The Rivington School or Wat
some old photocopy thing

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The Rivington School started by Ray Kelly was an offshoot of the No Se No Social Club which started on the Lower East Side on Rivington Street. The No Se No was a Puerto Rican Social Club 5 steps down into a basement that Kelly and friends proceeded to turn into an art gallery and performance space. Among the many notables that performed there on the little stage at the end of the bar were Taylor Mead, Phoebe Legere, and a host of others. Ray would keep an open book and anyone could sign up to perform or hang their art. All drinks were a dollar. One summer, they sponsored, "99 NIGHTS" of performance, and Toyo took pictures every night, and then would go home and print up 8 by 10's to hang on the wall the next day.

A year later Kelly and friends took over an abandoned lot on the corner of Rivington and Forsyth. They were welders and would scour the Lower East Side for scrap metal and bring it over in Kelly’s old truck and weld it up. Amongst the early artists were E.F. Higgins III, Cowboy Ray Kelly, Toyo Tsuchiya, Linus Coraggio, Tovey Halek, Jack Vengrow and FA-Q (Kevin Wendell). And after 3 years the Chinese owner of the lot got a ticket for having a sculpture over 20 feet tall that almost killed several people.

The Rivington School was forced to move out of the first sculpture garden on a cold winter’s night with the snow coming down. The bulldozers arrived and mentioned to us later, “You guys welded this stuff up pretty good. We figured it would only take us two days to tear down, but it already took us a week.”

The 2nd Rivington School moved down the block on Forsyth to another vacant lot and rented a small storefront. Here the welding continued and Tovey Halleck set up a blacksmith forge in the back. This was adjacent to Adam Purple's yard and this Rivington School lasted a couple more years.

The 3rd Rivington School was located at 6th street between B and C. Ray Kelly hooked up a hose, dug a trench and said “River Runs Through”. -E. F. Higgins III, 2007

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All images 1980-2009 rivingtonschool.com and photos 1980-2009 Toyo Tsuchiya and may not be used or distributed without permission.