Local art galleries are full of surprises. With lower stakes than you’d find at big Manhattan art spaces, you just might find a budding artist to connect with or an exhibit destined for a much bigger audience down the line.
“The competition for wall space in New York City is fierce,” says Pat Rogers, publisher and managing editor of Hamptons Art Hub, an online publication and website focusing on fine art and the art scene in the New York metro area. With lower rents and overhead, regional galleries may be better able to take chances on emerging artists, she says. And because the gallerists are often part of the communities where artists live, they are more likely to develop personal relationships, visiting studios and securing choice pieces. Here are five outstanding regional galleries.
—by Jeanne O’Brien Coffey
1. KENISE BARNES FINE ART
Clients from the Bank of America Art Program and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, among many others, turn to this well-established Westchester gallery for investment-quality works. Kenise Barnes Fine Art presents a new exhibition every six weeks, and warehouses a collection of 2,000 pieces by more than 50 artists, so there’s something for everyone. The gallery prides itself on its extensive consulting service, which caters to art buyers of all levels, from dabblers to seasoned collectors.
1947 Palmer Ave., 914.834.8077, kbfa.com
2. PARLOR GALLERY
ASBURY PARK, NJ
Long known for a vibrant music scene, Asbury Park’s affordable rents and interesting architecture have also drawn a budding community of artists in the past decade. Parlor Gallery, directed and curated by Jenn Hampton and artist Jill Ricci, opened in 2009 to feature innovative work by emerging and established artists. Visitors may find anything from murals and conceptual art to mixed media, photography, sculpture, and paintings among the roughly 100 artists featured annually. “None of these local artists create work that would be considered vacation or tourist art,” says Hampton. A number have moved on to bigger art markets, galleries, and, in some cases, museums.
717 Cookman Ave., 732.869.0606, parlor-gallery.com
3. KATHRYN MARKEL FINE ARTS
Kathryn Markel opened a Hamptons outpost of her respected Chelsea gallery six years ago, with a casual vibe that welcomes kids, dogs, and ice cream cones. The result invites new consumers to discover her exquisite eye for “journeymen”— career artists who work under the radar but are noted and respected by other artists. Look for totally abstract and abstract nature-based paintings and works on paper—but don’t look for an investment. “I‘m not interested in dealing with art as an asset class,” Markel says. “I firmly believe that great art can be all at once significant, beautiful, and reasonably priced.”
2418 Montauk Hwy., 631.613.6386, markelfinearts.com
4. THE LYME ART ASSOCIATION GALLERY
OLD LYME, CT
Artists have been drawn to Old Lyme for more than a century, since the days when some of the country’s most important impressionists, including Childe Hassam and Willard Metcalf, flocked to what was known as the American Giverny. Members of that colony established the Lyme Art Association in 1914 to display their works and oversaw construction of a gallery to showcase them. These days, the gallery displays exclusively representational works from contemporary member artists in six juried, themed exhibitions throughout the year, offering space to both talented emerging artists and renowned professionals.
90 Lyme St., 860.434.7802, lymeartassociation.org
5. QUOGUE GALLERY
Chester and Christy Murray, who have been collecting art together for more than 30 years, opened their gallery in 2014 and have already earned acclaim for their carefully curated exhibits. Their collection focuses on abstract expressionism from both emerging and established contemporary artists with a connection to the East End of Long Island. So visitors may find an artist whose work is also in museums, or an early-career painter destined for greatness.
44 Quogue St., 631.653.6236, quoguegallery.com