February spotlights our National Arts Club Artist Fellows — Queen Esther performing and Cassandra Zampini exhibiting her latest works

All events and exhibitions are free and open to the public

The National Arts Club (NAC) continues its 125th anniversary year with numerous free public arts and culture programs in February, in addition to new visual arts exhibitions.

Program highlights for the month include an exploration of form giving with architect Kai-Uwe Bergmann, a look at history of western wear fashion with author Sonya Abrego, a talk from the artistic directors of the Bronx Music Heritage Center, a presentation of photographs by renowned dance photographer Costas, the NAC’s fourth annual One-Act Play Festival, and more.

In the NAC Grand Gallery an exhibition of works on paper by Joaquín Sorolla, from the collection of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library is scheduled. In our other galleries are and solo exhibitions by mixed media and performance artist Melvin (GRAVE) Guzman and painter Greg Colson.

Official celebrations of the Club’s 125th anniversary are in the works for the fall. Details forthcoming.

All programs and exhibitions are free and available to the public with registration. In-person programs and exhibitions are hosted at the NAC’s historic landmark clubhouse, the former Samuel Tilden Mansion, located at 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY. Information on registration and the most up-to-date details can be found at nationalartsclub.org.

Past virtual programs can be enjoyed anytime on the NAC’s YouTube channel.


Programs take place in person, unless otherwise noted.

February 6 at 7:30 p.m.
An Evening with NAC Artist Fellow Queen Esther
Described as “…the unknown queen of Americana…” (Feedback) and “…a Black Lucinda Williams…a brutal, original, explosive singer…” (Vanity Fair), vocalist, playwright, solo performer, songwriter, musician and National Arts Club Artist Fellow Queen Esther performs selections from Gild The Black LiIly (2021) – the fourth critically acclaimed self- produced album on her imprint EL Recordings, as well as her pandemic album Rona, set for a soft release in February 2023. A member of Actors Equity, SAG/ AFTRA, The Dramatists Guild, and the Recording Academy, Queen Esther is a recipient of the 2022 NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theater and is one of fifteen artists selected for the 2022 – 2024 WP Theater “Pipeline” PlayLab.

February 8 at 1 p.m.
Sennacherib: Father of His People
Over 2700 years ago, Sennacherib, King of Assyria, was making Nineveh, his capital- city, the center of the world. His imaginative projects — represented by canals and monuments still visible in northern Iraq — offered freedom from the perils of drought, famine, and other insecurities. They depended in part, however, on forced labour, the antithesis of freedom. This online talk given by internationally renown expert on

Assyrian art and culture Dr. Julian Reade is presented in collaboration with the St. Petersburg Celebration of the Arts. The former British Museum curator in the Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities examines how Sennacherib transformed an ancient civilization.

February 8 at 6:30 p.m.
Black Architects
From Robert Robinson Taylor to Paul R. Williams, Black Architects have contributed significantly to architecture in all styles from Beaux Arts through to Art Deco and International Style. As minorities with great odds against them, they achieved projects both nationally and internationally. Robert Arthur King focuses on architects who were born Black in the 19th century and their contribution and achievements in the architectural profession. Robert Arthur King, FAIA, is an architect who has taught at the New York School of Interior Design since 1988. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the Architectural Association Graduate School in London. In addition, he has published three books. His practice is focused in the restoration of historic buildings in New York City.

February 9 at 8 p.m.
Like A Rolling Stone — An Evening with Jann Wenner
Jann Wenner co-founded the legendary Rolling Stone Magazine in 1967, when he was just 21. The rest is rock and roll–and journalistic– history. In his new memoir, Like A Rolling Stone, Wenner, not one to mince words, dishes on everything from his relationships with the Stones, the Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen, to his myriad drug experiences, his relatively late-in-life marriage to Matt Nye, a fashion designer, and his various recent major surgeries, including a coronary bypass. Wenner was not only instrumental in the music world, but helped forge the careers of such iconic writers as Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe, not to mention that of famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. Wenner will be interviewed by award-winning writer David Fricke, a former long-time senior editor at Rolling Stone, who received a Grammy nomination for his liner notes and several ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for excellence in music journalism. He is currently a DJ on Sirius XM radio.

