The Reutershan Trust

Emily Squires, Writer & Instagram Coordinator

I am sure that as a Pierson student, you have heard the name The Reutershan Trust before. Yet most Pierson students have no idea what The Trust is, nor what it does. The Reutershan Trust is a complex organization that supports many of Pierson’s art and architecture projects. The Trust has run a multitude of workshops at Pierson, including workshops in printmaking, architecture, portraits, fashion, filmmaking, stop motion animation, watercolor, photography, drone work, painting, mask making, courtyard architecture, sculpture, portrait sculpture, and illustration. 

So what exactly is The Reutershan Trust? It is extremely complicated, but in simple terms; The Trust is a sum of money created by architect Hobart (Hobie) Betts in honor of Sag Harbor local Don Reutershan, and is meant to enhance and support visual art, architecture, and art education for the children of Sag Harbor. The Trust has been in effect for around twenty years, and art teacher Mr. Solow is the coordinator of The Trust. Solow decides what the money in The Trust goes to based on the wants and needs of the faculty and community.

While it is best known for the many workshops run in its name, The Reutershan Trust has supported many other projects at Pierson, from the elementary school’s Clarence Shepard and Me by the Sea projects, to investing in new technologies for the school. The Trust has bought cameras to help document students’ work, and has funded many artistic opportunities for students.

Some of the most interesting opportunities funded by The Trust are the educational trips supporting art and architecture. The Trust has backed trips to Italy, Spain, Cuba, and a variety of other places. These trips are an amazing opportunity for students to be immersed in new cultures and new artistic styles, and teaches them the many ways art is used in the real world. 

On a more local scale, The Reutershan Trust works extremely closely with the community to promote art education. It has funded a number of shows and collaborations with many places in town, including the Cinema, Mashashimuet Park, the John Jermain Memorial Library, and the Historic Society. In addition to this, Solow explains that The Trust “has, for the last number of years, given scholarships of $10,000 to a graduating senior who is continuing their education in art or architecture.” He also includes that when The Trust first started, this was the largest local scholarship given out in any field. “The whole goal of doing that,” he says, “was to demonstrate to the community that art and art education and being an artist was something which is significant.”

The Trust has run a variety of workshops, some short and some long, incorporating people from all over the world. “Some of the people who we have as visiting artists are very well-known, some of them are really terrific artists that may not be well-known, and some of them are young people who are just starting out, but who… are just incredibly talented,” says Solow, when asked about the people involved in the workshops. Artists of all ages, cultures, and professions are brought in to educate students at Pierson on the wide variety of artistic professions and opportunities available to them in the real world. The workshops are run year round, some during the summer and others after school, and have reached children of all ages. 

I was given the opportunity to participate in many of the workshops and can say that they are truly amazing opportunities. As aforementioned, artists from many different backgrounds are brought in to teach the workshops, and each has something new to teach young artists. Personally, I have gotten to learn a lot about fashion, portrait drawing, and many other topics through the workshops. The artists coming in have first-hand experience working in art in the real world, and can provide insights to what working in their field is like. It is an amazing opportunity to work with some amazing people, and it allows students to work with others interested in art and architecture. 

“It’s a big thing,” Solow says. The Trust has given Pierson a multitude of artistic opportunities and has funded the vast majority of art projects at Pierson. It is an amazing project that has helped educate art students on the variety of paths that are available to them. Mr. Solow and The Trust have helped to support and promote art and art education throughout Pierson, which has greatly benefited both the school and the community.