by Sara Christoph for Norte Maar
Navigating tight quarters is second nature for any New Yorker. We bunk-up in studio apartments, do the sardine dance in subway cars, and barrel down the maddening sidewalks of Midtown. Last Friday in Bushwick was no different, and as Beat Nite: Limited Edition unfolded, droves of people filed in and out of some of the city’s tiniest—yet perhaps most spirited—art spaces.
“It had to be one of the most memorable moments I have experienced in the neighborhood,” proclaimed Jason Andrew, the architect of the night. “From the terrific curation of the spaces, to all the spaces pulling together to help promote the night, to all the amazing people that attended, the night was just terrific. And then to have us all come together for the afterparty with PassKontrol, it was all quite special.”
At the newly minted Auxiliary Projects, the gallery had the highest attendance in its history. With such a crowd, things were bound to get a little crazy. “I think the absinthe punch that Pernod donated contributed to the insanity,” co-owner Jennifer Dalton admitted. But even when a few of Adam Thompson’s drawings were knocked off the wall, they simply swept up the glass and hung up two more.
The revelry continued at Airplane, where gallery co-owner Kevin Curran was delighted to see so many new faces. Curran praised Beat Nite as a way to widen the Bushwick art audience. “When we support one another,” he explained, “we broaden the community and more people can see the work of the artists we love.”
Julian Jimarez-Howard, Beat Nite’s curator, also spoke of the sense of kinship that arose throughout the night. “Several people I spoke to at the after party felt like it was one of the first Beat Nites to be raw and interesting,” he said, “where the artists and gallery owners came out together afterward.” Perhaps such camaraderie blossomed earlier in the night, at OUTLET’s one-night performance “The Heart of Lulu.” As artist Lulu Obermayer wooed gallery goers into the folds of her open heart, “the energy really peaked” Jimarez-Howard recalled.
Microscope reported such a large turn out they decided to stay open even later—until almost 11pm. According to partners Andrea Monti and Elle Burchill, the greatest attribute of the night was the community built between the various types of people out and about. They spoke of how a group of younger Bushwick kids, probably 10 or 11 years old, wandered into the gallery to look around. Intrigued, the youngsters questioned the artist, Amos Poe, on his motivations and painting techniques, and the entire room fell silent to listen in on the conversation. Such dialogues serve as reminders that the Bushwick art scene, though often described as the frontier of the New York art world, is situated amidst a neighborhood that has been established for generations.
Later at the afterparty at the new cabaret style bar Bizarre, local band PassKontrol took to the floor with some great songs further united all that attended. PassKontrol’s lead singer Oliver Ralli recaps the amazing night:
There was a really good vibe in the air. Lots of familiar faces from the neighborhood, and I got the chance to connect with some new folks too. Our show had a great feeling of looseness to it. Stomp on the floor, shout in the mic, watch people dance and sing after just having seen a bunch of art. That’s pretty cool in my book. I could tell that everyone in our crew was feeling happy during and after the show.
Check out these other articles recapping the Beat Nite experience:
A Tour of Bushwick’s Gallery Nite in Six-Second Clips, by Terri Ciccone, ARTINFO, Feb 20