VIRTUAL EVENT February 10 at 3 p.m.
A Virtual Tour of the Peabody Essex Museum’s Fashion and Design Gallery
Join Petra Slinkard, the Peabody Essex Museum’s Nancy B. Putnam Curator for Fashion and Textiles and Director of Curatorial Affairs, for an armchair tour of the museum’s Fashion and Design gallery. Featured highlights of the collection include examples of avant- garde fashions from designers like Alexander McQueen and Comme des Garçons, plus clothing worn by Iris and Carl Apfel, as well as stellar and unusual examples of everyday dress and global design. Petra Slinkard joined PEM in 2018, where she fosters the growth and inclusive spirit of the museum’s celebrated fashion collection. Slinkard served as the co-curator of Made It: The Women who

Revolutionized Fashion, organized in association with the Kunstmuseum Den Haag. Most recently she coordinated the exhibition Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love, which originated at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

February 10 at 7 p.m.
Lost Cos
An alternative take on the comic book superhero, Lost Cos explores real-life transformation and postmodern feminism in contemporary New York City. Haunted by a tortured childhood and the violent loss of her lover, Eni finds refuge in Lost Cos, an underground club where heroes and villains blur the line between fantasy and reality. But when a cosplayer shows up dead on a beach and a mysterious stalker unsettles her, Eni must confront the real traumas that have shaped her life and transform herself into an altogether more formidable force. Join us for a screening of the film (Chelsea Film Festival ’22 Audience Award) produced, written, and directed by Tony Award-winning theater director Robin de Levita, followed by a discussion with lead actor Evgeniya Radilova (best actress Chelsea Film Festival ’22) and producers.
Disclaimer: the film contains violence, nudity, and language.

February 13 at 9 p.m.
Tap Dancer & Vocalist Brinae Ali
Brinae Ali’s “Destination Forever” takes the audience on a journey into her world and how it intersects with society, radical love, and joy. Ali’s interdisciplinary approach to music is rooted in her practice and pedagogy of transforming the conditioning of the human spirit. Ali was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and is an interdisciplinary artist who believes in using the power of the arts to transform the conditions of the human spirit. She has served as the artistic director of Tapology, Inc. in Flint, MI, Fourth Wall Arts Salon, and Sound and Movement, LLC, in Philadelphia. She has also partnered and served as a teaching artist with organizations such as Ping Chong and Company, NJPAC. Moving History in Baltimore, and the Apollo Theater Education Department. She has received awards for Best Short Play at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival for her one woman show “Steps” and the Vox Populi Independence Music Award for “Destination Forever: Vol.1 EP.” Her Broadway and Off-Broadway experience include Shuffle Along and STOMP!

The NAC Fine & Mellow Jazz Concert Series is presented in collaboration with the The National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

February 15 at 6:30 p.m.
The First Modern Woman Artist
In 2017 The Museum of Modern Art celebrated its acquisition of “the earliest self- portrait by a woman . . . in our collection,” Self-Portrait with Two Flowers (1907) by Paula ModersohnBecker. MoMA’s – earliest self-portrait by a woman – was also the artist’s last self-portrait, painted late in her pregnancy. After giving birth, Modersohn- Becker died, age 31, an unknown artist. Today, this self-portrait is proclaimed in the capital of modern art. How, in one century, does a woman artist go from anonymity to

MoMA? Hear the answers from art historian and author Diane Radycki whose scholarship is credited with making it happen.

February 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Selldorf Architects: National Gallery London and other International Projects
Selldorf Architects is working on a renovation of the National Gallery London including improvements to its surrounding public realm. The firm was selected in July 2021 as lead of a multidisciplinary team to create a more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible National Gallery. Other recent international projects include Luma Arles, a center for contemporary arts in France, and multiple galleries and other arts venues. Annabelle Selldorf is Principal of Selldorf Architects a 70-person architectural design practice she founded in 1988. The firm creates public and private spaces that manifest a clear and modern sensibility to enduring impact. Selldorf is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and serves on the Board of the Architectural League of New York and the World Monuments Fund.

February 17 at 7 p.m.
A Conversation with Joseph Abboud
Join legendary lifestyle designer Joseph Abboud for a conversation about his illustrious career. Launching his namesake brand in 1987, Abboud has succeeded in establishing an exceptional style sensibility. His trademark approach to color is subtle yet highly refined as he strives to capture a timelessness harmony in tonality and hue. Abboud has received numerous honors including The Cutty Sark Award for Most Promising Menswear Designer, Person of the Year from the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from MR magazine, and the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year two years in a row. After leaving his brand in 2005, Abboud launched Black Brown 1826 for Lord & Taylor, and was instrumental in reinvigorating Hickey Freeman. In 2015 he launched the Joseph Abboud Black Label Collection, and most recently hosted the national lifestyle radio show “Threads”, on WABC. Abboud style is highly encouraged!

February 21 at 7 p.m.
The Estate of Richard Bernstein
Explore the life and legacy of Richard Bernstein with his nephew Rory Trifon who now leads the estate. The artists’ iconic vision as the creator of the legendary portraits for Warhol’s Interview magazine continues to impact visual culture with a myriad of exhibitions and creative collaborations. Beginning in the mid-60s Bernstein’s bold and innovative techniques captured the zeitgeist of the Pop Art movement. As one of the first artists to blur the line between commercial and fine art, his technicolor compositions inspired Warhol to dub him “my favorite artist.” An exhibition of his work is currently on view at The Warhol Museum until March 20, 2023.

