Topical Cream is a New York-based arts organization supporting the work of women and gender non-conforming contemporary artists.

On November 16, Topical Cream gathered at Sara’s on East Broadway in Chinatown to celebrate Ruba Katrib’s tenure as our 2023 Editor-in-Residence with a panel and evening of readings.

Elizabeth Wiet
Elizabeth Wiet reads “Rosalind Nashashibi’s Bachelor Machines” at Sara’s.

The celebration kicked off with a panel discussion between Katrib and Topical Cream’s Executive Director, Lyndsy Welgos, and Deputy Editor, Elizabeth Wiet. Welgos and Wiet discussed the evolution of the Editor-in-Residence program, which was founded in 2021.

Katrib told the audience about her approach to commissioning pieces and how she juggles her editorial work at Topical Cream with her work as Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at MoMA PS1. All three panelists stressed the urgent need for independent arts journalism and the importance of Topical Cream’s Editor-in-Residence program for fostering a space where critical discussion and experimentation can thrive.

Claire Voon reads from “Senga Nengudi’s emotional residues” at Sara’s.

The panel concluded with a surprise announcement from Welgos about next year’s program. After a brief interlude, audiences reassembled to listen to presentations by TC writers who produced pieces for Topical Cream in 2023.

Elizabeth Wiet read from her essay about the films of Rosalind Nashashibi, co-commissioned by Liste; Camila Palomino shared excerpts from her interview with filmmaker Fox Maxy; Claire Voon read from her review of two recent Senga Nengudi exhibitions; Olivia Rodrigues screened clips from artist Cassidy Toner and shared selections from her interview with Toner; Jessica Kwok read from her essay about racial fetishization in ethnographic film and video art; and Stella Cilman capped off the program with a preview of her piece about the photography of Paula Court, which will be published later this month.

Jessica Kwok and Camila Palomino, who both wrote for Topical Cream this year, enjoy a moment of levity during a break in the evening’s program. 
Stella Cilman reads a preview of her forthcoming essay on the photography of Paula Court.

As an organization, Topical Cream takes immense pride in nurturing and showcasing talent within the contemporary arts and arts journalism communities. We believe in the power of independent arts journalism and are committed to providing a platform where critical discussions and innovative ideas can flourish. Ruba Katrib’s tenure as Editor-in-Residence has been instrumental in advancing this mission, and we look forward to continuing our journey of promoting and supporting artists, writers, and curators who contribute to advancing feminist thought and contemporary culture.

Ruba Katrib
Topical Cream cuts a cake for Ruba.

To end the evening’s festivities, audiences sliced into a strawberry layer cake decorated with a special message thanking Katrib for her time at Topical Cream. Wine was provided by ZRS selections. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined us for this special evening, especially to the hosts: Ebony L. Haynes, Julia Trotta, Marcella Zimmermann, Raque Ford, Seth Stolbun, Zev Rovine, Yulu Serao.