ART

brooklyn art, herve tullet author, press play, this isn't trash, invisible dog art

When children’s book author, Herve Tullet’s team invited us to Brooklyn to see his latest art exhibit, we trekked over the Brooklyn Bridge!  These two minifashionistas had to see “This Isn’t Trash,” (the title to this imaginative artist’s graphic installation) and us mommy bloggers obliged!

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featured here are GothamLove and DowntownChicMoms

The Invisible Dog Art Center where this was held was packed that night with art-lovers looking to get up close and personal with the both the author and his work.  Up-close viewings revealed torn paper, shreds, tape and pieces on the floor left to look a little like trash.

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above photo: Courtesy The Invisible Dog- Simon Courchel

There was even a cardboard box sitting in the middle of the room, there for people to discover, with the label this isn’t trash filled with scrap, torn pieces of his art.  Of course, this was a big hit with the kids!

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For more on this exhibit, check out my article on Mommy Nearest!DSC_7990  herve tullet, herve tullet book, herve tullet art

And check out these two playing ring around the rosie right outside the exhibit! (Thanks GothamLove for the video!)

 

 

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Whether or not you’re an art enthusiast, this newly launched art exhibition in partnership with NYC non-profit, Chashama Foundation, will have you doing double-takes.  Situated at the corner of Broadway and Exchange Place in New York City’s Financial District, Carole Feuerman’s hyperrealistic sculptures placed front and center near the entryway beg for a closer look.

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A quick glance around and you realize there is a quirky swim theme.  “For me,” Ms. Fuerman reflects, “swimmers represent peace, serenity, and survival.”

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Ladies fashioned in vintage swim caps and modest suits share a nonchalant “life’s a beach” sort of vibe that brings you back to your last vacation.

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Wouldn’t these sculptures be so fun sitting on top of a resort pond or reflecting pool somewhere?

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The paintings shared a vibrant, happy tone -something that Juliet could relate to. DSC_7549

Apparently though Carole Feuerman’s sculptures had achieved worldwide fame, this was the first time her paintings and prints were on view to the public.  I thought they were glorious and reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s pop art.

Perhaps the most surprising element to this FIDI art exhibit however was the lone man sitting in the corner seemingly watching us observe the female figurines.

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He caught Juliet by surprise as she wondered out loud whether he was also a statue.  True to the artist’s form, she detailed out all the imperfections.  Here Juliet is pointing out his scuffed up sneakers saying maybe someone stepped on him.  hah

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If you’re in the area and have a few minutes to spare, I highly suggest you check this out.  It’s a fun, break from the ordinary and makes you re-examine what you know to be true.   See the 3 top reasons to take your toddler to an art gallery here.   And follow us on Instagram to see our daily fashionable mommy and me adventures!

 

 

PERCEPTION – In the Eye of the Beholder by Carole Feurerman
is on exhibit  at the Chasama space at One Exchange Plaza, on the corner of Broadway and Exchange (across the street from Fidelity bank)
on view until March 24th
M-Th 12pm-7pm, Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-8pm, Sun 4pm-7pm

 

 

 

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above photo by Plamen Petkov

If you’re looking for an off-the-beat, unique art experience in NY, the gallery at the Cadillac House is a must-see!  For Instagram addicts, this is THE fantasy selfie station.  With all sorts of wacky backdrops including fish wallpaper, crocodile statues, and spaghetti floors, it’ll have you posing and preening in all the nooks and crannies of its psychedelic space!  We loved it because not only did it spur a fantastical imagination, it was interactive!  What child doesn’t want to touch and feel?  This pop-up apartment envisioned by Ferrari and Cattelan encourages you to explore and more!  Here is Juliet jumping on the bed and playing Cinderella by vacuuming the floors!!

And just like with any other apartment, this one required a lot of household chores.  We started our day getting ready at the vanity, then found dirty laundry sitting on the bathroom floor, a kitchen with dinner uncooked, and hungry pets to feed.

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With so much to do around the house, you might just need to, lounge and call a friend from the comforts of your colorful bed.

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Needless to say, this was SUCH a fun place for her and I to play pretend.  We went after school pick up (around 1:30pm) on a weekday and were the only ones there!  I highly suggest going during the weekday with your kids to fully enjoy the space.  After you’re done, you can treat yourself to a little something at the beautiful cafe that they have and also browse the latest Cadillac models!   IMG_1097 IMG_1098

What a fun mommy and me outing this was!  Click here for more of our fashionable adventures around the city!

The exhibition was made possible through creative media agency Visionaire and Toiletpaper MagazineFerrari and Cattelan are co-creators of the latter. Toiletpaper Paradise runs through April 12 and is free to the public.

