Past Events

NON GRATA’s Diverse Universe

December 12, 2015

Diverse Universe, an ongoing performance art festival led by NON GRATA, the notorious Estonian performance art collective, is coming to Gowanus Ballroom! The festival features an impressive lineup of local and international performance artists, as well as visual and sound artists. Diverse Universe has been touring around the world non-stop since 2005, including most recently a tour of the United States and Mexico.

Gowanus Ballroom is pleased to host the tour’s triumphant return to NYC on Saturday, December 12, 2015. The day’s program consists of live performance art, experimental electronic and noise music, and a visual exhibition with works for sale. Additionally, NON GRATA will be hosting performance art workshops throughout the day. Please contact to register. Workshop participants will present their performance as part of the main event that evening.

Diverse Universe at Gowanus Ballroom
Saturday, December 12, 2015
10am–4pm – Performance Art Workshops
5–7pm – Visual Art Exhibition Reception
7–9pm – Performance Section 1
9–11pm – Performance Section 2
11pm–12am – Performance Section 3: NON GRATA and WILD TORUS
12–2am – Audiovisual Performances


Featuring Live Performance by:
Non-Grata (Estonia)
Peter Rosvik  (Finland)
Alex Romania  (NYC)
Geraldo Mercado (NYC/Puerto Rico)
Chris Carlone (NYC)
Sherry Aliberti and The Cocoon Project (NYC/PA)
Hector Canonge
Anrrea Dune (New Jersey/Ecuador)
Andrew Braddock (NYC)
David Ian Griess (NYC)
Jenna Kline (NYC)
Helios Circuit (Oklahoma)
Danny Gonzalez (Oklahoma/Puerto Rico)
Michael Wilson (Oklahoma)

Sound and multimedia performance:
Jonas Bers (New York)
Spreaders (New York)
Natalia Steinbach (NYC) with guests including Alex Cohen
The Strange Walls (NYC)
Blood Flames (NYC)

Visual exhibition featuring works in print, photo and video by:
Non Grata (Estonia)
Wild Torus (NYC)
Anonymous Boh (Estonia)
Narcissister  (NYC)
Miles Pflanz  (NYC)
Danny Gonzalez  (Oklahoma)
Michael Wilson  (Oklahoma)
Helios Circuit  (Oklahoma)
Ott Piibeman (Estonia)
Kasper Rabby (Estonia)
Hannes Paldrok (Estonia)

NON GRATA’S DIVERSE UNIVERSE NYC 2015 is organized and curated by Wild Torus and Non Grata, and facilitated by Gowanus Ballroom, Special thanks to George Sferra and Josh Young.

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Ryan Burns: Remembered Loss
Gowanus Open Studios @ Gowanus Ballroom

What traces do we have of forests lost to deforestation? Of centuries-old trees downed by natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy? For Gowanus Open Studios 2015, Gowanus Ballroom presented an unsettling body of work created by artist Ryan Burns as a fitting memento mori.

Burns’ large-scale tree stump rubbings on reclaimed billboard paper and recycled architectural plans, are life-size and, therefore, often huge—some as large as 16-feet-tall. Despite their size, they remain intimate and haunting in their particular details. Viewers are confronted by a gallery of individualized loss—each rubbing bears the growth rings and textures of a single tree stump and shows the literal void left by their demise. The work marks a somber realization of what is truly finite in our world and prods us to consider how we reckon with such destruction.

Ryan Burns: Remembered Loss
Gowanus Open Studios @ Gowanus Ballroom

+Fri 10/16, 7-10pm

+Sat 10/17, Noon-10pm
+Sun 10/18, Noon-5pm

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A new abstraction from Brooklyn and beyond, at the Gowanus Ballroom.


Julia Sinelnikova. "Changing Heart" (detail), 2015

Rule is a rule until broken. Borrowed Paths, Broken Rules seeks the locus of abstract art in 2015, and finds it on the periphery. Artists straddle once clear lines, experimenting through gesture, testing surface, pushing the boundaries of form. We find the abstract where we may not expect to, sprouting in the beds of other isms. From diverse histories, artists plot new paths, mapping an abstract journey.


