The struggles of artists to survive in New York were well-known to Miki Stiles, who established the Agora Gallery in 1984 to contribute to the cause. The 8,000 square foot, well-lit space located in Chelsea hosts more than twenty exhibitions per year on various mediums. There are popular photography and painting shows, digital art explorations and sculptures, as well as exhibitions that highlight basic drawing, mixed media and more, usually with many artists contributing works to the gallery. The annual Chelsea International Fine Art Competition also takes place at Agora, and is juried by prominent museum curators and art experts from across the city. Collectors are always part of the gallery’s general audience, and private consultations are available.
An offshoot of Greenwich House, an institution founded in 1902 to "help individuals lead more fulfilling lives," Greenwich House Pottery has served as an artistic outlet for the community for more than a century. Classes teach students the techniques of crafting pottery by hand or on the wheel, and the Jane Hartsook Gallery's collection of ceramics lets visitors fulfill their cultural appetite without having to eat crumpled-up beat poems. Despite the general laidback atmosphere, the school's program has attracted such accomplished kiln-folk as Peter Voulkos and Margaret Israel as guest teachers throughout the years.
At the Center for Book Arts in the Flatiron District, the book is not merely something to read but an object of art in its own right. In addition to weekly readings, workshops, lectures, round table discussions on bookmaking and its place in the art world, the 3rd-floor center hosts rotating exhibitions that demonstrate the same love of the page. There’s also a permanent collection of about 2,000 books and prints by regional, national and international writers and publishers. For those looking to get their hands more inky, the center runs courses in various aspects of bookmaking including binding, manuscript illumination, letterpress and conservation.
Offshore Sailing exposes participants to Steve and Doris Colgate’s years of water-navigating, knot-tying experience. The couple actively participates in several national boards and committees and competes in numerous races. This year marks the school’s 46th year in business. Budding sailors will participate in a two-hour lesson with two to four other students, ensuring individual attention from knowledgeable instructors on a sleek, award-winning Colgate 26 sailboat. The lesson will provide novice seafarers with the basic skills to sail a boat up to 30 feet long with confidence, just like it has for more than 115,000 other graduates.
Before the archivists of Art and Framing Gallery begin a project, they slip on pairs of cotton gloves. By sheathing their hands, they guard against fingerprints and finger-paints. Their dedication to museum-quality workmanship shines through each project, whether it's a same-day framing job or a standard three- to seven-day order.
In Art and Framing Gallery's showrooms, walls display more than 3,000 frame samples and acre upon acre of mats. Ready-made framed mirrors and artwork also share this space, which connects to in-house workshops. Here, craftsmen cut custom glass and piece together each project. They skillfully preserve artwork and portraits and excel with projects that require special care. They encase delicate antiques in UV-protective glass and display sports jerseys in cases that ward off wrinkling and grass stains.
Nestled between Soho and Little Italy, Posteritati’s expansive gallery space invokes the golden age of cinema with more than 9,000 black-and-white and Technicolor movie posters. Petite placards and wall-length signboards span decades and genres that range from the once-popular film noir to the criminally overlooked fettuccini western. Colorful books on cinema arts round out Posteritati's collection and share space on the gallery’s dark hardwood floors with a rotating array of autographed handbills signed by producers, writers, and stars such as Lena Horne. The shop regularly hosts shows and poster exhibitions that revolve around central screen themes such as politics, romance, and actors’ relationships with antagonizing laugh tracks.