Credit: Roger Braimon
With a wide range of public events and exhibitions, Westbeth offers something for all types of art, architecture, and history enthusiasts
Westbeth announced today their 2023 fall programming, featuring an iconic puppet installation, a jazz orchestra performance in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and a group show about “Dads” who make art. A packed lineup of various Westbeth artist exhibitions, public events, guided tours, and performances, offers something for every visitor to enjoy. Programming is supported by the Westbeth Artists Residents Council (WARC), who coordinate with Westbeth artists and residents to offer dynamic, accessible, and engaging public programming within the iconic West Village community.
“Since 1970, Westbeth has been home to talented artists, and each season we look forward to spotlighting their works and our community to the public through our programming,” said Peter Madden, Executive Director of Westbeth Artists Housing. “With a wide variety of offerings, including performances, gallery exhibitions, puppet shows, and studio tours, we invite those outside our walls to come in and experience the inspiring energy of Westbeth.”
“The Westbeth Artists Residents Council has been working tirelessly to grow our presence with world-class programming, not only for the resident artists here at Westbeth, but for the city at large,” said Erin Quinn Purcell, President of the Westbeth Artists Residents Council. “We’re incredibly excited about what we have to offer and encourage visitors to join us this fall for a myriad of free and engaging events!”
The robust public programming at Westbeth is offered to the public, free of charge. Whether visitors take in a gallery exhibition by one of its many talented residents, enjoy a musical performance in their community room, or experience the wonder and history of the storied institution on a guided tour of the building, Westbeth’s fall programming offers a wide variety of experiences for all ages.
Fall 2023 Programming:
A full schedule of events and visitation information can be found at https://westbeth.org/events/
The Westbeth Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1-6 p.m. and is free for all visitors.
Ralph Lee Installation in Westbeth Inner Courtyard
For years, Ralph Lee installed puppet pageantry in the windowed alcove of the Westbeth inner courtyard. They were quarterly installations of puppets, masks, small and large figures which sometimes referenced current events or the change of seasons but were mostly evocative allusions to mythology, fairy tales, and magic. Ralph was a Westbeth Icon, the founder of the Village Halloween Parade, artistic director of the Mettawee River Theater Company, and actor with the Open Theater. The current installation was created by Ralph in April 2023 a few weeks prior to his passing.
Ken Wade: Selected Retrospective
September 7 – September 28
Ken Wade moved into Westbeth Artist Housing on January 1, 1970 where the artist has lived and worked for 53 years. This September, Wade will be opening a one-person Selective Retrospective with drawings, paintings, and sculptures dating from 1964 to the present.
Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra Celebrating Hispanic History Month
September 19, 7pm
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the sounds of the Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra featuring Sofia Tosello.
West Side Fest Events at Westbeth
Penny Jones & Co Puppets
Saturday, Sept 30, 11am, Westbeth Community Room
For 50 years Penny Jones & Co. have been performing Old-Time interactive puppet theatre in an informal space for young children. Classic Tales and Fables is an excellent introduction to the theatre and puppets. With lots of participation, fun and games, and Mother Goose Rhymes. A hit for generations. with Jack the Pied Piper and that silly little dog Toby.
And make a simple puppet to take home after the show.
Westbeth Open Studios
Saturday, Sept 30, 1–5pm, Register at 155 Bank Street
Westbeth artists will be hosting open studio tours of their work/live spaces.
Saturday Sept 30, 1pm -5pm, Outer Courtyard
Visitors can peruse different vendors selling art, crafts, baked goods, and vintage wears in the Westbeth outer courtyard. The market will feature some of Westbeth’s most notable artists, as well as live music from Westbeth musicians..
Solo Cabaret with Lama el-Homaissi
Location: Joe’s Pub, October 14, 7pm, LINK
Lama El Homaïssi returns to Joe’s Pub with a debut of her solo cabaret, Not Harem Material, in which she weaves storytelling and music to immerse audiences in a multi-sensory chronicle of her experiences as a Lebanese, immigrant actor in the United States. Delivering a performance that is provocative, funny, and touching, Lama reflects on notions of identity, authenticity, and home all while playfully confronting monolithic Middle Eastern tropes in Western media. Not Harem Material is presented as part of Artistic Freedom Initiative’s Beautiful Forms: Queer Art Unbound festival.
Lama is an actor, singer, and writer and is currently in residence at the Safe Haven Incubator for Musicians, a residency program run by AFI, Tamizdat and Westbeth Artists Housing. She was also a member of the 2022-2023 Joe’s Pub Working Group as well as a SPACE on Ryder Farm resident in 2022.
Not Harem Material was developed with generous support from Joe’s Pub, Westbeth Artists Housing, and Artistic Freedom Initiative
Beautiful Forms: Queer Art Unbound is a celebration of the extraordinary queer artists and fierce allies who are fundamental to the fight for artistic freedom worldwide.
Alejandro de la Guerra
October 20 – 6pm – Westbeth Community Room
Presentation of a series of Tik Toks about being an immigrant artist in New York City
Film Screenings with Sahraa Karimi
November 13 & November 17 – Westbeth Community Room
November 13 screening:
“Afghan Women Behind the Wheel,” 2019, 56 min.
Sahraa Karimi’s award winning documentary, will be followed by a moderated discussion with the film’s Director Sahraa Karmini and Westbeth’s Hilary Brougher about filmmaking as an act of activism for women’s rights in Afghanistan. Reception to follow.
The desire for freedom is basic to human nature all over the world. For Afghan women, driving is key to personal freedom. But is Afghan society prepared for women behind the wheel?
In “Afghan Women Behind the Wheel,” Director Sahraa Karimi, born and raised in Kabul, follows several Afghan women trying to get their drivers’ licenses. In her interviews, Sahraa discovers their motivations, and desires which are often determined by their age, social status and family backgrounds. She taps into their lives and dreams, discusses religion and family traditions, and explores their journey toward personal freedom. Set in the streets of Kabul, the film is a fascinating portrait of society in which dreams contrast with reality and the present day meets culture of 4000 years ago.
November 17 screening:
Sahraa Karmini’s award-winning first feature film, “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha,”was filmed entirely in Kabul with Afghan actors and is the last film made in Afghanistan before the return of the Taliban. Premiering at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, the film has won numerous awards and was Afghanistan’s entry for the 2019 Academy Awards.
Three Afghan women from different social backgrounds living in Kabul, are each facing a big challenge. Hava, a traditional pregnant woman whom no one cares about, lives with her in-laws and finds her only joy in talking to the baby in her belly. Maryam, an educated TV news reporter, is about to get a divorce from her unfaithful husband, but then finds out she is pregnant. 18 year-old Ayesha, accepts that she must marry her cousin when her boyfriend disappears after learning she is pregnant.
The screening will be followed by an audience Q&A with the filmmaker about the current situation of Afghan artists, and filmmakers in particular.
Afghan folk music by Ahmed Fanoos
November 10 – 7:30pm at the New School/Mannes School of Music
An evening of new and traditional Afghan folk music by the Fanoos Ensemble
JAMES GORTNER – DADS – GROUP SHOW
October 4 – October 29 – Westbeth Gallery
This is a show about “Dads” who make art, working across all mediums from painting and sculpture to performance and video. This show has included Dads of all kinds to umbrella the term as those who can identify with their own idea of what a dad can be. Though all the Dads in this show have been profoundly affected by their experience as Dad, their work may not directly show it.
FALL FLEA MARKET
November 7 – Westbeth Courtyard – Market starts at 11 a.m.
Westbeth’s biannual flea market is a popular event particularly for shoppers interested in deals on Westbeth residents’ artwork.
WESTBETH WINTER SHOW GROUP SHOW 2023
November 11 – December 16 – Westbeth Gallery
This annual group show celebrates all Westbeth’s visual artists, presenting in one show 70 to 80 different practices through one artwork.
Founded in 1970, Westbeth Artists Housing is a nonprofit housing and commercial complex dedicated to providing affordable living and working space for artists and arts organizations in New York City. The Richard Meier-designed complex located on West and Bethune Streets in the heart of the West Village has provided 383 units of affordable housing and studio space since it opened 51 years ago. Over the course of its history, Westbeth has been home to a number of influential artists, musicians and performers, and played an important role in supporting and sustaining the creative community in New York and beyond.