Victoria’s Diary: Stunning art and powerful women

Hans and Kevin have collaborated together for 20 years.

When we acquired Dan’s Papers, which serves the East End of Long Island, I didn’t anticipate how much fun I would have meeting so many people in worlds I didn’t know! 

When I arrived seven weeks ago, my friend Todd Shapiro brought me to a Power Breakfast run by John Catsimatidis. There, I was introduced to the world of the Two Forks — the North Fork spans from Riverhead to Orient Point and the South Fork from Westhampton to Montauk.

When my son Josh and I took the reins of Dan’s Papers, we met with many of the leading chefs and winery owners in the coverage area thanks to Donny Evans. They expressed their needs to bring people to the region during the quiet months of January to March and wanted to make the area a go-to destination, bringing people from around the region.

Having seen the success of the painted Cow Parade in New York City a number of years ago, I thought the idea of a “Drive-by Sculpture Exhibit” would be a COVID-safe experience that could run through the villages. We would have sculptures placed in the villages near stores and restaurants and, as a bonus, we would host a monthly drawing for visitors who would take selfies with the sculptures and win dinner-for-two at restaurants on the East End. A map will be designed to guide people to where the exhibits are in the villages. 

When I met Lou Meisel, a world-class art dealer, at his Sagaponack home and saw his personal sculpture garden, I fell in love!

Lou asked me if I’d like to meet another world-class sculptor who lives on 10 acres in the same town. So, off I went to meet Hans Van de Bovenkamp, who was born in the Netherlands but has made his home here for 40 years.

As I drove up the long driveway, a massive, sculpted stainless steel gate opened and my jaw dropped!  Its size and intricately sculpted form was truly magnificent. 

The property was lined with dozens of extraordinary sculptures stunningly placed on the grounds and surrounded his pond. 

Hans was not home, but Kevin Miller, Hans’ collaborator and assistant of 20 years, greeted us and took us on a tour to see the works and workrooms where they are created. 

It took my breath away to see the tremendous scale of Hans’ work and the way the sculptures glistened in the sun, changing color as the light hit them!

For years, Lou has represented Hans’ work and owns many himself. Now with The “Drive-by Sculpture Exhibit,” the public will get to see the imaginative monumental pieces from his “Farm”!

Podcasts of Power Women

This past week, I interviewed two successful women who shared their journey with me on my Power Women podcast: Pam Leibman, CEO and president of The Corcoran Group, and Frances Bronet, president of the prestigious Pratt institute. In their early years, both women lived a nurturing childhood, which was vital to their future success. 

Tune in and listen to the podcasts to learn about their journey to the top of their fields! The podcasts can be heard at podcasts.schnepsmedia.com/podcast/power-women.

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