#FirstFriday: Must-See May Exhibitions

May 4, 2023 by

Every month we highlight exhibitions, events, and workshops that feature WSW alumnx artists! We share the shows near and far that make up our monthly must-see list.


Image courtesy of Wilder Alison

Wilder Alison (Studio Workspace Residency ’23) and Xio Martin will have work at the Michel Obultra Project Space at 20 E Herman Street, Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The show will be up through the end of May.

Anna Benjamin (Studio Workspace Residency ’19) has work in the show Again and Again at Park Towne Place, 2200 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130. “A single stitch, a lone snip of paper, a solitary pencil stroke, again and again and again. Through repetition these simple markings give the mind something to hold onto, a place to focus that allows it to let go, to relax, to transcend. The six artists of Again and Again, Anna Hendrick Karpatkin Benjamin, Lucas Kelly, Bridget Purcell, Rachel Blythe Udell, Nhi Vo, and Injoo Whang all utilize repetition in their work which is not only deeply meaningful to them, but also results in work that is quietly awe inspiring for the viewer.”

The show will be up until May 21, 2023, and can be viewed by appointment.


Image courtesy of Erin Moore

Erin Moore (Studio Intern ’22) has work featured in the Hamilton Woodtype & Printing Museum New Impressions Exhibition 2023, which will be on display through July 29, 2023. There will be an in-person Reception and Awards ceremony on June 10, 2023, 4-6pm CDT. The show will start as a traveling exhibition in the Fall of 2023.


Image courtesy of The Parsonage website

Eleanor Anderson (Chili Bowl Workspace Residency ’19) has an exhibition at The Parsonage, called Circuit Breakers: Eleanor Anderson which will be on view until Monday, May 15, 2023. In discussing the work in the show, Eleanor says “My practice seeks to alleviate daily doldrums and spiritless ways of living.  I gift these works to the viewer as an optimistic nudge towards joy, connection and a playful awareness of how the larger world could be.”


Image courtesy of Beth Fein

Beth Fein (Studio Workspace Residency ’17) will have work in the show The Art of Beth Fein & Martin Webb which has an opening reception on Thursday May 4th 2023 from 5:30 – 8 PM, and will be up until June 2023. The show will be at 1820 Solano Avenue, Berkeley, California, and the gallery will be open from 10 AM to 3 PM to gallery visitors.

New York

Image courtesy of Elvira Clayton

Elvira Clayton (Studio Residency Grant ’23), has a solo show called Ritual Cloths at the A.I.R. Gallery at 155 Plymouth St., Brooklyn, N.Y. The show will be up from April 22- May 21, 2023. In a press release, the show is described as such: “Ritual Cloths is a textile-based series and part of Clayton’s ongoing project Cotton and Rice. The project explores the largest recorded slave auction in U.S. history by paying homage to the people sold through the auction. While researching the project at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Clayton came across one of the auction’s original printed catalogs. A staff member generously gave her a digital copy. She considers her catalog copy a treasured, serendipitous find, and it significantly informs the Ritual Cloths series.”

Tara Sabharwal (Studio Workspace Residency ’16 and Beisinghoff Printmaking Residency ’17) has artwork in Untold Stories, alongside Mary Ting and Yeon Ji Yoo. The show will be at Emerson Gallery at Rockland Center for the Arts, 27 S. Greenbush Rd. West Nyack, NY, from April 15 – June 10, 2023. The gallery is open Mondays-Saturdays, 11 AM – 4 PM and is closed Sundays. The show is free to the public, and there will be an Informal Artist Talk on June 3rd at 4 PM.

Rejin Leys (Studio Internship ’89) has a sculpture entitles Reading the River which will live at the Queens Public Library, at 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY, from April 12 – May 19 2023. “Reading the River is a sculpture that explores our relationship with NYC’s waterways by incorporating shredded copies of poems written between the 19th century and today…visitors can read the poems, reflect on their own interactions with our rivers and waterfronts, and contribute to a shared bibliography of works that reference our waterways.”

Wilder Allison (Studio Workspace Residency ’23) will have work in the show I AM THE PASSENGER which will take place in two parts. Part I will be from May 13 – June 17, 2023, with an opening reception on Saturday, May 13, 3-5 PM. Part II will take place June 24 – July 29, 2023, with a second opening reception on Saturday, June 24, 3-5 PM.


Image Courtesy of Anthea Black

Nova Scotia

Tatana Kellner (WSW Co-Founder), Lyman Piersma (Artist’s Book Residency Grant ’87,) Pati Scobey (Artist’s Book Residency Grant ’88) Clarissa Sligh (Artist’s Book Residency Grant ’88 and ’04), Joshua Beckman (Artist’s Book Residency Grant ’97), Heidi Neilson (Artist’s Book Residency Grant ’04 and ’10, Studio Workspace Residency ’06), and Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo (Studio Residency Grant ’23) are all featured in the exhibition The Embodied Press: queer abstraction and the artists’ book curated by Anthea Black (Research Publication Residency Grant ’22), which will be open until May 7.
“Artists in The Embodied Press make important visual and material choices in their use of printing techniques, sequencing, and manipulation or absence of text; they revel in visual abstraction as an antidote to the daily pressure of navigating our identities. What happens when a book “frustrates legibility” or becomes difficult to read? It must be felt. Held. Absorbed and activated. Each work poses questions about difference, intersectionality and power to show that sexual, gender and racial difference cannot be easily understood or legitimized through public visibility alone. These ideas find great resonance in the artists’ book field as it radically expands the ways books can be produced, read, and understood as a form of culture.”


Image courtesy of TERN Gallery Website

Anina Major (Studio Residency Grant ’21) has a solo exhibition called Old Week Home which will be on display at the TERN Gallery, in the Bahamas until May 13. “Old Week Home is Anina Major’s first solo exhibition in her hometown Nassau, reflects upon childhood nostalgia, and celebrates the role of women in society, specifically those within the Bahamian straw industry.”

Are you a WSW alumnx with exhibition news to share?
Email info about your upcoming show to 
[email protected],
and join our 
WSW Artist Alumnae group on Facebook!