Thursday night gallery hops are a mainstay of the New York art scene. Chelsea is by far the center of the action, where usually one to two dozen art galleries coordinate each week to host openings from 6pm to 8pm, giving the arts crowds an efficient cultural and social experience similar to what one finds at an art fair.
Comparatively, Dumbo is the new kid on the block when it comes to art neighborhoods. It’s not the established contemporary art scene of Chelsea. It’s not the modern and old masters art scene of the Upper East Side. It’s frankly not even the emerging art scene of Bushwick and Williamsburg. So what are these so called “First Thursday” events in Dumbo going for?
In my mind, not only do I not know the answer to that, but more importantly even the galleries who participate in this monthly even don’t know what they’re going for. It takes time to build an art scene, and Dumbo really still has quite a long ways to go if they succeed at all in having a meaningful prescence in the art world. With last night’s dismal attendance and across-the-board mundane artworks on exhibit for exorbitant prices, “First Thursdays” for now are neither a meaningful cultural nor interesting social experience.
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