The ongoing saga of the 16-foot “Legs” sculpture on the Lehr-Vered property in Sag Harbor has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yfork Times, newspapers in Australia and New Zealand, and on “News 12 Long Island” and the CBS affiliate in New York.
Now the village’s zoning board of appeals will hold a hearing on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to determine whether the structure can remain where it stands, at the corner of Madison and Henry Streets.
In a petition, Janet Lehr describes her home, a former church, where the sculpture stands as being part of a “splendid historic district of uniquely original structures.” As an art gallery owner, she said, she feels that “the presence of the arts are meaningful everywhere, few places more than in Sag Harbor . . . a region that has attracted artists and writers for several centuries.”
Ms. Lehr and her partner, Vered, said the Larry Rivers sculpture is the work of a significant artist who has pieces in major museums worldwide. In their opinion, this makes it worthy of a “special exception” that may be permitted and has been requested by the couple’s attorney, Andy Hammer, after a prior hearing’s decision had “denied without prejudice” such an exception.
“Free speech is allowed, but not regulated,” Mr. Hammer said by phone Monday. He hasn’t found many cases that compare, he said.
Having formerly served as a lawyer for the East Hampton Town Zoning Board, he understands the regulation of structures for safety, health, and welfare of the community, he said, but not based on one’s opinion of what art is.
“I hope all the people who’ve been supportive privately speak up publicly now in support of the arts,” Ms. Lehr said in an e-mail. She anticipates being supported at the hearing and through a petition that she said is available for signing online and at the Vered Gallery in East Hampton