Westbeth

Post image for Remembering the Days When Artists Could Afford Manhattan

Yesterday, Curbed NY posted a nifty map of 15 buildings in Manhattan that were originally built for artists. Ranging from projects with outside funding to artists’ cooperatives, the 15 structures mostly dot Midtown and the Upper East and West Sides, with a few outliers in the West Village. It’s fun to look at the map and reminisce about a time when artists could afford to live in the center of New York.

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Post image for Weathering the Storm: Hurricane Sandy’s Impact at Westbeth (Part Two)

Isabel Borgata is not an octogenarian: she’s 91. She’s also a sculptor who’s been working professionally for the past 70 years. Borgata is not entirely healthy — she has Parkinson’s disease — but she is clear-eyed and resolute, and continues to work everyday.

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Post image for Weathering the Storm: Hurricane Sandy’s Impact at Westbeth (Part One)

“I think nobody believed something like that could happen,” said artist Nancy Goldring. Vibrant and incredibly young looking at 68, Goldring was talking about Hurricane Sandy and the enormous flooding it caused. We were sitting in her spacious 11th-floor apartment in Westbeth, an artists’ housing community that towers over the West Side Highway. Designed by Richard Meier, Westbeth was the first artist’s colony to receive federal funds. It opened its doors in 1970, welcoming all kinds of creative types — artists, dancers, filmmakers, and musicians. Goldring, who makes elaborate photo-projection pieces through a process that involves drawing, slide projection, and photography, moved in in 1972.

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