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Sallie Rembert Quirk

Thu, 07/15/2021 - 08:08

Sallie Rembert Quirk, a Sag Harbor artist, liked to laugh that she lived and worked on three islands: "Manhattan Island, Long Island, and the island of Mallorca," as it says on her website. And it was on that Spanish isle that she died on June 5 from a lung infection at age 82, according to The State newspaper in her birthplace, Columbia, S.C.

Ms. Quirk was known for years as a sweet, sensitive, and joyous artist in and around Sag Harbor. She had solo shows at the Cook Pony Gallery, the Goat Alley Gallery, and Canio's Books there, and at Gallery East in East Hampton, Portfolio Gallery in Columbia, Shain Fine Art in Charlotte, N.C., and Galeria Sant Joanet in Soller, Mallorca.

One of her many seascapes was chosen as the poster for the East Hampton Village Fair in 1991.

Ms. Quirk was born on Sept. 3, 1938, to George Robert Rembert and Sarah Hook Rembert. She graduated from St. Mary's School in Raleigh, N.C., received her master's degree from the University of South Carolina, and later studied at the New York Studio School, the National Academy of Fine Arts, and the Art Students League in Manhattan.

In Sag Harbor she shared a home with her longtime partner, Ira Gasman, lyricist for "The Life" on Broadway, with music by Cy Coleman, a fellow Hamptoner. She and her daughter, Augusta Quirk, spoke at Mr. Gasman's memorial service in 2019.

She loved gardens, cats, morning meditation, and walks by the sea.

Ms. Quirk was best known for her landscapes, seascapes, and classic East End barns and houses, but her website says what she really painted was light, the reflection of light, and how it transforms the shapes, contours, and colors of everything she saw. "For me, making art is a way of connecting with the harmony of the universe," she said. "And through that connection, I want to make art which is bold, beautiful, and mysterious."

In addition to her daughter, who lives in Portland, Ore., she is survived by two brothers, George Rembert and Allen Rembert, and a number of nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on June 18 on Mallorca, where she had a vacation home for decades and where she had gone for a wedding just before the Covid pandemic prevented her return to the U.S.

By David M. Alpern


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