The Best Contemporary Art Galleries In Long Island

Panorama of the view from Long Island City, in New York City, USA
Panorama of the view from Long Island City, in New York City, USA | Photo by Pierre Bouyer on Unsplash
Oliver Griffin

Long Island is famed as a cultural hot-spot in the United States’ north east and, as the most populous island in the United States, the area is home to numerous art galleries. Catering to every art enthusiast, both quirky and traditional art spaces hold various events to help people get closer to the work on show. Here are our top ten places to see art in Long Island.

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Main Street Petite Gallery

One of several galleries managed by the Huntington Arts Council, the Petite Gallery on Main Street offers free entry to guests, although there is a suggested donation. There are a number of exhibitions planned for the 2014 but visitors should check with the gallery team to find out which are open to the public or to members.

BJ Spoke Gallery

girl the gallery in front of the artwork

BJ Spoke Gallery is a member-owned and run co-operative art gallery that focuses on the work of Long Island’s best artists. With a number of competitions and exhibitions throughout the year, art is available to be purchased through the gallery shop. The gallery first opened in 1976 at a Port Washington site; after a few years of moving, the gallery eventually settled in Huntington, where it has remained since the 1990s. It is important to know that the gallery is not solely dedicated to visual art; there are also regular poetry presentations, and art-based seminars often feature on the gallery’s calendar.

Central Galleries

Central Galleries is unlike many of the other galleries featured in this list, in that many of the works of art are available for purchase. The gallery specialises in fine art and is one of Long Island’s preeminent art centres. The gallery has been running for well over 30 years, and the team there have worked hard to nurture special and enduring relationships with the artists that they feature. The gallery occasionally runs events from its new, modern base and encourages purveyors of fine art to come and experience the work on show. This gallery is really one for the art experts among us.

FotoFoto Gallery

FotoFoto Gallery was established by three Long Island photographers in 2003. The gallery aims to promote both experimental and traditional photography techniques and styles. Work showcased at the gallery includes submissions from Patricia Beary, a local Long Island school teacher, and Barry Feuerstein, a professional photo artist. The gallery also exhibits the work of students in a number of photo shows that take place throughout the year. The cost of these events is free and the photos are subject to judging from a selection of photography experts, with prizes for the best entrants.

Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery

Open to the public and free of charge, the Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery is part of the Nassau Community College (of the State University of New York). As such, the gallery follows an academic calendar and is closed during the holiday seasons. Emmett Wigglesworth, a celebrated muralist, poet and painter, has previously been an artist-in-residence at the gallery. Wigglesworth, who has dominated the New York art scene, makes use of vibrant and saturated colour to explore and discuss issues of racism. The gallery also runs a competition each year for both its students and the public to take part in.

Gallery North

Art gallery

Showcasing a wide variety of different arts and crafts, Gallery North is a non-profit art centre that was established in 1965. The gallery’s focus is on modern, contemporary art across a selection of different media. This includes painting, drawing, print-making and sculpting, to name but a few artistic methods on show. As well as exhibiting works, the gallery also allows visitors to study art; it runs a variety of classes for people to try their hand at new skills and techniques. Previous exhibitions have included The Poetry of Art and Eating, a collection that focused on the way that people think, speak and express themselves on the subject of food.

Heckscher Museum of Art

Located amidst an array of charming shops and award-winning restaurants in Heckscher Park in Huntington, New York, the Heckscher Museum of Art provides a dynamic schedule of changing exhibitions showcasing American art alongside public programs for adults, families, and children, including First Friday concert series, gallery talks, and workshops. Admission to the museum is free for active military personnel, veterans, and their families.

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