Dumbo Diaspora
Part. 3

Compiled & Edited By Dale Kaplan

Keeping the Community Connected

Since the whole world is experiencing this pandemic together I thought it would be of interest to include two artists who now live abroad to contribute to this series along with current neighbors. Meet Andras Halasz from Hungary who painted in Dumbo in the 1990’s through the early 2000’s.  And Gaston Bertin, a Dumbo Direct member now living in the Loire Valley in France, who worked in Dumbo in the double naughts. Although they are now longer physically in Dumbo, our neighborhood is always in their hearts especially during this difficult time.


Please let us know what you are creating and what you are doing to stay grounded. E mail us at dumbodirectory@gmail.com

American Pastoral, Federico Solmi 2020 / Drawing: white pen and ink on black paper / 21.25 x 30.25 inches, 56.5 x 77 cm

Federico Solmi

“My thoughts during this pandemic take me to a place where I imagine the native lands of America before the arrival of the Europeans. It is a fantastical landscape where man, woman, animals and nature co-exist in perfect harmony.”

Stefanie Dworkin

52 days ago, I packed up my Dumbo business, Stefanie Dworkin projects to shelter in place in Boerum Hill. My home office is situated in a small room 6″.9″ x 14″.9″ to be exact.  It  previously served as a closet, storage space and library.

I have been very lucky as I still have my teaching position at SUNY Purchase and I am grateful to be there for my students whose lives have been turned upside down. An editing job popped up out of the blue and I am very busy finishing up a commissioned documentary.

What has also helped keep me sane, hopeful and inspired these 50+ days has been weekly Skype and phone calls with friends and family near and far, the sun shining through my windows, blooming trees and birds singing, and my little guy, Cooper, who has been my constant love and dog companion for the past 14-1/2 years. Thank god for him! I never feel alone; he gets me out in the morning around the neighborhood or to Fort Greene Park, where I connect with friends 6 feet apart, take photos, breath fresh air and connect with nature. These walks also give me a chance to connect with my Brooklyn community at large, observe how we are adapting to this crisis, and to thank the essential workers I come across.

Gaston Bertin

“I live fairly isolated in the French Country side near the Loire Valley, although I am aware of the distress that is happening all around the world, the Corona Virus has not had a huge impact on my daily life. I feel privileged and I often think of my friends in big city, especially NYC that has been hit so hard.

Because of the Corona my local hardware store has been closed, without material it has been difficult to work on large pieces, so since I could not do big I did small and I started making jewellery pieces with my colourful photographs. These pieces are more easily shared and in a way belong more to life than art meant to be hang on a wall.

I enjoy not hearing the air traffic in the sky which is about the only small noise nuisance we have here and at the same time I can’t wait to be able to get in a plane to visit my friends in NYC. “



John Carluccio

Last year my film Bring Them Back won the DOCNYC 2019 Metropolis competition and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize. The documentary looks at charismatic song-and-dance man Maurice Hines who reflects on his life on stage from Broadway to Hollywood. 

I planned on spending the spring and summer promoting the film at premieres and festivals but of course,  everything was canceled.The only remaining event is scheduled for May 25th National Tap Dance Day. An interview with Maurice will be streamed on line.

Currently, I’m staying at home in Cobble Hill and attacking my pantry like an episode of Chopped. There are items that I have that I never used, now is the time!  WEEK 1, I used a can of COCONUT MILK in a pasta dish with thin-sliced butternut squash, it ended up being an abstract mac n’ cheese. WEEK 3, I used MOLASSES and a can of DARK BEER and made a Guinness Bread. WEEK 5, I had ALMOND FLOUR and found a recipe for my favorite middle eastern dessert Basbousa.  Next up…GREEN BANANA FLOUR.

Andras Halasz

Artist Andras Halasz painted in Dumbo through the 1990’s until the early double naughts. He now lives in Budapest,Hungary. At 74 years old, he is under strict lockdown. He was very loved by the original artists community of Dumbo and was and still is a wonderful human being.

“The only statement I can provide. I paint pictures what’s left for me to paint. I come to think of it I always did that. Paint what’s left for me to paint

Stephanie Echeveste of Distill Creative and Jeremy Peter Green of JPG Legal

Stephanie — I’ve been working on my business development and making art. I’ve taken over our bedroom desk, our kitchen table, and the floor. Our cat sits on everything, so it’s hard to get anything done.

Jeremy — We’ve been having a firm meeting on Zoom every two weeks to stay in touch, but otherwise it’s business as usual because our firm is 100% online. I’m also helping out with Drive United, a workers’ rights group based in Washington, DC (where we used to live).

Our wedding — Ugh. We were planning on having our wedding in Mexico City, but now everything is up in the air. Maybe a office rooftop wedding with just us and our computer?

David Weeks of David Weeks Studio 


“Although our Tribeca showroom is temporarily closed, I’ve been busy. The David Weeks Studio team has been staying close through Zoom meetings and phone calls, and I have been able to make time for experimenting with form and materials in a repurposed foundry on our property in upstate NY.


Developing sketch models from raw materials allows ideas to progress, and I’ve had the time to finish prototypes for older designs like the Burden chair (pictured). We spent the first few weeks of the shut down in our Brooklyn apartment, and I was continuously looking for household items to work with. It’s a little tricky to blow glass in an apartment, so I used what I could find– disposable cups. I was able to create some interesting glass-like shapes (pictured).


As frustrating as the shut down is, there is a surprising amount of opportunity for creativity.””


David Weeks Studio

Stefanie Dworkin Projects

Gaston Bertin

JPG Legal and Distill Creative

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