Photo by Judie Long/age fotostock
As one of the world's art capitals, it's not surprising that New York has a thriving gallery scene. While many of the city's galleries were located in SoHo and Tribeca in the 1970s, as they were priced out of those neighborhoods they began to move north, up to Chelsea. Today there are somewhere around 300 galleries there, mostly west of Ninth Avenue, from around 19th Street up to 29th. There is no way you will be able to visit more than a selection of them—though one advantage of galleries over museums is that they are free. A second is that as most include only a room or two of art, you can quickly move on if any exhibition doesn't interest you. If it does, on the other hand, you will often find a gallery assistant eager to tell you more about the artist whose work is on display. Among the many art spaces, David Zwirner, Mary Boone, and Gagosian are three that reliably host excellent shows. The smartest strategy before heading out is to peruse the listings in the New York Times, the New Yorker, or Time Out New York to decide which galleries have shows you want to see. The neighborhood is also home to two art institutions you may want to include on your itinerary: the Dia Foundation and the Rubin Museum, which focuses on art from the Himalayas and India.
By John Newton, AFAR Contributor
Gallery Hop in Chelsea's Hip Neighborhood
If you're looking for an interactive way to view new artwork without splurging on an entrance ticket, consider gallery hopping in Chelsea. Every Thursday, many of Chelsea's art galleries open their doors to the public free of charge. In most cases, it's to display new exhibitions of both established and up-and-coming artists. The majority of these galleries are located between 22nd and 27th streets west of 10th Avenue, making it easy to visit several in one night. Best of all, most gallery owners offer complimentary wine and cheese to viewers. Depending on the featured artists and current exhibitions, art may range from graffiti style to modern.
By Megan Eileen McDonough, AFAR Local Expert