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Canal Street Pop-Up Shows

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Temporary Art Exhibitions

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Chinatown
Public Art, Arts and Entertainment, Gathering Place


Kelsey Xu

Located throughout Canal Street are pop-up art exhibits that change every few weeks. Galleries range from photography to virtual reality experiences and 4-D interactive structures. Knowing that each exhibit has a limited lifespan forces you to appreciate them more. It’s nice to have a place in Manhattan that’s cheap (often free) that’s not another cafe or store. 

There are several glass front stores that are rented out to artists and creators. Some pop-ups also exit in emptied rooms separated from the sidewalk by a rolling metal gate. The interiors change with each designer.

What I miss most was just walking into the pop-ups every few weeks and having no idea what to expect. Even better was the chance to talk to the creators and get behind their inspiration for their art. It’s not one of the hot tourist spots so there’s a pretty big chance you’ll go into a deep conversation with some other New Yorker about the piece, current events, and the nearest cup of coffee. 

Considering the status of the world, it will take a while before non-essentials like art galleries reopen.

(added April 2020)


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