AS220 at 25

By GREG COOK  |  August 13, 2010

COLINAN: I always say it was my art school. It never occurred to me growing up to be an artist.

GOULIS: When we did the residents' show, it was between shows and the gallery was empty and Fatso [the cat] had gotten in there and he dug a fucking hole in the wood, in the hardwood floor in the corner, with his claws. Given, there was a leak in the ceiling there for a number of years and the wood had sort of dry rotted a little bit after the leak was fixed. So it was kind of soft. And he went over there and he dug like a three-inch hole in the hardwood. And he shit in it. And he tried to cover it up with the shavings, but he didn't quite do it. So I put a label [on it]. I just called it "Hole" by Fatso. And that was his contribution to the residents' show.

VIERA LEVITT, a Slovakian curator who came to Providence for a 2002 residency: I came too early [for Action Speaks!, AS220's discussion series which addresses "under-appreciated dates of the 20th century that have changed America"], so Marc [Levitt], who, of course, I didn't know, and Bert, who had a funny beard, and these gentlemen are saying, "Come on in. Don't worry." And they were very nice. I hung out there all evening.


MARC LEVITT, host of Action Speaks!: It was certainly attraction at first sight. I was sitting getting ready to have an Action Speaks! session on Sugarhill Gang. I was talking about rap music and trying to prime the panelists and this beautiful woman confidently walks into the space. I decided I couldn't very well break from my hip-hop conversation to go flirt. So I decided to let the fates intervene. And Bert went over to her and suggested that she sit with us as we were going through the preparation for Action Speaks! She sat next to me and I was sort of a bit schizophrenic between trying to concentrate on the history of rap music and my contemporary history of attraction, flirtation.

VIERA LEVITT: You were also the only person, Marc, who knew that Czechoslovakia is not a country any more. I remember Bert saying, "Okay, there's Czech Republic, there's Slovakia, but what country's the O?" Like Czech-o-slovakia. He was yelling that, "Where's the O? What happened to the O?" And other people were trying to figure it out.

MARC LEVITT: We began to speak a lot and afterwards she went to dinner with the panel. And afterwards I sort of pursued her. [They married in 2005.]

PREMIER BAPTISTA, 17-year-old in the AS220 Youth Studio: My friend had mentioned it [AS220] to me and I was just like, "Oh, let me go check it out one day." They have the open mic night every second Thursday of the month. I went and I was like, "Wow." I was real interested. And they told me everything [in the AS220 Youth program, formerly Broad Street Studio] was free and I was like, "You can't give up free." It was an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of.

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