Curated by NoLIta participant Clarisse Benhaim
12 jun 2014 by art:i:curate team
As part of our 'Curated by NoLIta' project, we met with the curators: the people living and working in the neighborhood.
Ky Katrensky met with social media strategist Clarisse Benhaim,
KK: Why did you get involved with art:i:curate and this project?
CB: I found the concept amazing and am very keen to interact with a community of emerging art lovers near me.
KK: What do you hope to take away from it?
CB: I hope to be part of exclusive events that will connect me efficiently to the artists and meet more people in the art business.
KK: How do you normally take in art?
CB: I plan events and work on art events but also attend them. I myself am a dancer so I am more into performing arts, although I adore visual arts.
KK: What does the term "curating" mean to you?
CB: Curating is for me a way of bringing and representing an artist, wether he is performing or showing art works. It is part of being an art lover and sharing beauty with people.
KK: When did you move to NoLIta/LES and why?
CB: I have recently moved into the neighborhood but have been working for cutlog art fair, located in the LES. I moved there because of the vibrant atmosphere and history that are linked to the area.
KK: Where did you live before and where are you from?
CB: I have lived in Brooklyn before. I was born in Denver and raised in the US until I was 7, before moving to France with my parents who are French. I studied there and got back to the U.S three years ago.
KK: What do you like best about your part of town and what don't you like at all?
CB: I love that there are so many art galleries and restaurants and bars. I love that the streets have names and not numbers.
I guess train access could be better but I love walking in the city so don't mind it that much.
KK: What sets NoLIta apart from the surrounding neighborhoods?
CB: It is a very pretty area, with many trees and nice shops. It reminds me of Strasbourg, which is the city I grew up in.
KK: Favorite New York moment?
CB: Performing at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and soon Madison Square Garden.
KK: Do you know any of your neighbors?
CB: I have chatted with some here and there. Mostly in the elevator.
KK: Do you hope to connect with your neighbors through this project?
CB: I do hope so and that they have interesting projects that we can talk about.
KK: Are there any notable neighborhood characters?
CB: Ethan Hawke, Lou Reed used to live close.
KK: Do you have a local hangout spot in the neighborhood?
CB: I love Mulberry Project. It is a nice speakeasy bar with a great backyard and artworks on the walls.
KK: Have you heard any stories about the history of NoLIta?
CB: I unfortunately haven't but would be happy to hear more about it!
KK: What do you see as the future of NoLIta?
CB: I see a lot of glass buildings and unaffordable homes, sadly.
KK: Tell me something about yourself.
CB: I love to dance, I love visual art and enjoy sitting on my balcony with a glass of wine while enjoying a moment alone to think and admire the skyline.