LUMBERYARD names new Kathy Westwater performance for opening season

LUMBERYARD audiences will be the first to see a new piece by Kathy Westwater after our artistic advisory board named her the recipient of this year’s Solange MacArthur Award.

In a nod to what LUMBERYARD’s 8-artist panel agrees is a distinct style, Westwater will receive $10,000 toward the creation of a new work to be presented during our 2018-19 season.

‘You get swept up in her work’

Artist Dan Hurlin, who nominated Westwater, has long been impressed by her.

“Of the specific movements within each of Kathy’s pieces, you can’t discern one from the other,” he says. “It feels like a whole world of experience.”

Westwater’s performances consistently stir audience’s emotions, leaving viewers impressed and mystified in equal measure.

“You get swept up in it. There’s an emotional mood to it that is compelling and poetic.

“Kathy has been doggedly pursuing a particular language around the body in a state of disorganization. I’ve never seen a vocabulary of dance pursued with such clarity.”

anja hitzenberger photography

Westwater also collaborating with Wendy Whelan

LUMBERYARD isn’t alone in recognizing Westwater’s talent as exceptional.

Wendy Whelan, the former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, recently commissioned her to create a solo.

Westwater’s receipt of our annual Solange MacArthur Award and her collaboration with Whelan is a coincidence but not a surprise, Hurlin says.

Award granted to another artist making career mark

As with past recipients, including Raja Feather Kelly (2016), Steven Reker (2015) and Chris Schlichting (2014), the Award has been granted to artists on the verge of making their career mark.

“Kathy is long overdue for this kind of recognition. She fits the bill because she is at a tipping point of her career,” Hurlin says.

The Award, named after the historic arts patron Solange MacArthur, serves LUMBERYARD’s core mission of supporting artists to make the work they aim to.

In addition to funds, the Award increases their opportunities to secure a premiere and to connect with audiences nationally and abroad.

“Artists can encounter ridiculous impediments in trying to bring their works to life,”he says. “That’s frustrating to culture. Cultural production is hugely important. It’s what we’re here for.”

Photos: [header, second: anja hitzenberger photography]