Snug Harbor Announces Three New Art Exhibitions at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art:

Kathy Westwater: PARK Ephemera
Julia Forrest: Transcendence
Here We Are: Young, Black, and Indigenous Women in the Art World

August 17, 2022 | Staten Island, NY— Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is excited to announce three new visual art exhibitions at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in Buildings C & G: Kathy Westwater: PARK Ephemera, Julia Forrest: Transcendence, and Here We Are: Young, Black, and Indigenous Women in the Art World. Visitors can learn more about the exhibitions at

The new exhibitions will launch on August 20, 2022 at the Opening Day Party from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM at the Newhouse Center. Admission to the Opening Day Party is on a sliding scale, with $5-10 suggested. The artwork will be on view through December 31, 2022. As a special bonus, Opening Day Party attendees will experience a performance of The Collapsing Duets choreographed by Kathy Westwater, with dancers Ilona Bito, Marisa Clementi, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Glenn Potter-Takata, Rakia Seaborn, Nathalia Trogdon, Alexander Romania, and Lu Yim and live music by Sean Meehan. Register for the Opening Day Party at

“We are incredibly excited to announce our fall Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art exhibition calendar,” said Melissa West, Snug Harbor’s Vice President of Curation, Visual and Performing Arts. “We have worked with Kathy Westwater on PARK Ephemera for several years, elevating an important conversation around adaptive reuse sites and the relationship we have with our refuse. This innovative exhibition serves as an archive for Westwater’s long-term embodied and choreographic research at Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island while it transitions into parkland. Transcendence and Here We Are both explore representations of women and women of color in the art world via an array of visual media. We invite visitors to experience Snug Harbor through these inventive portrayals, which ideally will spark curiosity, discussion, and reflection.”

Kathy Westwater: PARK Ephemera

With PARK Ephemera, choreographer Kathy Westwater presents a collection of work emerging from PARK, her nearly fifteen-year choreographic inquiry into the site of the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, New York. Once the largest landfill in the world, the site is currently being transformed into a public park, a transition that Westwater has closely witnessed through her dance, somatic, and material practice.

Mining her current and previous years of accumulated research at the site, PARK Ephemera is a time-capsule of past performances and an earlier era of environmental remediation, presented as the first portion of parkland opens to the public in Spring 2023. The work explores how environmental trauma, grief, and complicity can be collectively processed through the physical body and through dance. As a living archive, the exhibition brings together material spanning installation, sculpture, photography, video, poetry, and performance. With an eye to Fresh Kills’ hybrid composition of discarded, engineered, and natural materials, the exhibition engages embodied forms of making, unmaking, and making again.

As we continue to create landfills and sites like them, overwhelming the earth, Westwater probes the capacity of art to interrupt the individual and shared everyday rituals of throwing things away, to consider their destination. PARK Ephemera brings audiences into an intimate dialogue with waste matter, to imagine collective futures of regeneration.

Collaborating artists who have contributed to this work include: architect/visual artist Seung Jae Lee, photographers Anja Hitzenberger and Marina Zamalin, poet Jennifer Scappettone, videographers Mark Robison and Alexander Romania, musicians Sean Meehan and Tamio Shiraishi, and performers Ilona Bito, Marisa Clementi, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Alexander Romania, Rakia Seaborn, Stacy Lynn Smith, Glenn Potter-Takata, Nathalia Trogden, and Lu Yim, among others.

Kathy Westwater, described by the New Yorker as “an unconventional choreographer experiencing a surge of recognition” has choreographically pursued radical dance forms since 1996. Her work responds to the social landscape in which it manifests, often by taking up our most challenging experiences such as pain, as in her Bessie-nominated work Rambler, Worlds A Part (2019). With other major works she has explored the built environments of monuments (Anywhere, 2016) and landfills and parks (PARK, 2009-present); war and pain (Macho, 2008); intersections of human and animal culture (twisted, tack, broken, 2005); psycho-physical states of fear (Dark Matter, 2002); and interactive virtual environments (The Fortune Cookie Dance, 1999). Westwater is the recipient of the 2017 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography, the first woman to receive the prize. She was born in Virginia, grew up in Kentucky, and lives in the Bronx, NYC.

Julia Forrest: Transcendence

Using film photography and no digital manipulation, Julia Forrest poses nymph-like women in landscapes. Through mirrors, reflections, and forced perspective, Forrest creates an illusion in front of the lens. In Transcendence, a solo exhibition featuring new work by Forrest, seemingly docile subjects possess a mysterious power to move the landscape at will. Changing shape and scale, they pick up parts of the landscape while transforming it completely.

Julia Forrest is a Brooklyn based artist. She works strictly in film and prints in a darkroom she built within her apartment. Her own art has always been her top priority in life and in this digital world, she will continue to work with old processing. Anything can simply be done in photoshop, she prefers to take the camera, a tool of showing reality, and experiment with what she can do in front of the lens. Julia is currently working as a teaching artist at the Brooklyn Museum, Abrons Art Center, and USDAN Center. As an instructor, she thinks it is important to understand that a person can constantly stretch and push the boundaries of their ideas with whatever medium of art s/he chooses. Her goal is for her audience to not only enjoy learning about photography, but to see the world in an entirely new way and continue to develop a future interest in the arts.

Here We Are: Young, Black, and Indigenous Women in the Art World 

Here We Are: Young, Black, and Indigenous Women in the Art World is a showcase of five New York-based woman artists who share their art as an extension of themselves. Featuring work by Jaclyn Burke, Ify Chiejina, Jodi Dareal, Debbie Roxx, and Arrianna Santiago and curated by Shawnakay Salmon, Here We Are explores aspects of culture and identity, while centering the experiences of young, Black, and Indigenous artists working in a field where they rarely see themselves reflected.

All three exhibitions are made possible through generous support from the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

PARK is created with the support of a 2020-21 PASS/CUNY Dance Initiative residency at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden and the College of Staten Island made possible through generous lead support from the Howard Gilman Foundation, with additional support from the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Snug Harbor is a proud partner with the CUNY Dance Initiative.

PARK is supported by Dance/NYC’s Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund in 2020 & 2022; and, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and the FCA Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund. It is developed as part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center Residency program. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, and by The Freshkills Park Alliance.

Theatrical performances of PARK are commissioned by Gibney and curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa as part of the organization’s Gibney Presents series for the 2022-23 Season. This commission includes financial, residency, administrative, and production support.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY and is open from dawn until dusk, seven days a week.  General admission to the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art is $5 ($4 for students/seniors, free for Snug Harbor members and students grades 6-12 with student ID).  Hours for August 20 – December 31, 2022 are Friday – Saturday from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

About Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is where art, history and nature converge. We offer dynamic programming in the arts, horticulture and agriculture for diverse communities and all ages, on our historic 83-acre campus. We envision being a locally impactful, globally renowned destination, true to our values of artistic vibrancy and community, inclusion and discovery, stewardship and conservation.

Snug Harbor is the result of more than four decades of restoration and development to convert a 19th-century charitable rest home for sailors into a regional arts center, botanical gardens and public park.  One of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America, Snug Harbor encompasses 26 historic structures, 14 botanical gardens, a 2.5-acre urban farm, wetlands, forests and park land on a free, open campus.  Snug Harbor is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate organization. Learn more at

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Meredith Sladek
(718) 425-3515