Miki Orihara as the Bride in Martha GrahamÕs Appalachian Spring

February 22 at 7 p.m.
Miki Orihara: A Japanese Dancer in America

Miki Orihara was 18 years old when she arrived in New York to study with Martha Graham, in whose company she was a soloist from 1987 to 2015. Along the way she received a Bessie Award and Dance Magazine called her “the kind of Graham dancer who comes along once in a decade.” She has performed on Broadway, in films, with various dance companies, and has started a series of solo concerts that include her own choreography, with the aim of defining who she is now, how she got to be this artist, and honoring her mentors and teachers. Orihara will present and perform. Photo credit: John Deane

February 23 at 7 p.m.
The Mother of Invention: LeCompte/Wooster Group
The Wooster Group’s director Elizabeth LeCompte and performer Kate Valk will present video excerpts from the Group’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Mother, his 1932 learning play about how to be a revolutionary. The Mother is the Group’s first staging of Brecht, and the result is a dialogue between two influential experimental theater methodologies. LeCompte and Valk will discuss their process and the Group’s innovative use of video and sound technology in live performance. The Wooster Group has made more than 40 theater works and 22 media pieces since its founding in 1975. Its work tours internationally and has been featured in numerous museum and gallery shows. @thewoostergroup

February 24 at 6 p.m.
Tide to Table: Celebrating America’s Oysters
Oysters support working waterfronts and are critical to restoring coastal habitats. Spend a night learning about oysters, modern growing practices, and emerging trends in oyster appreciation with Virginia Shaffer, a published food writer and the founder of Lady Oyster Blog, a website that documents the stories of oyster farms, raw bars, oyster tourism, and industry enthusiasts. Virginia is followed by thousands of oyster lovers and chefs worldwide, and serves as a Friend of the Nature Conservancy’s Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition. She has been featured in publications like Edible, Good Grit, and Post and Courier magazine. Oyster shucker will be on hand to offer samples.

February 28 at 6:30 p.m.

A Broadway Critic on a Broadway Legend

When Mary Rodgers began her memoir about her life as the daughter of composer Richard Rodgers and, later, as the mother of composer Adam Guettel, she set out to be honest, unabashedly so. In her posthumously published book, Shy, which was co-authored by Jesse Green, chief theater critic of The New York Times, the reader comes to know her as a musical genius herself and the sometimes wounded daughter of a famous father and difficult mother. Her work lives on as the composer of Broadway sensation Once Upon A Mattress. She collaborated with everyone from Judy Holliday

to Carol Burnett and Leonard Bernstein, along with romantic interludes with Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince. Jesse Green appears on our stage to reveal how he finished the book, why Rodgers’s life resonates with us still, and what her life can teach us. Books will be available for purchase.


Gallery is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM


On view in the East Gallery and Project Space, February 2 – March 8

The National Arts Club is pleased to announce the 2023 Will Barnet Student Show. The event honors Barnet’s career as an artist and prominent teacher as well as the Club’s ongoing commitment to arts education and community outreach. Showcasing the work of undergraduate students from five prestigious New York area schools, the exhibition and honorariums are highly recognized in the art world and the level of talent continues to be fresh and original. Join us in supporting and welcoming these young artists.

Machine – Cassandra Zampini
On view in the West Gallery, February 2 – April 6

Cassandra Zampini is a new-media artist who transforms internet content into print and video artworks to examine the role of media in shaping our understanding of the world and our place within it. In her new series, Machine, Zampini aggregates thousands of icons, images, and texts from viral memes used as propaganda in current conflicts around the world, including Russia-Ukraine. She then isolates the figures and symbols, using repeating patterns and layers of ink, screen printed on canvas. The resulting composition is an abstract swarm of shapes and figures, devoid of their original message, but is a careful reminder of their omnipresence in our digital-first world. The work challenges the viewer’s perception of the meme as an accepted cultural language and truth, while raising awareness around the role of memes in modern conflict.


Founded in 1898, The National Arts Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts. Annually, the Club offers more than 150 free programs—both in-person and virtually—to the public, including exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, lectures and readings, attracting an audience of over 30,000 in-person visitors and thousands more online. Feature programs focus on all disciplines of the arts.

Since 2019, the Club has been undergoing a renaissance. New initiatives—such as an artist fellowship, an outdoor concert series, and online programming—have attracted new audiences. At the NAC’s landmark clubhouse, the former Samuel Tilden Mansion, efforts have been made to reimagine, renovate, and preserve the building’s galleries and historic spaces.

The NAC is also a proud community partner, providing therapeutic art instruction to children in the care of the Administration of Children’s Services, regularly convening New York City art leaders to share ideas and collaborate, presenting a popular series of concerts in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and more.

For a full list of events or to learn more, please visit nationalartsclub.org.