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Edith Stephen

Westbeth Icons – Filmed Event evenings.

Edith Stephen

Westbeth Icons is a project that celebrates the work and life of senior Westbeth artists who continue to passionately work in their artistic field. It is funded by the Westbeth Artists Residents Council with a grant from NYC Council Speaker, Corey Johnson.

The films feature a video interview produced and directed by Ted Timreck and Terry Stoller as interviewer, as well as a video of the evening itself before a live audience and includes speeches by colleagues and the artist.

Additional Cameras: Christina Maile, Sandra Kingsbury
Lighting Design: Frankie Alduino

A filmed event of the January 18, 2018 evening honoring Edith Stephens, dancer, choreographer and filmmaker

Edith Stephen Presentation from theodore timreck on Vimeo.

A filmed event of November 19, 2017 evening honoring Jack Dowling, painter, printmaker, curator and writer.

Jack Dowling Icon Presentation 11-19-17 from theodore timreck on Vimeo.

Joan Hall Chaikin Prize

JOAN HALL is awarded the 2018 Miriam Chaikin Foundation Writing Prize

Joan Hall Chaikin Prize

The Miriam Chaikin Foundation Writing Award was established in memory of Miriam Chaikin, a longtime Westbeth resident and prolific writer. It is in her memory that the Foundation seeks to honor a member of the writing community who have created recent written works that are worth sharing across the community.

Native New Yorker Joan Hall is a pioneer in the field of collage and assemblage illustration.
Hall’s collages and assemblages have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. She was commissioned by the American Cultural Center to lecture, exhibit, and conduct workshops in France, India, Brazil, and recently lectured at The National Arts Club in New York City.
Joan illustrated “The Policeman’s Beard Is Half-Constructed”, the first book ever written by a computer with a program called Racter and published by Warner Books.
Known for her artwork, Joan has also been writing poetry since she was 8 years old, when her poem, “Spring” won best in class. She is presently illustrating a book of her own poetry.
She has been a resident of Westbeth Artist Housing in New York City since 1971.


with Mr Wau Wau
on February 16.
On March 7, CD Release Party
for “Geography”.


Friday, February 16th, 8pm
Mr Wau Wa plays the songs of Bertolt Brecht
Times like these need songs like these

Gina Leishman, vox, accordion, pump organ
Rinde Eckert, vox, pum organ, accordion
Doug Wieselman, clarinet, sax, guitar
Marcus Rojas, tuba
Kenny Wollesen, drums

Lethe Lounge
618 W 113th St
New York, New York 10025

Wednesday, March 7th, 8pm
“Geography” CD Release gig

Gina Leishman, vox, piano, mandola, bari uke
Dana Lyn, violn,
Marika hughes, cello
Greg Cohen, bass
Doug Wieselman, clarinet, sax, guitar
plus guests
Matt Munisteri, Charlie Burnham, Peter Apfelbaum, Kenny Wollesen and more

The Owl Music Parlor
497 Rogers Ave
Brooklyn, New York 11225

Gina Leishman is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and performer, British born but resident in the US since seemingly forever, having fled the goldfish bowl of Old Europe (at present she wishes she’d stayed there).
Collaborations with other artists include directors Karin Coonrod and Robert Woodruff, writers Ellen McLaughlin and Naomi Wallace, choreographers David Gordon and Deborah Slater, composer Doug Wieselman, and performance artists Rinde Eckert and John Kelly.
She leads various ensembles, including her long-standing septet Kamikaze Ground Crew, a vehicle for original composition; the Mr. Wau-Wa band, a quintet dedicated to the songs of Bertolt Brecht; and various quartets in support of her solo work.
Recordings are available on Koch Jazz, New World Records, Busmeat and GCQ Records. She is also an award-winning narrator of audio-books.

