Catherine Gallery at 22 Catherine Street


After the closure of Basement at 199 Lafayette, the organization required focus and clarity. The return to 22 Catherine resulted in a rebranding of the space as Catherine Gallery. Maintaining their existing funding forms from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the remaining Basement members led by Fay Chiang focused on the continuation of the dance classes, visual arts, and a reading series. Supplies from the darkroom, sound studio, and the silkscreen workshop were donated to local non-profit organizations. Collected materials from the long-standing Asian American Resource Center were given to the Chinatown History Project run by Jack Tchen, paving the way for the Museum of Chinese in America. 

Jeannie Chiang
Gene Moy
John Allen
Lei-Sanne Doo
Fay Chiang
Miné Okubo
Margo Machida
Andrew Edwards
Bennett Ram
Kathleen Foster
Mary Lum
Jason Hwang
Charlie Chin
Charles Yuen
Christian Frey
Harvey Wang
Chino Garcia
Larry Hama
Tomie Arai
Ming Fay
George Leong
Sheila Hamanaka
Pat Chu
Karl Matsuda
Teddy Yoshikami
Jim Whiting
William Jung
Colin Lee
Kiyo Matsumoto
Alex Chin
Henry Chu
Stevie Chu
Deborah Artman
Arlan Huang
Lillian Ling Huang
Ray Huang
Joey Huang
Fay Chew Matsuda
Amy Matsuda
Jessica Hagedorn
Laurie Carlos
Janice Chiang
Calvin Louie
Basement Workshop members group photo. 1986. Basement Yearbook. Courtesy of Jeannie Chiang.

Under the guidance of Jessica Hagedorn and Fay, Basement garnered a loyal following of literature lovers. Jessica’s collaboration with other artists of color like Laurie Carlos and Ntozake Shange strengthened the organization’s development of performance poetry workshops. 

Basement staff member and dancer, Theodora “Teddy” Yoshikami choreographed and taught dance classes at Catherine Gallery through her company, the Morita Dance Company.  

In 1982, a new Folk Arts program begins at Basement and focuses on learning from and documenting the artistic practices of Asian and Asian American master artists ranging from Japanese woodworking, Chinese acrobatics, to taiko, and more. A half an hour documentary was completed in partnership with Downtown Community Television’s Keiko Tsuno and Fay Chiang which focused on the artists, Miné Okubo, Motoi Oi, and Sahoni Tachibana. 

Though a smaller space, the move back into the folds of Chinatown at Catherine Street allowed for a refined vision to emerge. 

Travel to other locations of the Basement Workshop: