Fresh Faces and New Spaces at NM’s Beat Nite

Reported by Sara Christoph for Norte Maar

Norte Maar, Beat Nite, Bushwick, art spaces, galleriesWhen Norte Maar began it’s Bushwick based art projects in 2006, the neighborhood was a fledgling arts community—everything was new and each endeavor was a risk. Since that time, the community has become a hotbed of art activity, and now even monolithic Manhattan galleries have begun to stake out territory. Yet the original Bushwick—a place of innovation and funky experimentation—has not been lost, and it is this energy that Norte Maar’s Jason Andrew hopes to capture in his ongoing Beat Nite event.

Beat Nite, a rambunctious event that many call part-gallery stroll, part-bar crawl, is a bi-annual event that has been around since 2009. Unlike years past, which has included upwards of 20 art spaces, this year’s installment is a deliberate effort on the part of the organizers to highlight the newest, hippest, and most alternative of spaces around.

“We wanted something that would take the night back to its roots,” explained Julian Jimarez Howard, an independent curator who organized the event with Norte Maar. He hopes the night will, “give people a taste of the new spaces that are working to present innovative and interesting things in the neighborhood.”

Five of the ten galleries included have only opened in the past year. Some, like Schema Projects, opened by artist Mary Judge and dedicated exclusively to works on paper, is still only in the closing weeks of its inaugural show.

Other brand new spaces include Auxiliary Projects, a gallery engineered to promote art even artists can afford, with not a single price tag above $300. Their third show will open this Friday in conjunction with Beat Nite, in which over 1,000 drawings by artist Adam Thompson will sprawl across the floor, up the ceiling and into overflowing filing cabinets.

Norte Maar, Auxiliary Projects, Adam Thompson

Adam Thompson at Auxiliary Projects

Weldon Arts, opened by Khari Parson in June of last year, will feature Crumbling Cities, an exhibition of work by the Baltimore street artist Nether. The jagged contouring of Nether’s wheatpasted lines are a nice counterpoint to Alberto Giacometti’s self-effacing scribbles—on view right down the street at Norte Maar. A rare comparison to be sure, it is one not to be missed. The double-sided portrait, which was the impetus for the current show Giacometti and a Selection of Contemporary Drawings, is on loan to Norte Maar from a private collection.

Norte Maar, Weldon Arts, Nether, Bushwick, street art

Nether at Weldon Arts

Every participating space is located East of Flushing, and this too was a conscious decision. Both collaborators, Jason Andrew and Julian Jimarez Howard, insisted the event be walkable, and so they kept a tight perimeter. But even within these blocks, the diversity of the art on display promises to carry on the mercurial Bushwick spirit.

Beat Nite will take place from 6 -10pm, this Friday, February 15th.  For a full list of all participating spaces, please click here.

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