The Mr. Wau Wa band was formed in 1998 as part of a project at P.S 122 celebrating Bertolt Brecht’s centenary and is dedicated to performing the songs of Bertolt Brecht as set by his collaborators Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Paul Dessau, as well as some contemporary settings by David Hidalgo. (date, band line-up etc. in email)

“Geography” is Leishman’s fourth ‘solo’ album exploring the Leishman Songbook. Previous are “Bed Time” (2004) “In My Skin” (2007) and “Baseless Rumors” (2011). This latest recording, 12 encounters with landscapes both beloved and unknown, is a coming together of the disparate threads of Leishman’s recent life, covering the last 5 years of triangulated living – from New York to the wilds of Scotland and Northumbria and the warmth of the Mediterranean islands… (date, band line-up etc. in email)

WESTBETH ICONS PROJECT featured in The Villager

Edith Stephen

Edith Stephen

Jack Dowling

Jack Dowling

Sandra Kingsbury, the performing-artists chairperson of the Westbeth Artists Residents Council , said the goal of the Icon series is to highlight and document the history of senior artists living and working in the Westbeth community.

“We are all very aware of so many artists who have lived here and have worked right up until their deaths,” she said. “We think it’s something that keeps them going but also contributes to their production for their entire lives. There’s no retirement. That’s so awe-inspiring to the world and Westbeth has really given them this opportunity to do this. We want to celebrate that.”

Read entire article by Rebecca Fiore in THE VILLAGER here.

Jack Dowling, painter, printmaker, gallery director, and writer was the first Westbeth Icon to be honored.

Edith Stephen, dancer, choreographer and filmmaker is the second.

Edith Stephens Evening will feature a filmed interviews, short speeches by colleagues, a presentation of an Icon gift, and refreshments. Thurs January 18, 2018 at Westbeth Community Room. FREE

KATE WALTER Re-Finds Her Voice in
The Villager article about SingTime Sessions


“It was the Friday after the terrorist attack on the Hudson River bike path and I was shaken up. When I got back from work, I felt exhausted and debated whether to attend the “Sing Time Sessions,” a weekly vocal workshop I’d recently joined at Westbeth. It’s a lot of fun, so I pushed myself to go downstairs to the community room.

We’re working with a fantastic voice teacher, Eve Zanni — a neighbor in my artists’ complex — and a great piano player named Isaac Raz.

After singing and doing vocal exercises for an hour, I felt rejuvenated. That Friday, Eve suggested we stand for the closing number, dedicated to the eight victims of the Oct. 31 attack. We all rose and burst into “We Shall Overcome.” I got choked up.

I had forgotten how much I like singing and how good it makes me feel. No wonder Eve calls the group the Bliss Singers. We’re learning standards like “Blue Skies” by Berlin and Gershwin and pop classics like Carole King’s “Up on the Roof.” About 15 to 20 people show up every Friday to get our bliss on and start the weekend on a high note. When I leave the room, I feel elevated and recharged and ready to resist.”

Read entire article by Kate Walter in The Villager HERE


“Sing Time Sessions” with voice teacher, Eve Zanni, Fridays 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Westbeth Community Room, 55 Bethune St. Funded by a grant from Councilmember Corey Johnson’s Office and the Westbeth Artists Residents Council, the workshop is free and open to the public. No experience necessary.

SUSAN BERGER has 2 works included in The Ocean State Review, published at the University of Rhode Island, Vol.7, No.1

Susan Berger  “55-70 Bethune Street in Sampler Format and Using Google Earth”

Susan Berger
“55-70 Bethune Street in Sampler Format and Using Google Earth Fiber/Mixed Media – 2010
36”(w) x 40”(h)”

55-70 Bethune Street. The building where I lived and worked is called “Westbeth Artist Housing”. Across the street from Westbeth was Superior Ink Printing Company and was designed by a famous industrial architect named A.G Zimmerman. Both buildings are side by side and take on factory-like images and done in crude stitches. Another panel you have a street divided by the two buildings land/street is on one side and the Hudson River on the other side. Google Earth images of the two buildings are used. Many times Google Earth images are never removed from the Internet even though Superior Ink no longer exists.

