Just Do Art, Week of April 3, 2014 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Just Do Art, Week of April 3, 2014

Thomas McAnulty’s “On the Wall” (public art installation, 180" wide x 50" tall, charcoal drawing). On view through April 10, at Carter Burden Gallery, which features emerging older artists.  COURTESY OF THE ARTIST & CARTER BURDEN GALLERY
Thomas McAnulty’s “On the Wall” (public art installation, 180″ wide x 50″ tall, charcoal drawing). On view through April 10, at Carter Burden Gallery, which features emerging older artists. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST & CARTER BURDEN GALLERY

THE CARTER BURDEN GALLERY
The Carter Burden Center for the Aging promotes the well-being of individuals 60 and older through direct social services, advocacy and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. A few years back, they broadened the scope of their mission statement by helping to promote the work of NYC’s re-emerging older professional artists. Today, The Carter Burden Gallery (formerly Gallery 307) has staked its claim as a unique presence in the Chelsea gallery district.

Currently on display in the East Gallery, “Drawings & Sculpture” is the first Carter Burden solo show from Charles Ramsburg. Created in response to the artist’s woodland walks in the Adirondacks, the charcoal reductionist drawings “explores his interest in the complexities of dimensionality and spatial contradictions”—while the sculptures (a collection of “Pathing Sticks”) examine the walking staff’s esoteric and functional history.

Katherine D. Crone’s “Overflow” (16" tall x 5" x5", acrylic plastic, pigment print on Usuyo Gampi, nylon microfilament) is part of the “Looking Beyond” group photography show (through April 10, at Carter Burden Gallery).  COURTESY OF THE ARTIST & CARTER BURDEN GALLERY
Katherine D. Crone’s “Overflow” (16″ tall x 5″ x5″, acrylic plastic, pigment print on Usuyo Gampi, nylon microfilament) is part of the “Looking Beyond” group photography show (through April 10, at Carter Burden Gallery). COURTESY OF THE ARTIST & CARTER BURDEN GALLERY

In the West Gallery, Sara Petitt has curated “Looking Beyond” — a show of six photographers whose “recognizable and esoteric” works explore transformations, creations and elusive realities. Also in the gallery, Thomas McAnulty’s “On the Wall,” is a large-scale charcoal drawing that questions the “subtle and complex” relationship we form with often overlooked things to which we are deeply connected.

Through April 10, at 548 W. 28th St. (#534, btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Gallery Hours: Tues.-Fri., 11am-5pm and Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 212-56-8405 or visit carterburdengallery.com. 

THEATER: LADY FROM LIMERICK
Like so many others, she left Ireland to reinvent herself in New York City. But Kathleen Kelly Cregan was no turn-of-the-century immigrant determined to escape a hardscrabble existence. The 2005 visitor to our shores was lured (recruited, really) by a doctor who’d been sued by numerous unsatisfied clients. A victim of botched plastic surgery, Cregan was removed from life support on St. Patrick’s Day.

The cast of “Lady From Limerick” — at Theater for the New City, through April 20.  PHOTO BY BOB GIGLIONE
The cast of “Lady From Limerick” — at Theater for the New City, through April 20. PHOTO BY BOB GIGLIONE

Journalist Claude Solnik — a 1990s contributor to The Villager and its sister publication, Downtown Express — was compelled to write this fictionalized account “because I was moved and because I wanted to try to prevent her tragedy from being forgotten.” The play’s co-producers also have a personal stake in raising awareness about the impact of medical errors on both victims and family members: Michael DeLuise only found out about his doctor’s many problems after cataract surgery gone bad, while Ilene Corina lost her son after he went in for a tonsillectomy (which prompted her to found PULSE of NY, a patient advocacy group).

To further advance public debate on the play’s subject matter, five Talkback sessions will be held, immediately following certain performances. On April 10, William Liss-Levinson, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer of Castle Connolly (a website that helps in the search for top doctors), leads the discussion. April 12’s conversation features Randi Redmond Oster. The author of “Questioning Protocol,” she founded the group “Empowered Patients. Improved Outcomes” after caring for her elderly parents and a son with Crohn’s disease. For the full schedule: theaterforthenewcity.net.

“The Lady from Limerick” is performed Thurs.-Sat., April 10-12 & 17-19 at 8pm. Sun., April 13 & 20 at 3pm. At Theater for the New City (155 First Ave. btw. 9th & 10th Sts.). For tickets ($15, $10 for students/seniors), call 212-254-1109 or visit theaterforthenewcity.net.

THE SECOND ANNUAL DOWNTOWN LITERARY FESTIVAL
After last year’s well-attended and wordy (in a good way) inaugural event, McNally Jackson Books and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe are once again collaborating on the Downtown Literary Festival — a daylong celebration showcasing the literature and writers of New York City (with a focus on Downtown diversity and creativity). This year, the festival has expanded to three locations and has added children’s programming.

