For those of us who simultaneously miss going to art shows and diner breakfasts (we announced that 2019 was the year of the diner, after all), artist Katherine McMahon is bridging the gap. New Yorkers with cars can now drive to Silver Lining Diner in Southampton, New York, to check out her paintings, currently hanging in the windows of the restaurant. McMahon has worked in the hospitality industry for years at The Grill and The Pool, The River Cafe and The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel. Her exhibition intends to raise funds for the diner and its staff, while following safe social-distancing guidelines—the art is viewable from the street or in a car without having to go inside the currently-closed spot. The unique thing about an art show presented in a public-facing manner is that you can go at any time of day, so you're no longer constrained to "gallery viewing hours" like before.
Now up for viewing, McMahon’s show titled "The Roast Beef is the Story" offers an almost eerie view of the former hum inside such an archetypal American space:"Perhaps the diner as a state of mind is a place where seemingly insignificant interactions and reflections occur. It’s a place to wait and be waited on. It’s a place where you’re not doing anything, where time stands still... Diners are a place where this truth can unfold," she writes in her artist statement.
The appeal of diners is perhaps how they're seen as an equalizing, connective tissue for a community while offering a dining experience that many across the country partake in. Paintings in the show feature iconic movies with diner scenes, such as American Graffiti, Grease, Pulp Fiction and Coffee & Cigarettes.
Silver Lining Diner is located at 32 Montauk Hwy, Southampton, New York 11968.