Miya Ando
Ron Gorchov
Sophie Hirsch
Julia Sinelnikova
Tony Toscani
Lala Abaddon
Tom Otterness
Nyssa Frank
Serban Ionescu
Alex Nero
Olga Sophie Kauppinen
James English Leary
Richard Berardino
Jeanne Liotta
Peter Missing

Alex Nero. "Day 205", 2013

Alessandra Norman
Max Galyon
Adehla Lee
Sam Sieger
Zahra Nazari

Christian Ruiz Berman
Ewelina Bochenska
Emily Kiacz
Evan Peelle
Bruno Smith
Shura Skaya


Curated by George Sferra, Josh Young, Evan Peelle, and Jonah Emerson-Bell.

Performance schedule:
Saturday, July 25th
Panoply Performance Lab
7:00pm - Will McEvoy’s Curriculum Quextet
8:00pm - Pendulum Swings
9:00pm - Matthew Silver
9:30pm - Pendulum Swings
10:30pm - Platnumb Hits
11:30pm - Outlaw Ritual

Saturday, August 1st
9:00pm - Big Vocano
10:00pm - Morgan O’Kane
11:00pm - Banji

July 25th–August 1

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A delirious evening of riotous music, dazzling acrobatics, and amazing photography to celebrate the launch of Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture and Creativity by Oriana Lackert.

Featuring performances by:
Hungry March Band
Morgan O’Kane

Batala NYC
Stefan Zeniuk
The Artist Formerly Known as Anya Sapozhnikova

and others from House of Yes, Big Sky Works, the Muse, and more

A group show featuring the fantastic Brooklyn Spaces photographers:
Maximus Commissar
Alix Piorun
Walter Wlodarczyk
Kit Crenshaw
Tod Seelie
Julie Roberts
Shannon Carroll
Michael Blase
Irene Remi Pann
Jon Handel

ALSO – Food trucks, booze, books for sale, surprises, and of course, good times!

Take a sneak peak at the book with Bushwick Daily’s interview of Oriana Leckert. 

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HONK NYC & Gowanus Open Studios Gala

Gowanus Ballroom
October 17–19, 2014

Performances and Gala Friday, October 17, 7pm
$10 in advance (pre-sale via kickstarter) / $15 at the door

Film screening
Saturday, October 18, 6:30pm
Queen directed by Enrico Cullen 

Gowanus Ballroom proudly hosted, for the second year in a row, a combined celebration of HONK NYC and Gowanus Open Studios!

HONK NYC 2014 was the 8th annual return of brass and percussion ensembles from the U.S. and Europe to New York. There were events at venues throughout the city from October 13th–18th, and we were very pleased to host a killer lineup of music on Friday, October 17th.

That same date, we saluted our artist friends and neighbors from Gowanus with a gala celebration to kick off the Gowanus Open Studios weekend. Visitors enjoyed an exciting exhibition of artists from Gowanus and greater Brooklyn, which complimented the amazing musical performances scheduled.

Featured performances by:
Spanglish Fly
Batala NYC
Underground Horns
Hungry March Band
Radio Kaizman
Chaotic Noise Marching Corps
Environmental Encroachment
Les Muses Tanguent

Ian Trask
Dan Lucal
Sam Salganik
Maya Seuss
Curtis Hamilton
Alessandra Norman
Owen Weber
TJ Volonis
William Tucci
J McDonald
Luke Schumacher
Jonah Emerson-Bell

Saturday, October 18th – Film Screening
Queen directed by Enrico Cullen

The Gowanus Open Studios weekend continued with a debut screening of the short film Queen from director Enrico Cullen, which was filmed at the Gowanus Ballroom in 2013. More information on Facebook.

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SPECTRUM - Sound and Light at Gowanus Ballroom, August 15–23

SPECTRUM – A collaboration of light and sound from artists Colin Bowring and William Tucci

Gowanus Ballroom
August 15–23, 2014
Opening reception Friday, August 15, 7pm–1am

SPECTRUM is a light art exhibition by Colin Bowring, an emerging artist-scientist out of San Francisco. Known as the Wizard of Bartlett Street to his West Coast following, Bowring is making a name for himself with improvised optical experiments and light projections. SPECTRUM is his first foray into the Brooklyn art scene and he has come to Gowanus Ballroom to lay siege to the city and create guerrilla-style. Starting from scratch and working with whatever he finds, Bowring repurposes, barters, and liberates metal, mirrors, and glass to create his inventions of light.