The Gallery at Cadillac House
330 Hudson Street
New York City

 

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If you’ve read my past post about the 3 top reasons to take a toddler to an art gallery, you know we love frequenting them!  Today, after school, we enjoyed another artsy adventure, this time closer to our home, in Tribeca.  R & Company on 82 Franklin (between Church and Broadway) is a 2-floor, narrow unassuming space that you’d miss easily if not looking specifically for it.  Step inside though and you’ll be greeted with playful bursts of color and sculptures that beg you to reach out and touch them.  As soon as Juliet stepped in, she screamed in delight, “Mommy this place looks like so much FUN!”

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And indeed it was!  The tactile surfaces were fun to explore and luckily, this gallery encouraged not only feeling the exhibits but also sitting, climbing and exploring in them!

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Yes, the artist’s name is actually “Porky Hefer…”

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Isn’t this such a wonderous place for a child to enjoy art?

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It inspires such curiosity and imagination!

DSC_6897“Each piece is meant to be inhabited like a hermit inhabits shells.” He encourages visitors to curl their bodies into the playful, human-scaled shells and nests, or to drape themselves languidly over the leopard’s branch.

Downstairs, though was where Juliet’s favorite pieces were.  She got such a kick out of the coin couch because we were just teaching her the value of coins.  “I wonder how the artist made this!” And so we discussed possibilities and she determined, “glue!” haha

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Johnny Swing‘s iconic coin works have been exhibited in museums and institutions around the world. Swing, who is considered a master welder and craftsman, has developed a unique patterning technique that utilizes flat shiny coins to create furniture works. His innovative approach successfully transforms these industrial found coins into biomorphic and natural forms that transcend their material. (excerpt from the exhibit’s website)

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Coins certainly take on a whole new value in the mind of this tiny toddler!

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Juliet’s other favorite find was this fuzzy little beast.  When it was time to go, she said, “but I LOVE him!!”  So I let her stay for a bit and she spent the remaining minutes, cuddling and kissing this crazy fur creature.  “Wait! 3 more hugs!” she exclaimed as motioned for us to go.DSC_6940

If you’re in the NY area, I highly recommend R and Company.  This intimate art gallery will only take you 30minutes of your time depending on how many selfies you take 🙂 and is great to explore with kids!  We went on a Monday afternoon and were the only ones in there!  Woohoo! This exhibit is open until February 23rd.

 

To see more of our mommy and me artsy adventures, click here!

 

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What better way to celebrate Lunar New Year than to take my half Chinese daughter to an edible exhibit all about Chinese food at the Museum of Food and Drink!  I’ve never been to a museum that offered a sniff and taste test so I was excited to trek to Brooklyn and check it out.   .

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Juliet is always game for a mommy and me adventure and is no stranger to museums.  And she liked the sound of getting to eat her way through this one!

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The most spectacular sight there was an interactive curtain of Chinese take out boxes.  Each box symbolized 7 of the 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the US!

chinese food, food and drink museum, food museum It was impossible to resist walking through the curtains.chinese art, chinese food, chow, museum of food and drink

Juliet did this at least 100 times!IMG_0872

At this limited-time-only exhibit, we were reminded of Chinese immigration history, learned about the secrets behind “velveting,” (a cooking technique I’m going to have to incorporate now) and tested our senses.  Apparently Juliet is not a fan of the smell of coffee!

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The most scent-sational exhibit for us however, was the tantalizing fortune-cookie-making machine which continuously offered treats to all the visiting guests and filled the entire museum with its sweet, baked scent.

Each colorful fortune was thoughtfully created by the public who were invited to invent their own fortunes via social media or through the interactive station found at the museum.  How cool is this??

museum of food and drink

Another tasty treat was found at the cooking demonstration where we watched as a friendly chef replicated Chef Irene Li from Mei Mei Restaurant / Mei Mei Street Kitchen’s Kung Pao chicken.

chinese cooking, chinese restaurant

Too bad he in full performance mode, flipped the chicken so high in the air that it splattered and fell all over my Chanel purse haha!

I learned so much about the evolution of the Chinese American restaurant’s 170 year history in the form of menu timelines, first dish originations, ingredient and sauce formations and secret cooking techniques i.e. “velveting.”

As “New York City’s first food museum, MOFAD seeks to advance the public understanding of the culture, history, science, production, and commerce of food and drink. Our exhibition allow(s) students to see, smell, touch, and explore while learning about different cuisines. Our multi-sensory approach to learning uses food as a lens to understand our world.”  It was such a fun, educational, and memorable way to celebrate Lunar New Year!

Check it out before the end of February.  (tofu and crab sauce is served at their culinary studio in February).

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  • review the hours, they are not the usual museum hours and start at 12noon on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!
  • same-day tickets cannot be bought after 4pm.
  • Use code Groups10 at checkout for groups of 10 or more to receive $1 off each entry.
  • Lyft, Via and Uber can all take Manhattanites there (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
  • If you want to subway it there, MOFAD is still 8blocks away from the nearest (L) train.
  • There is a complimentary (unsecured) coat and stroller storage area
MOFAD Lab
62 Bayard Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 387-2845
mofad.org 

 

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Love theater but afraid your kids won’t sit still long enough to make the ticket purchase worthwhile?  Or have you been there done that and are now looking for something new?  Even the most jaded New Yorker is sure to find Pip’s Island, a new interactive, theatrical production playing in Chelsea for a limited time only, exciting and new.  Forget the traditional stage and seating.  No, think total immersion and exploration!  It’s an hour-long adventure led by  Pip and his pals, Pebble and Finn.  And it’s a NY performance that your kids won’t want to miss!

nyc things to do with kids, kids theater nycIt all starts with the invitation to try on special explorer vests.  Getting costumed up is something all kids seem to enjoy and this helps build anticipation for what awaits.

