Saturday morning at 8:00 am, Michael Combs’ sculpture studio of eighteen years was completely destroyed in a fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt and thanks to the efforts of The Southold Fire Department the structure was saved. Although this fire started in a neighboring unit the most extensive damage occurred in Michael’s studio. One of the most painful aspects of this experience is that Michael recently completed a new body of work for a show that he was planning. Of those sculptures, nine were completely destroyed or damaged beyond repair. This is well over a year’s worth of labor. We were completely unprepared for a loss of this nature. As for the question of insurance, several attempts were made but finding policies that cover art is not as easy as one might think. As a result the contents of the studio were not insured. Unfortunately, this is too much for us to bear on our own, for these reasons we are asking for help so that Michael can rebuild.
Michael is deeply grateful for the community outreach during this difficult process. Many have asked how they can help, here is one way. Anything you can do to help him rebuild the studio would be appreciated enormously.
AS A SIDE-NOTE:
The irony is for the past thirty-years Michael has consistently donated sculptures to many philanthropic organizations. A season never passes without Michael’s work being included in an auction to benefit one charity or another. We believe in donating what we can, when we can, to help any number of causes.
Below is a list of nonprofits and organizations that Michael has supported:
The Retreat, Artists Against Abuse
Wildlife Rescue Center of The Hamptons
Eastern Long Island Hospital
San Simeon by the Sound Rehabilitation Center
Hallockville Museum Farm
The Water Mill Center
Besides artwork and heirlooms the following is a list of some of the additional contents damaged or destroyed:
Pneumatic carving tools
Shop Dust Collectors
Audio Visual Equipment
Table and Chairs
Selected Wood for Carving
- John Blanchard
- Frances Ferriss
- Steve Ellis
- Kerry Sharkey-Miller
Organizer and beneficiary