4 New York City Galleries That Support Student Artists
New York City is not only famous for its iconic skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, Wall Street and the Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn Bridge, or some of the best shopping malls in the world.
The Big Apple is also the epicenter of America’s cultural life, being home to numerous theaters (on and off-Broadway), concert venues, cinemas, and museums. But for emerging artists, it is particularly attractive due to the vast number of art galleries of all sorts.
As of 2019, there were approximately 1,500 galleries in New York – an astounding figure far exceeding the numbers of NYC’s theaters, bookstores, or even cinemas. And this phenomenon is by no means an accident.
New York became an art capital as far back as 1913 when the famous Armory Show was organized in downtown Manhattan by John Quinn, an American lawyer and eminent patron of the arts. And then, of course, there was the legendary Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan – the leading art hub of the hippy era that also became an epicenter of the counterculture movement.
From then on, the Big Apple remains a magnet to aspiring artists from all over the world looking for top-class art education and unique opportunities to launch their professional careers in a place where they cannot fail to be noticed.
Or can they? When you come to think of it, the inevitable question pops up: how is it even possible for a student artist to get a chance when the competition is so fierce?
And here is the answer: luckily, among those 1,500+ galleries mentioned above, there are some that support emerging artists – including art students. All you need to do is to make sure those galleries get interested in your works.
How to Get Your Work Exhibited
But that, of course, is easier said than done. Yet it has to be done inevitably if you want to get your career going in New York. So, if you’ve already got something worth exhibiting, it’s time to stop writing papers on art and concentrate on presenting your own artworks to the world. As for the papers, you can easily delegate them to professional writers.
But how do you get your work exhibited? Surely, there’s no uniform answer, but here are a few tips. You should:
- Produce great work
This is a crucial component of your future success because no gallery’s going to exhibit work that’s uninteresting.
- Build a network
The more you show up at various art events and connect with people, the higher the chances of you getting noticed.
- Create a personal brand online
Make sure that your work samples and contacts can be easily found on the internet.
- Choose the appropriate galleries
While there are over a thousand, you should only concentrate on those that are best for you.
- Send your letters of inquiry
But don’t make them generic: personalize each one as much as possible. Do your research and find out as much information about every gallery you choose to send a submission to as you can.
Choosing the Right Gallery
Talking about New York, the most difficult part of the process (apart from producing great work, of course) is narrowing down your choice of galleries to only a few names. So, how do you do that?
If you are an active member of the art community (as you should be), you probably already have some galleries on your mind that might be willing to accept your work. So, your next step should be to find out if they accept works from emerging artists and, particularly, from students.
However, if you don’t know the ropes yet, it may be a tricky task, given the overall number of art galleries in New York. So, we’ve put together a list of a few names for you to start with. These galleries have close bonds with art schools and are known for giving student artists the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work.
This list is by no means comprehensive, so don’t get too disappointed if you don’t manage to get your work exhibited in any of the galleries mentioned. Just look for other opportunities and keep trying – your big break can always be just around the corner.
New York City Galleries that Support Student Artists
- Parrish Art Museum
Parrish has a more than 60-year tradition of supporting young artists through its Student Exhibition – an annual event featuring the work of over 600 middle and high school student artists from Eastern Long Island schools. The exposition encompasses student artwork in diverse media, ranging from sculpture and painting to drawing, photography, collage, graphic design, and 3-D.
The museum is located on Montauk Highway in Water Mill and can be contacted directly via the form on its official website or by phone.
- New York School of the Arts and The HUB Galleries
New York School of the Arts is an educational institution and a cultural center offering a certificate program as well as intensive programs, masterclasses, and online programs. The school has its own exhibition spaces – New York School of the Arts Galleries and The HUB Center for the Arts.
The latter contains gallery spaces as well as studio spaces for the school’s students. The school holds exhibitions regularly, some of them featuring the work of its students. But as the school has many different programs, you may become one rather easily – and thus get a chance to showcase your work.
You can reach the school located on East 62nd Street using the contact info on its official website or via social media.
- The Hewitt Gallery of Art
The Hewitt Gallery of Art is part of Marymount Manhattan College and is being positioned as “a laboratory for and an extension of the Art Department program”.
This art space is on a mission to provide opportunities for arts majors to get exhibition experience by showcasing their senior thesis projects. Students also have solo exhibitions during the spring semester, plus they can curate and organize shows with the help of their mentors. Even juniors get the chance to exhibit by participating in an annual group show.
The gallery is situated on East 71st Street and has all the contacts available on its official website and social media pages.
CLEARING gallery has three spaces – one in Brooklyn, another one in Beverly Hills, and the third one in Brussels. Its founder Oliver Babin has a personal history as a young artist, so he says he recognizes the struggle in the “jungle” that is the art world.
Therefore, he’s ever-ready to welcome talented emerging artists at CLEARING – and they often use the chance given as a kickstart for an astounding career. For example, that was what happened with Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai whom Babin spotted in 2012 when he was a fresh Columbia graduate.
Though CLEARING doesn’t exactly announce commitment to supporting student artists, you can try to reach out via contacts provided on its official website and see how it goes.
Making it big in any creative profession is never easy: competition is fierce, while opportunities are often scarce. So, the earlier you start promoting yourself and your work – the better. There’s no need to wait until graduation to get down to action: if you really want your work to be seen, write those letters of inquiry to the galleries mentioned and set the wheels in motion.