Category Archives: Press

RODARTE SPRING 2022 at Westbeth

Photo: Simbarashe Che for NY Times

Kate and Laura Mulleavy held their Rodarte show in the sculpture-festooned courtyard of the Westbeth Artists Housing complex, with black-and-white slip dresses trailing fronds of lace that caught just so in the breeze, neon-bright fringed frocks in constant motion and mushroom-printed silks looped up behind to billow like parachutes in the wind (plus one eye-popping black cape embroidered with a sequined image of an alien, complete with U.F.O.).”

– Vanessa Friedman. NY Times Chief Fashion Editor
Sept 12, 2021

All photos by Simbarashe Che for NY Times

Read entire article HERE

Rodarte made special mention of David Seccombe’s sculptures in their Instagram posts.

NY1 News Feature on Westbeth’s 50th Anniversary
April 13, 2021

Haven for artists celebrates 50 years with a look back at its history

PUBLISHED 6:00 AM ET Apr. 13, 2021
By Roger Clark Manhattan

Playwright, visual artist and landscape architect Christina Maile has lived in the same three-bedroom duplex apartment since 1970, when she first moved in with her then husband who is a painter. Their son was there, too, and another one on the way.
The apartment is within the Westbeth Artists’ Housing complex, developed in the late 1960s as affordable housing and studio units for artists and their families.

What You Need To Know

Westbeth Artists’ Housing was conceived in the 1960s to provide affordable housing and studios for artists and their families

It officially welcomed the first residents in 1970

It is named for the corner of West and Bethune Streets where it is located in the West Village

There is a waiting list to live in Westbeth, but the list is currently closed

It was named for West and Bethune Streets, which is just one corner of the complex that takes up a whole city block, originally made up of 13 buildings dating back to the 1860s and once home to Bell Laboratories. Maile says the neighborhood then was much different than the trendy area is has become today.
“No one knew where Westbeth was. We would have to explain to people exactly where this was located: it was dark, it was dirty, it was a lot of unconventional people and it was, in a way, kind of the perfect place to have artists’ housing,” said Maile.
Westbeth is looking back on its history in an exhibition called “Westbeth at 50,” which includes some of its notable residents and those who have shown or performed there. Among the highlights is a poster from a show of Artist Keith Haring’s work in 1981. There are also photos in the courtyard area by Frankie Alduino giving folks a glimpse of what it’s like to live and work here.
“People can come through and say, ‘I always wondered what it would be like to live at Westbeth, what does it look like?’” said Ellen Salpeter, president and CEO of Westbeth.
New residents do move into Westbeth, though the waiting list is long and currently closed. Christina Maile says it wasn’t always perfect harmony. All of these artists, musicians, and writers had to learn to live together. Looking back on her time here, she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
“Living in a community that’s vibrant and has creative people and even some of them can be maddening and can cause you a lot of irritation, but this kind of society of artists is really wonderful for someone who is an artist,” said Maile.
Westbeth says their goal is to continue this concept into the next half-century, and ensure that there remains a home for artists to create in an everchanging city.

Manhattan’s Last Home for Artists Weathers Another Storm

Wikimedia photo

Excerpts from the article in Bedford and Bowery
by Sarah Krolewski
January 12, 2021

…“Westbeth was very concerned about everything” related to COVID-19, said Walter, a sentiment echoed by many other residents. “People here are vulnerable, but I feel very taken care of.”

Residents still stop for conversations with each other, standing six feet apart, and banter with staff at the front desk. Younger Westbethers feel compassion for their older counterparts, and disputes have died down. Most of the building’s usual events have moved online, attracting a steady stream of participants. Cominskie says he feels optimistic about the current board’s ability to meet future challenges. Westbeth appointed a new CEO, Ellen Salpeter, in 2019, a change that even long-time residents, accustomed to administrative shuffling, find promising. These are hazy signs that Westbeth may continue to survive, not fade away, and that it may at last be doing something right.”

” Months into the pandemic, masks are now mandatory in every part of Westbeth, and volunteers have continued to help the building’s most vulnerable residents with errands. The work of people like Dowling and Cominskie—a coterie of advocates fiercely committed to Westbeth—has helped to bring this community back from the brink.

“The collective energy of the building has been phenomenal,” said Cominskie, reached over the phone in October. “You’re going through this horrible period, and then somebody does something incredibly sweet—and you want to cry, it’s that wonderful.”

Even in the midst of so much grief and fear, Westbeth’s artists are continuing to make art, channeling these emotions into new and compelling work.”

““Our artists are the most important thing,” said Cominskie. “Without them, it’s just another apartment complex.”

Read the entire article which features interviews with Charles Seplowin, Karen Santry, Kate Walter, and George Cominskie.

“Our artists are the most important thing,” said Cominskie. “Without them, it’s just another apartment complex.”

Read the entire article which features interviews with George Cominskie, Karen Santry, Jack Dowling, Kate Walter and Charles Seplowin.
Bedfordl and Bowery about Westbeth

WESTBETH and Hurricane Sandy: Articles written by and about Westbeth artists

A Dark and Story Night by Christina Maile, Westbeth writer, published in Mr Beller’s Neighborhood

A Dark and Stormy Night

VILLAGER article written by Villager columnist and Westbeth writer, Kate Walter

Westbeth Survives Sandy

Two articles in HypoAllergic online magazine featuring Nancy Goldring, Isabelle Borgatta and Nick Suttle.

Weathering the Storm part one
Weathering the Storm part two

An article in DNA Info feature the losses suffered by Martha Graham Dance, and westbeth artists, Christina Maile, Karen Santry, Susan Berger and Jonathan Bauch

Martha Graham Company and Westbeth artists try to save damaged works

DNA article noting the support of actor Vin Diesel who grew up at Westbeth, and PS 3 parents group who helped seniors in the aftermath of the storm.

Vin Diesel, PS 3 and Westbeth