The resourceful, makeshift nature of Bowring’s work embodies his belief that the physical is where it’s at. His work makes clear that light-based art is manifested most powerfully in the analog world—our physical environs—and not through computer generation or digital chicanery. The phenomena he is able to harness make visible a heady and potent art form. With each exploratory trial that the artist undertakes, physical and conceptual are merged as he makes real his fanciful imaginings.

SPECTRUM is a nod to the light investigations and optical wonderment of the past and a playful hope for what the future might offer. Behold one artist’s highly enhanced vision of the physical world and all that he believes we are truly meant to see.

SPECTRUM also features Sessions 1–5, a sound montage created by William Tucci in collaboration with metal workers. The composition is derived from an ongoing series of field recordings that reconstitute the cacophonic aural activities of people at work. A reimagined soundscape, Sessions takes tactile sounds of industrial productivity and recontextualizes these resonant properties of manufacturing into a futuristic sound environment reminiscent of early electronic sound synthesis pioneered by Leon Theremin and Robert Moog.

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Concerning Matter

June 22, 2014

Concerning Matter

In Concerning Matter, materialism is the primary approach for artists who refuse to operate solely in a conceptual sphere. Matter-based signifiers emerge through the works on view to tease and provoke consciousness. Keenly honed sensorial experiences become the proving ground for social, physical, and intellectual forays. Through the manipulation of organic and inorganic forms, issues of mortality, mourning, memory, bodily preoccupation and spatial interaction are investigated.

Situated within this context, matter itself becomes vital. Crucial, not because of the ways it can be commodified, but because the materials at hand, flour and resin, shattered glass and mud, LED panels and aluminum, become vehicles for profound exploration. Not disheartened by the pervasiveness of the physical, the artists in Concerning Matter are invigorated by what we have in front of us—what we can hold in our hands and explore with our senses. New forms emerge out of matter–matter conceived as enfolding creative potential. Art yet unmade.

Anita Giraldo
Magdalena Dukiewicz
Elaine Su-Hui
Alyssa Dennis
Jonah Emerson-Bell
Sam Spiczka
Magdalena Firlag
Philip Goetz
Ryan Burns
Allison Maletz
J McDonald
Traci Horgen
Megan Hays

Curated by Courtney Jordan.

Concerning Matter
June 13–22, 2014
Opening reception June 13, 7–11pm

Public viewings:
Fridays, June 13th and 20th, 7pm–Midnight
Saturdays, June 14th and 21st, 5pm–Midnight
Sunday, June 15th, Noon–5pm

Private viewings by appointment:

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Click here to purchase tickets for the Urban Omnibus Block Party 2014, a benefit event celebrating the first five years of The Architectural League’s online publication dedicated to defining the culture of citymaking.

This year’s event will take place at The Gowanus Ballroom, a metalworking shop by day and creative exhibition space by night located in a Civil War-era factory in the Gowanus Industrial Arts Complex. Five years ago, when the site first launched, the Omnibus team was headquartered in Gowanus at the Old American Can Factory. We have long since joined the rest of our League colleagues in Soho, but we are excited to return to the neighborhood we once called home for our fifth birthday celebration. A projection installation produced in collaboration with Nuit Blanche New York will illuminate the space. And we’ll be serving food from New York’s own Dinosaur BBQ, birthday pie from Greenpoint’s Pie Corps, beer from Queens-based Finback Brewery, and wine from Bottlerocket.

Come help us celebrate this significant milestone. Buy your tickets today and we’ll see you on Friday, March 14th!

Urban Omnibus Block Party 2014
Celebrating Five Years
Friday, March 14, 2014

The Gowanus Ballroom
55 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Tickets start at $50

Projection installation in collaboration with Nuit Blanche New York
Food by Dinosaur BBQ and Pie Corps
Drinks from Finback Brewery and Bottlerocket

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This Particular Patch

February 2, 2014

Once you’ve become a part of this particular
patch, you’ll never love another. Like loving a
woman with a broken nose, you may well find
lovelier lovelies, but never a lovely so real.

                                                                                  – Nelson Algren

The Gowanus Ballroom is pleased to present:

This Particular Patch
January 17 – February 2nd

Works by:

Isak Applin
Carl Baratta
Lauren Ball
Jonah Emerson-Bell
Nathan Carder
Mariano Chavez
Karolina Gnatowski
Serban Ionescu
Michael Kaysen
Drew Maillard
Eamon Monaghan
Keegan Monaghan
Pedro Munoz
Max Reinhardt
Dan Schank
Mindy Rose Schwartz
Oli Watt
Zack Wirsum

Performances by:

Matthew Silver, The Great Performer
Ross Moreno
Morgan O’kane

Curated by:

Lucas Bucholtz


This Particular Patch is an exhibition featuring some of the most exciting painters, printmakers, and sculptors currently working in Chicago and Brooklyn. Continuing a strong tradition honed in Chicago, these artists approach their work with a deep knowledge of their medium’s history, a great sense of craft, and a sharp sense of humor. TPP is significant because the project links these artists to those in this city who work in these same modes. Some of the New Yorkers have lived or studied in Chicago, the rest are acutely aware of the impact Chicago has had on their practice. All of these artists play freely within the old-line categories of High and Low; in a sense “workin’ from one end to the other and all points in between.”(Gibbons, et al). TPP suggests that great art need not always be serious to be taken seriously.

TPP evolved out of the collaborative installation Ghosts Don’t Burn held at SideCar Gallery in Hammond, Indiana during the fall of 2013. GDB drew its inspiration from Chicago artist Ivan Albrightand his treatment of religious themes in The Temptation of St. Anthony. Nearly two years in the making, GDB played with ideas of seduction, opulence, obsession, repulsion, and resignation, not only as they relate to St. Anthony, but to the artists’ practice as well.

When St. Anthony removed himself to the desert, he erroneously thought that in doing so he could rid himself of the temptations of the outside world. But if temptation returns again and again, it implies that such enticements are actually the expression of one’s inner desires. It follows that one’s desire to do good is also intrinsic. To do good, one must make good. Once the artist realizes that the promise of a richer life elsewhere is an illusion, he or she must resolve to make good right where they are. It takes a certain kind to stay and make in this place, to deny the fantastical temptations of a something, inherently better, always luring…

This Particular Patch picks up where Ghosts Don’t Burn left off, examining temptation and each artist’s decision to live/work/make where they do. Be it Chicago, Eerie, or Gowanus, these artists live and make in these particular patches for particular reasons. Does place inform the artist, or does place simply attract a certain kind? Both SideCar and The Gowanus Ballroom have reputations as places that don’t conform to the white cube model of display, participation, or viewership. Both attract artists who share certain values about art and making. It is no wonder that I gravitated to the Gowanus Ballroom when I moved here from Chicago a little over a year ago.

- Lucas Bucholtz

Recent press:
Carl Baratta interview with Bad at Sports
Lauren Ball in New City Art

Karolina Gnatowski in Hyperallergic
Oli Watt in The Visualist

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The Gowanus Ballroom kicked off the Gowanus Open Studios weekend in style with a gala celebration, stunts, and HONK NYC extravaganza. Visitors met the GOS participating artists before they opened their studios, got a jump start on a weekend of great art, viewing work by some of the Gowanus Ballroom’s favorite artists, and danced the night away to an amazing lineup of brass bands from HONK NYC.

Featured artists:
Adehla Lee
Duke Riley
Tony Toscani
Cecilia Rembert
Serban Ionescu
Jeff Elliott
Meg Wachter Matthew William Robinson
Kristin Kunc
David Aronson
TJ Volonis
Natalie Rae Good
Adrian Landon
Ethan Spigland

Music by:
Os Siderais
Environmental Encroachment
Perhaps Contraption
PitchBlak Brass Band
Veveritse Brass Band

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The Gowanus Ballroom proudly hosted a 1920s themed benefit to celebrate the completion of Phase 1 of Douglass-Greene Park’s renovation on its Third Avenue side and highlight ongoing advocacy and development of this vital and multi-faceted public park located on a full city block between 3rd Avenue and Nevins Street, and Douglass and DeGraw Streets in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Featured musical performances by MICHAEL ARENELLA QUINTET, Riva Nyri Precil and band, DJ Leaf. Sponsored by Presenting Sponsor: National Grid, Usher’s New Look Foundation; Event Sponsor: Boerum Hill Association; Sponsor: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Brooklyn, Brooklyn Boulders, Homage Brooklyn; Partners: La Flor Del Paraiso, Runner & Stone, Madiba Restaurant, Sahadi’s, Atsby Vermouth. Additional thanks to: Littleneck, Betty Bakery, Waterfront Ale House, LoveNyri Jewelry, Corcoran. A very special thanks to Hope Davis.

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Venus Square Mars

September 28, 2013

The Gowanus Ballroom welcomed the cool fall weather with a fantastic night of music curated by Hektor Fontanez of Twi The Humble Feather.

The Celestial Heavy Weights were up to their antagonizing ways again. Super Natural weapons knocked us from the serenity of our lotus position. We chanted in our makeshift temple with static tongues, our calm crew of inspired mortals, sending out cryptic messages into the past-present-future. This was a peace offering…

Featured performances:

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The Gowanus Ballroom proudly presented an amazing array of performance art. Artists from all over the world descended on Brooklyn and transformed the Ballroom with zany and vaguely inappropriate interruptions, happily forced interactions, and transcendent performances that didn’t disappoint. An action packed night of theatrics overtook the Gowanus Ballroom as never before seen!

Two of our favorite performance artists, Matthew Silver and Esther Neff, joined forces to curate The Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival (BIPAF), a mass performance happening July 4–28 at venues throughout Brooklyn. Performance artists, curators, critics, gallery directors, cultural organizers, and many others worked together to perform a festival, framing the organization and the festival itself as a work of constructive institutional critique. We were pleased to support this groundbreaking series with an iteration at the Gowanus Ballroom.

Featured performances:
Rob Andrews
Sherry Aliberti/CocoonNYC
Dhira Rauch
Whitney V. Hunter
Caridad Sola
Miao Jiaxin
Geraldo Mercado
Courtney Leigh Novak
Ivy Castellanos
Maria Hupfield
Hilary Sand
Sylva Dean
Sophia Cleary
Felix Morelo
Genevieve White
Matthew Silver
Hiroshi Shafer
Curated by Matthew Silver, Esther Neff, and other participating artists.

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Extra Action Marching BandThe post-Mermaid Parade hang you always wanted to attend. Sara Valentine’s Voluption and the Gowanus Ballroom hosted a delectably conjured evening of beguiling and curious entertainment.

Featured very special musical guests: Extra Action Marching Band, Vic Thrill, Flying Teeth, Brute Force, Donkee. Additional entertainment  by Master of Ceremonies and Sea Shanty Chanteur Ben Cerf, aerial by Liron Dan and Sandia Delavibora, performance art by Matthew Silver, aquatic soundtrack by DJ Steve Pagan, Bklyn Hooper Celia K and Friends, plus: a screening of Extra Action Marching Band’s short film, “The Burning Wigs of Sedition,” a story of wealth redistribution on the high seas.

Guests helped themselves to roast pig cooked on Gowanus Ballroom’s own spit, cooled down in the wading pool, rode Ben Cerf’s art bikes, “Pirates of the Broadway,” struted homemade fins and finery in the fashion show and costume contest, hosted by Editrix Abby, delighted in the tricks of magician Solomon, and of course, danced their socks off until the wee hours. An amazing night to remember.

Extra Action Marching Band:
Vic Thrill:
Flying Teeth:
Brute Force:
Matthew Silver:
DJ Steve Pagan:

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Integrated Visions (Bryan Dodson, Brian Blessinger, and Michelle Dodson) and Carolyn Devlin-Antuna joined forces to curate a groundbreaking exhibition of projection mapping, video, active paintings, sculptures, and installations at the Gowanus Ballroom that coincided with the Frieze Art Fair at Randall’s Island, New York.

Integrated Visions describes their work as embracing “the technique of our age. Projection mapping utilizes specialized software to create a projected image that perfectly fits any desired surface. When done right, the result is magical.” This extraordinary exhibition transformed the Gowanus Ballroom, filling it with shimmering light and the energy of movement.

Form and Substance: Projection Mapping in Contemporary Art. Spring 2013 from Integrated Visions Productions on Vimeo.

Featured artists:
Adam Dare
Bryan & Michelle Dodson // Integrated Visions
Christina Graf
Claudio Sinatti
Davy & Kristin McGuire
Domingo Zapata
Jessica Angel
Joanie Lemercier // AntiVJ
Joel Fitzpatrick
John Ensor Parker
Kris Davidson
Laura Ramirez // Optika
Red Paper Heart
Robert Seidel
Simon Anaya
Sougwen Chung

FORM and SUBSTANCE was made possible in part by Integrated Visions Productions, DWP Live, Mister Artsee, the Gowanus Ballroom, Flavorpill, At Large LLC, Joel Fitzpatrick, PercussionLab, Dassara Ramen, and RamenWerk.

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