Broadway and Beyond: “Art Bath” performance series combines different art styles to open audiences to new experiences

NEW YORK — Some of the city’s best visual artists and performers are getting thrown into one big “artistic bath” in a series of evenings taking over a historic gallery space in Manhattan with a mash-up of styles, sights and sounds.

Singer and emcee Storm Merrerro welcomes audiences to dive into Art Bath.

It’s a happy gathering to enjoy different art styles in five spaces within the Blue Building in Midtown East. What once was an old stable, factory and electric company on East 46th Street is now a sprawling history-soaked performance space with 12-foot ceilings. 

“Art Bath, we want you to bathe in it, all the art, everything that we’ve met missed over the last two years — music, dance, poetry, let it wash over you,” producer Liz Yilmaz said.

Yilmaz gave CBS2’s Dave Carlin a behind-the-scenes tour, telling him how it started with three longtime dancers for the Met Opera — Yilmaz, César Abreu and Mara Driscoll.

The three friends decided the best way to bring art back in a splashy way post-pandemic shutdown was to organize this themselves, creatively mashing it all up.

Abreu started performing professionally as a kid, was a member of the boyband Menudo and has been with Met Opera for 16 seasons. He wants to change audience and artist relationships.

Each Art Bath event begins with an informal cocktail hour and has guest artists bonding with audience members and talking to each other throughout the night. 

“The viewers are gently guided from each room to experience something different,” Abreu said. “Basically, as the audience comes in, they get to experience something different in each room.”

Driscoll says artists taking part in Art Bath are encouraged to take artistic risks.

“Allowing artists to create outside of boundaries that maybe what they’ve created in the past,” she said.

The trio of performers-turned-producers says creating Art Bath is a dream come true.

“I really took the opportunity during COVID to explore new things and discovered this passion for producing … opening people to new things,” Driscoll said.

“It’s just sort of a silver lining of a new chapter of my creative career,” Yilmaz said.

“To create opportunities to bring people together,” Abreu said.

The next Art Bath evenings are on March 26 and April 23, and producers say they expect to add additional dates going forward.

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