rocks" -- painted between 1916 and 1950. "Watercolors" will be performed by the Manhattan-based Chelsea Quintet -- playing flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon -- as each painting is projected on a 15-foot-wide screen. Shows are at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., also in the Lichtenstein Theatre.
* The late painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was among the founders in 1979 of Gray, an acoustic-electronic downtown band that experimented in painting aural pictures. Reunited in 2010 and led by Michael Holman and Nick Taylor, Gray's "A False Sense of Darkness" salutes the silent-film era of live music created especially for each movie. Gray, performing its absurdist piece at 6 p.m. in the Lichtenstein, is accustomed to museum settings, having played Washington's Corcoran Art Gallery and Manhattan's New Museum. ($15)
To keep the kids engaged, the Parrish offers a free Fall Family Festival, 1 to 5 p.m. Casey Carle's "BubbleMania!" shtick combines big-band swing with such tricks as enveloping children inside oversized bubbles. Stilt walkers, face painters, balloon sculptors and art activities such as caricature painting add to a circus aesthetic. Activities will be centered in the Lichtenstein, but spill out into the museum's atrium and outdoors, if the weather cooperates.
"Floored," a performance-art component of Hope Landrow's inaugural Platform series program "Genius Loci" at the Parrish, takes place in the contemporary gallery Friday night at 7:45 and Saturday at 5:45 p.m. Elke Luyten and Kira Alker create a sculptural dance, incorporating poses from replicas of Babylonian and Parthenon friezes from the old Parrish with contemporary notions about the ideal human body and its relationship to art and architecture. In another "Genius Loci" event, soothsayer/performer Sur Rodney offers "Free Advice": One question per customer, please, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-noon Sunday. You'll also have a chance to "(Sky)gaze" with free telescope viewing of day and night skies.
Parrish Art Museum
INFO 631-283-2118, parrishart.org
ADMISSION Free through Monday