New York City has always played host to a bevy of world-renowned art galleries, whether for long stints in historic museums, art galleries along the Bowery or super-small, insider-only exhibits. The desire for people to showcase their art is always rampant and as rents increase in New York, many are finding alternatives to showcase their work. Enter: pop-up galleries. Pop-up galleries are a cost-effective way to put on an exhibit, save money and use non-traditional spaces to stand out.

Last month Storefront hosted Princeton University’s School of Architecture students in this LES studio for the school’s post-professional thesis student exhibition, and the result was a beautiful exhibit created on a student budget with a 3-week engagement. Here are 3 tips to finding a pop-up gallery space on a budget.

Photo: Miguel de Guzman

1.Location, Location, Location.

While on the hunt for a pop-up exhibition, the students wanted to make sure that it met the requirements they were looking for. “Location was big. The dean wanted to make sure the space was near establishments that were of interest to the crowds we were trying to attract,” states Kira McDonald, one of the student organizers. Because of the plethora of art galleries, foot traffic, and young crowds, they loved this Orchard Street gallery.

Photo: Miguel de Guzman

2. Short, but sweet.

For artists and designers on a budget, a short-term duration in a high-traffic location is the most financially viable. Mcdonald’s tip: “Make it shorter with a lot of programming to condense it and make it more lively and exciting”. With just a 3 week duration, the students were able to set-up properly, have events to invite people and create an element of excitement in the area since the gallery would be temporary.

Photo: Miguel de Guzman

3.Utilize and play up the space as much as possible

Just as the location of the pop-up store is important, the interiors of the pop-up gallery should also suit the artist’s aesthetic. With a limited amount of time to set up, artists should choose an exhibition space that they can envision their art in, without wanting to change too much about the infrastructure, lighting, flooring, etc. The students wanted a “storefront that was ground level with a big window” and fell in love with the gallery’s clean interior.

Find your perfect gallery space here>>

Photo: Miguel de Guzman


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