The work is about the city, which needs old buildings because it tells us about the past, and that it should not be lost but revived; and artists tend to co-exist with the past by preserving it but not destroying it.

Susan Berger “Bon Voyage, A La Family” (A Drawing)  Weave Stitching – Fiber – Mixed Media 2013  - 40”(w) x 36”(h)

Susan Berger “Bon Voyage, A La Family” (A Drawing)
Weave Stitching – Fiber – Mixed Media
2013 – 40”(w) x 36”(h)

Bon Voyage is about cruises taken with my family or it can be with any family during the 1950s. You look in the scrapbook and see photos taken way back when. We remember the good times and hold onto those memories even though the family might no longer exist. Memories are frozen in time, and sometimes can be falsely perceived as we look back. I combine copies of the original photographs with my renditions done in weave stitching and combine fabric in a quilt-like pattern, which gives its own patina.

The Ocean State Review is a yearly print journal. For more info:

Jack Dowling

Jack Dowling – painter, printmaker , and writer was named the
first Westbeth Icon. See video of the celebratory evening on Nov 19, 2017.

Jack Dowling

Jack Dowling

Westbeth Icons is a project sponsored by Westbeth Artists Residents Council from a grant provided by NYC Councilperson Corey Johnson.

The project seeks to celebrate Westbeth’s senior artists who continue to produce work and in so doing provide inspiration for us all.

The first Westbeth Icon is Jack Dowling, who in addition to his painting, and printmaking, and writing short stories for the Hamilton Stone Review, among others, served also as the Westbeth Gallery Director for over 12 years. In that capacity he helped numerous artists with hanging their shows, curating their work, and writing letters of support to grant-giving cultural organizations.

On November 19, 2017, was an evening of celebration. It consisted of a filmed interview by Terry Stoller, heart-felt speeches by Beverly Brodsky, Jayne Holsinger, William Kennon, Christina Maile, and Jack’s brother, Douglas. The evening ended with a presentation of a Tiffany pen from Westbeth Artists Residents Council President, Geo Cominskie.

A video of the evening was filmed by Ted Timreck and Christina Maile, and edited by Tim Timreck


KARIN BATTEN at June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street, NYC, “Celebrating 30 Years”, Gallery Artists, Drawings and Photography, from December 21, 2017 to January 30th, 2018.

THE GIFT Karin Batten

THE GIFT Karin Batten

The many different materials I use create complex and poetic works layered with meaning of open seas and land.
I play organic shapes against geometric patterns. Some forms are scraped and layered while others are fully present. I work spontaneously and intuitively.
Since I moved to New York City I have been fascinated by the scale of its buildings, reminiscent of mountains and deep valleys. The seemingly fragmented city merges into one cohesive unit, that needs the collective in order to continue to evolve, grow, and prosper. However, it is not until the many layers, textures, strokes and colors intertwine that the composition comes into focus and the true magnificence of New York City’s skyline and terrain is captured.

More info on Karin Batten HERE</strong>

Karin Batten and Christina Maile featured in the Spring 2018 print edition of San Francisco Peace and Hope Journal

THE GIFT Karin Batten

THE GIFT Karin Batten

San Francscio Peace and Hope is a literary journal devoted to poetry and visual art.

The current political climate is one of the most unsettling in the history of our country. Politicians throw words around carelessly and dangerously – and this year Trumpism has brought forth a sad new model.

The fact is, words matter. Images matter. If anyone understands this, it is the poet and the artist. We need words and images that pave the way for evolution; words and images that can be part of history, that one hundred, two hundred, one thousand years into the future, people will look back on and be inspired.

HISTORY OF THE WORLD Part 1 Christina Maile

HISTORY OF THE WORLD Part 1 Christina Maile

At SF Peace and Hope we believe that the most important moment is now. How shall we use this moment in time? We need to choose carefully. Every word, every image, every action makes an impact for ourselves and the world. With a creative act there is always a new beginning, always a fresh hope when a poem or painting is created.
– Editor, Elizabeth Hack