Hot NYC Neighborhoods for Art Galleries

These neighborhoods haven't just become hipster enclaves, they are also the siren song for new artists making an impact.

It is no secret that NYC is home to some of the world’s best galleries. Manhattan neighborhoods like Chelsea and Midtown have long been known as destinations for art lovers seeking out both retrospectives and new works from local and international painters, sculptors and others. Over the past several years, though, places like Manhattan’s Lower East Side and, in Brooklyn, Bushwick, Red Hook and Williamsburg, have seen a spike in artist populations and their exhibitors. Visit these neighborhoods for some of the most innovative art galleries in the Big Apple.


With a parent gallery in Brussels, CLEARING is an innovative artistic space that can be found in this northern Brooklyn neighborhood. Like its European counterpart, this stateside location dedicates itself to showcasing the artwork of contemporary young artists from across the globe. Artists featured in this gallery include Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel, whose “Rosa Aurora Rosa,” which was created out of the duo’s exploration of bidets, sinks and soap dishes, is a work of marble in varying shades of pink. 

Also in Bushwick is Signal, which, in 2012, was officially transformed from rug storage space into an art gallery. Opened by friends Kyle Jacques and Alexander Johns, Signal is dedicated to showcasing works by emerging artists, while also providing spaces for nontraditional art forms, like performance art. Signal also plays host to annual local events, including Bushwick’s Art Book & Zine Fair, usually held in July.


Bringing thought-provoking art to Red Hook, Pioneer Works is an experimental and interdisciplinary production space that can be found in this seaside-like Brooklyn neighborhood. The gallery strives to push boundaries in order to create a provocative cultural environment for its visitors. Upcoming Pioneer Works exhibits, adhering to the gallery’s tradition of showcasing mixed-media and other works, range from a televisual, performative display to this month’s six colossal light works by New York-based artist Anthony McCall.

City Reliquary


Unlike other NYC-based galleries, The City Reliquary bridges the gap between past and present by celebrating the artistic history that makes up the creative city it calls home. Its origins date back to 2002, when founder Dave Herman transformed his apartment on the corner of Grand and Havemeyer Streets into an interactive window display. Since those humble beginnings, The City Reliquary has moved to Metropolitan Avenue and today houses a smorgasbord of exhibits that tell the story of New York City through odd and engaging artifacts. 


Invisible-Exports, previously located on Orchard Street, is another city art hub that is home to works, always innovative and sometimes controversial, created by a variety of contemporary artists. Since moving to its Eldridge Street location in 2013, the art space has showcased conceptual pieces that have an alternative cultural flair. Cutting-edge art aficionados and traditional art lovers alike can all appreciate the work on display. Currently on view is an exhibit by modernist Scott Treleaven, with collages of his own photographs, and text paintings and new ceramics by American visual artist Cary Leibowitz.

Arielle Witter
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