Occupation: President, Voltz Clarke LLC. Wife of Alistair Clarke, mom to Poppy, 7 & Georgina, 4
Current Residence: Sag Harbor and Manhattan
KDHamptons: How long have you been coming to the Hamptons; what do you love most about the East End?
Blair Clarke: About 13 years since I moved to NY from Georgia. Before kids it was to escape city life and to share time with friends. Now it is more about spending time with our family, creating a world where our girls experience green grass, blue skies and sand under their feet….
KDH: Please describe what you do as a career for our readers….
BVC: I manage an art consultancy company that promotes international emerging artists. We basically act as a virtual gallery, therefore, you will find us through pop up exhibitions and the website. Many of our projects are intertwined with the fashion world as we find one can’t exist without the other.
KDH: Do you represent any East End Artists? Who is your favorite Hamptons artist?
BVC: I do. Tapp Francke is a super smart mutli-dimensional artist. She is a terrific photographer and uses neon as her primary medium for making sculptural works. In the city we have one of Tapp’s pale blue neon pieces in the living room…it that spells PLEASURE. We are installing five words in an Upper East Side townhouse. [Peace, Faith, Love, Patience and Lexapro]… I can’t wait to see the final ensemble!
Karen Tompkins is another East Ender who is wildly talented. She came by the other day to show me a new 3 dimensional lacquer sculptural piece. It is chic, sharp, and personal and I think will be a hot ticket when the word gets out.
Holly Cunningham is a painter in our posse who lives in Quogue. She creates gorgeous abstract work, in addition to lovely portraits. She was here yesterday shooting Poppy and Georgina for our holiday card. We always commission a Voltz Clarke artist to paint the girls. Holly’s style has an Alex Katz feeling with loose gestural fields of color.
I’d say my favorite East End artist is Willem DeKooning for his abstract brushstrokes. His color palette is something I search for when choosing new talent for our stable.
KDH: What is the biggest difference in the Hamptons art scene vs. the NY art scene?
BVC: I’d say there is a lot of crossover, just different outfits from slick city ensembles to groovy beach frocks! Hamptonites tend to hang out at the art events longer. In New York, people stay about 20 minutes before racing to their next commitment. You also see kids at many East End events, unlike the city when they must get to bed on time.
KDH: Please describe your Hamptons home and decorating style?
BVC: Things for us in Sag Harbor are very casual. We tend to fall into the blue and white living cliché with my emerging artists scattered: Natasha Law, Mark Boomershine, and Christina Burch hang on the walls~ in addition to lots of shells and sea treasures on tables! We love bringing back a rug or pillow from places across the globe, which helps break up the beachy look and keeps it eclectic.
KDH: What is your favorite Hamptons restaurant; got a favorite dish & drink?
BC: As a family, we adore the Mexican restaurant on the corner of town. The half strawberry half lemon/lime frozen margaritas are the perfect blend of sweet and sour. My 4-year old and I dive into the chunky guacamole and chips, while the rest skip straight to the shrimp quesadillas! For dinner with friends, we love Tutto and Sen in Sag Harbor, but they get so crowded that we tend to avoid them in July and August. Bay Burger is a fantastic place to take out lobster rolls and homemade chunky chocolate peanut butter ice cream milkshakes!
KDH: Describe your perfect Hamptons day in detail?
BVC: I’m the world’s best sleeper, so it starts with sleeping late. My family kindly allows me snooze until after nine. Heaven! Next is a race to Heather Lilleston’s rigorous yet soothing 9:30am morning class at Yoga Shanti. She starts by playing music on this large box contraption and the vibrations along with everyone in the room chanting is magical. Next stop~ Provisions for ginger tea and an enormous spelt muffin with soft butter. Yum! Then I head home where the girls beg me to swim, yet the chilly water is a bit of a shocker~ so I usually talk them into jumping on the trampoline together. We like to cook, so next up is trimming basil, digging potatoes, carrots and beets from their garden for a late afternoon summer sampler…
The girls enjoy hosting guests from the city so typically someone is arriving around lunchtime….usually it is an artist. A quiche from Pepalajefa, the new gourmet take out store in town, is the perfect addition to roasted summer veggies. Alistair loves to make his lemonade iced slushy, and there is always plenty of Rose. After lunch, everyone has a snooze in the hammock and watches an episode or two of the Brady Bunch~ Santa Claus brought the entire series last year and the entire family is glued!
…Around 5pm it is time for a Haven’s Beach sunset sail. Alistair takes the girls on his little sunfish and my artist and I swat no-see-ums and watch the harbor lights start to twinkle. We race back and have a quick bite to eat with the girls, and then venture out to a pal’s garden dinner party. Recently, the House Beautiful team was here, and we gathered with creative friends Chesie Breen and Frances Shultz~ both dream hostesses!
KDH: Share a Hamptons hostess rule you always live by?
BVC: When we have guests we always want them to be free to come and go as they please, so we are never quite sure how late lunch will start. Our rule is always: room temperature. With room temperature salads [my favorites are kale, watermelon/feta and corn and potato salads] and sliced tenderloin, quiche and shrimp salad, one can never go wrong. Alistair is our kitchen caption…..he simply loves cooking, but if time isn’t in one’s favor there is a lovely young chef named Victoria Smith that is filled with creative ideas and can throw in some help no matter how big or small the job. Her chocolate chip cookies give Tate’s a run for their money!
KDH: Did you have any special house guests this summer?
BVC: We always host someone in our roster for the Watermill Center benefit, and this year it was Christina Burch whose skull paintings are filled with hydrangeas, lilies and all things gorgeous from the garden. My girls learned all about Buddhism as Christina taught them about her daily offerings and meditation.
KDH: Did you have a summer purchase you are obsessed with?
BVC: Absolutely. A new Nespresso machine! We researched it forever and it is such a fun thing to whizz up cappuccinos for guests staying. Poppy’s first grade teacher Ms. Sherman was just here and she loves coffee so we were happy to froth and serve.
KDH: Personal style: do you have a Hamptons go-to “fashion uniform”?
BVC: Recently it has been my dear friend Yesim Philip and her partner Hannah McFarland’s new tennis line L’Etoile Sport. The frocks are simply gorgeous [think Adidas meets Lanvin]. They are looks you can easily wear to a snazzy dinner party or on the court. Otherwise, I live in Sweaty Betty yoga gear and soft treasures from Lifestyle in Sag Harbor. The owner carries Isabel Marant, Clu, and ALC which feel terrific on your skin. I’m embarrassed to admit that I also live in Maryjane Crocs! They massage the bottom of your feet all times. For fancy events, I’m a huge Moschino fan and you never know what you will find when you pop into Colette. Tisha has a great eye~ so it’s always worth a peek!
KDH: If you could be gifted any painting in the world to hang in your Hamptons home, which would you choose?
BVC: I actually get just as excited about young artists, especially my own, but if someone was to present me with Mark Rothko’s “White Center [Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose, pictured left] which sold for $73 million several years ago at Christies, I couldn’t say no! The simplicity, yet lyrical brushstrokes, and outstanding color are enough to blow ones mind.
KDH: Did you ever aspire to be an artist? If you could snap your fingers and instantly have a dream job~ what would you choose to be?
BVC: I painted when I was in grade school, but realized I enjoy looking at paintings more than creating my own. If I weren’t working with creative artists I’d love to be a travel writer. Traveling brings me great joy and what a better thing than calling it your job to explore fabulous new places….
To see work of Blair’s artists mentioned above go to: