HOWL! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project
Gallery | Performance Space | Archive
“Paying homage to both the old and new, the gallery can sometimes feel like a heady party…the shows also prove that the East Village isn’t dead.” —Michael Musto, The New York Times, March 9, 2016
Since its inception in March 2015, Some Serious Business has worked with Howl! Happening to create a unique identity for the gallery and performance space that has been widely embraced by the community and city at large.
Like the neighborhood in which it was born, Howl! Happening is a space of untamed creativity. Showcasing the legacy and contemporary culture of the East Village and Lower East Side, Howl! presents exhibitions, performances, readings, workshops, and other contemporary art that shines a light on the mix of rock and roll, social justice, art and performance, community activism, gay rights and culture, fashion, and nightlife of a community where groundbreaking creativity and influential ideas still thrive.
Patricia Field and Friend, Art/Fashion Runway Show, September 2017. Photo: Austin Green
Some Serious Business plays a key role in the life and legacy of Howl! Happening. As creative consultants, the organization is a part of the strategic planning team. SSB collaborates with Howl! to produce exhibitions and events, as well as conceptualize identity and branding while coordinating all marketing and public relations.
SSB also conceived the howlarts.org website as a conceptual work of art. The 24/7 live feed from the gallery draws inspiration from the humor and unpredictability of the Fluxus experiments of Allan Kaprow’s happenings; late-night 80s public access TV; and Andy Warhol’s early films, where boredom and patience are often rewarded. John Cage said: “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”
Arturo Vega, Insults exhibition
“One of the unique aspects of Howl! Happening is the merging of the old school with younger community members—musicians and artists who are learning firsthand about their roots, while contributing their own work and energy. It is rare to find such a natural sense of inclusion.” —Puma Perl, The Villager, February 2, 2016
The East Village is metaphor for artistic experimentation, social activism, and groundbreaking art forms: Its history is still being written. Activated by the late poet-philosopher Allen Ginsberg—a lifelong spokesperson for peace, justice, and freedom of expression—Howl! Happening provides artists and audiences with the tools to join in the creative process: as window into the heritage and social history of the community, and intersection of the flourishing diverse cultures that are an integral part of the neighborhood and urban landscape.
“Howl! Happening had a very impressive first year, with major shows by Lydia Lunch, Arturo Vega, Clayton Patterson, and Tim Clifford. The spirit of New York lives in this organization.” —Adam Lehrer, “The Best Gallery Exhibits of 2015: Scooter LaForge, How to Create a Monsterpiece,” Autre magazine, December 17, 2015