Just a few blocks from our neighborhood of Hudson Yards is the well-known Chelsea area, which has been recognized worldwide for its art. You can find art on the side of buildings, taped on lampposts, and of course, in galleries. One of the most prominent art galleries in Chelsea is Agora Gallery. We were lucky enough to take a look inside with Anna Lustberg, Assistant Director of the gallery.
The Lewis: CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE GALLERY AND ITS FOUNDERS?
Anna: Agora Gallery was established in 1984 by the late Miki Stiles to provide opportunities for artists entering the New York art market. Ms. Stiles was a visionary who founded the Gallery on the premise that all artists benefit from having their artwork promoted by a professional gallery. The gallery was located in Soho through the early 2000’s before moving to the heart of the renowned Chelsea art district, where Agora Gallery now occupies the ground floor of 530 West 25th Street. The gallery is frequented by long-time followers, interior designers, collectors, tourists and art lovers looking to find and buy affordable, original artwork.
The Lewis: WHY SHOULD GUESTS AND PEOPLE LIVING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD VISIT AGORA GALLERY?
Anna: Like New York itself, Agora Gallery is quite international. We often present group exhibitions featuring artists who happen to be from around the world, so various styles and mediums can be seen in one visit to the gallery. People in the neighborhood who love original art can visit during our open hours. They can also visit during a Thursday evening reception, which is the usual “opening night” for Chelsea galleries. Our receptions are an opportunity to meet the artists with works on view and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine. Of course, visitors should stop in if they are looking for original art to add to their collections, as the prices are accessible.
The Lewis: WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST REPRESENTED IN THE GALLERY RIGHT NOW?
Anna: We are very selective in choosing the artists we represent, so they’re each a favorite in their own right. We represent so many talented artists, all so different, each with a different story to tell and style to present. Come see for yourself!
The Lewis: WHAT EXHIBIT IN YOUR OPINION EVERYONE SHOULD SEE RIGHT NOW AND WHY?
Anna: Vaydra Wright’s exhibition “Descending into Escapism: Series 1” is on view in our skylight room through June 12th. Her kaleidoscopic digital artworks associated with Surrealism were created as coping strategies for her periods of dissociation, a psychological condition in which one detaches from reality in response to traumatic events and triggering stimuli. Vaydra’s “descent into escapism” is deeply fascinating, whether one knows the source of her inspiration or not.
The Lewis: WHAT ARE THE MOST EXCITING PROJECTS THAT AGORA GALLERY IS WORKING ON RIGHT NOW FOR THE SUMMER?
Anna: Agora Gallery hosts the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition and will present its 33rd annual exhibition for the selected artists this August. We’re also looking ahead to Miami’s Art Basel Week and will be putting together our booth to present at Spectrum Miami 2018. And finally, visitors can look forward to our summer Thursdays, when we’ll extend our hours till 8pm once a week from June through August.