The opening party (6-8pm) happens on Fri., April 10, at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (HWBC). Ryan Chapman and Jason Diamond will DJ, and there will be free drinks (while they last). On Sunday, festival events at Bowery Poetry Club (BPC) and HWBC begin on the hour and last 45 minutes — allowing attendees just enough time to book it to the next nearby venue.

The Downtown Literary Festival has more books than you can shake a Noon at.   PHOTO BY BEOWULF SHEEHAN
The Downtown Literary Festival has more books than you can shake a Noon at. PHOTO BY BEOWULF SHEEHAN

At 11am, at BPC, “Natives and Newcomers: How Open Is New York City?” brings together Teju Cole, Hari Kunzru and Katie Kitamura for a discussion about the extent to which non-native New Yorkers can ever truly call the city their home. At noon, HWBC is the setting for “The Greatest 3-Minute Bad Apartment Stories” — a rapid-fire collection of horrible experiences with bad roommates, bed bugs, broker fees and slumlords. Maggie Serota, Sari Botton, Bob Powers, Jen Doll and Tyler Coates are among the intense and concise storytellers. Volume 1 Brooklyn’s Tobias Carroll hosts.

Other events include visual presentations from Gabrielle Bell, MK Reed and Julia Wertz on the role NY’s cityscape has played in graphic stories (“Graphically New York: The City as Character,” 1pm at HWBC. At 2pm’s “Slaughterhouse 90210: Downtown Movies Edition” (also at HWBC), Maris Kreizman — creator of the blog and book-to-be “Slaughterhouse 90210” — talks about the intersection of New York City movies and literature. She’s joined by storytellers including Katie Heaney and Teddy Wayne.

At BPC, at 2pm, the festival follows up 2013’s Frank O’Hara-themed installment of “The City Drifting” by focusing on the work of Alice Notley — this year’s choice for a featured poet who epitomizes Downtown literary culture. Timothy Donnelly, Lynne Melnick, John Godfrey, Stacy Szymaszek, Erika Caufmanmand Patricia Spears Jones are among those who will read a cherished poem by Notley. At 3pm, HWBC hosts “Closing Time: Stories of Shuttered New York City Venues.” Writers and musicians including Stacey D’Erasmo, Nelson George, Porochista Khakpour and Marc Spitz will revisit some of our ever-changing town’s fondly remembered DIY spaces, concert halls and arenas.

Concurrent with that event, BPC takes a different approach to assessing the human cost of progress. “The Tale of Two Cities: Richard Price and Francine Prose in Conversation” has these born-and-bred New Yorkers assessing the collateral damage of turning dirty and dangerous old Downtown into a zone that “no longer resembles the affordable, inclusive and diverse enclave it used to be.”

At 4pm, at HWBC, what will become a perennial festival event — “NYC Through the Decades” — launches with a focus on the 1950s. The panelists are David Gilbert (on Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”), Amor Towles (on Robert Franks’ “The Americans” photographs) and David Goodwillie (on Delmore Schwartz).

Beginning at 10:30am, McNally Jackson Books will host four events custom-made for the juice box set. First up: “Baby and Kids Storytime and Singalong” (ages 0–4) has Amy Virginia Buchanan and Jo Firestone bringing a distinctly Downtown flair to their Storytime event (see amyvirginia.com updates on their weekly Wednesday gig, 10:30am, at HWBC). At 11am, “The Joshua Show” features Joshua Holden and his cast of puppet friends. Kids ages 4-8 will get a fast-paced primer on the genres of urban funk, blues, honky tonk and calypso genres — when Amelia Robinson plays interactive songs from the Mil’s Trills debut album “Everyone Together Now.” Village resident Greg Foley (the author/illustrator of “Willoughby & the Lion” and “Willoughby & the Moon”) is the guest for “Storytime With Rafael Jefferson” (at noon, perfect for ages 5-8).

Also throughout the day at McNally Jackson, adults can get literary advice from Charles Bock, Fiona Maazel, Katie Roiphe and Adam Wilson—while Rosie Schapp pairs your reading list with thematically appropriate drinks. Then, rebel against the brave new age of the selfie, by popping into the Photo Booth to pose with your favorite book.

Sun., April 13, from 10am-5pm at three venues: Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, btw. Bleecker & Houston Sts.), Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby St., btw. Prince & Houston Sts.) and McNally Jackson Books (52 Prince St., btw.  Lafayette & Mulberry Sts.). The after party (5pm) happens at Von Bar (3 Bleecker St., btw. Bowery & Elizabeth Sts.). For event info, visit downtownliteraryfestival.org. Also visit mcnallyjackson.com and housingworks.org/events.

—  by Scott Stiffler