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I tried to explain to my 3.5 year old that these safari – like jackets were going to help us get in the mood for our little adventure.  But I honestly had very little idea of what to expect.  Their whimsical website was certainly intriguing though and knew I was in for an experience like no other.   “Incorporating the latest curriculum guidelines and play trends, Pip’s Island is guaranteed to empower its audience through sheer wonder.”dsc_4027

We were given a brief overview of our mission which was basically to to help solve a mystery and fight off the villain.  The story line without going into full detail will bring out the inner superhero in kids of all ages.  By walking through a fantastical tree, you enter Pip’s Island, a magical, faraway world.  And with the help of fellow adventurers, you move through 5 rooms all filled with wonderous objects and themes that invite touch, lure childhood play, and excite curiosity.  Children are encouraged to help find, make, build, and carry items.  They practice power moves, tackle puzzles and celebrate with bubbles. We weren’t allowed to take photos or videos once inside but suffice it to say this was Disney – level: set, costume and production!

It was such a treat to be able to enjoy something so special, so unique, so kid-centric, yet fun for adults too!

dsc_4035We sincerely thank Pip’s Island for graciously asking us to partake and review their show.  It made for a fun-filled family memory.  And we thoroughly enjoyed it!

 

Pip’s Island is at Skylight Modern. (537 West 27th Street)
performances through Sunday, January 8, 2017.
Tickets are $50 per person discounted tickets on BroadwayBox.com

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NYC has so much to offer in terms of arts and culture.  We feel blessed to have so many amazing opportunities to show Juliet a good time that are both fun for all and educational too!  When Symphony Space invited us to view one of their new, family-friendly “Just Kidding” performances, we were thrilled to review their calendar and find that they had dance performances for our tiny dancer to watch!  This 3.5 year old LOVES dance!  She has started ballet at 18months and has this year, added tap classes to her dance routine. Having read that there would be over 100 dancers from National Dance Institute’s “The Celebration Team” on stage we knew this would be a spectacle!

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What we didn’t know and fully appreciate until after seeing the show was the level of professionalism that would be exhibited.  As a fellow dancer myself, (I trained in tap and jazz for 12 years, while also dabbling in ballet, hip hop and other forms of dance) I deeply understood the hours of practice and collaboration a performance like this required.  And to think we expected to see another kid’s recital…

national dance institute, arts for kids, nyc kids

What made this dance performance so awe-inspiring was the choreography.  I was seriously SO impressed.  Dances ranged from African to modern, to jazz and hip hop styles- all mixed in with an innovative dose of poetry.  (yes poetry!)  And I’m not talking about the Dr. Seuss variety but quotes from Walt Whitman and other sophisticated leaders and prime poets from our century!  And the creativity  (oh the creativity!)  It was Broadway / Martha Graham – level!  I couldn’t help but be a tad bit jealous of these kids who got to train under such talented tutelage.  Way to go to all the Producers and developers of this show!ndi_poetry_02medium

The other interesting things about the show was that it featured a healthy mix of boys and girls.  They say it’s hard to find male dancers but you wouldn’t know it from this stage! They made for excellent examples for all the littles to look up to!  And finally, who knew a kids’ dance performance could so powerfully translate themes of diversity, hope, and love.  We appreciated the sophisticated messages that kept the adults thinking and on their toes too!

Tips for Parents:

  • refreshments can be purchased inside the auditorium.  There’s even wine for the adults (woohoo!) and yes, you are allowed to take them back to your seat.
  • Booster seats for the little ones are readily made available so everyone no matter their age enjoyed excellent viewing
  • Indoor stroller valet is free of charge
  • It’s conveniently located across from the 96th street subway stop on Broadway

In this highly digital age, it’s so nice when we can find entertainment away from an ipad that is rich with culture, isn’t it?  Plus what parent can turn down the opportunity to give their kids an art-filled family memory? The Symphony Space’s remarkable calendar of events (there are shows every weekend now through the end of March!) includes everything from music to acrobatics to comedy, to puppetry to theater and of course, dance.  You’re sure to find something that suits your fancy.

Here are a couple of our picks for upcoming shows!


Les Parfaits Inconnus

“goofballs who jugle, rock out, shimmy up poles, and make their audiences squeal with delight.” -The Seattle Times

Saturday, January 7 at 11 am and 2 pm:

Justin Roberts and The Not ready for Naptime Players 

“the Judy Blume of Kiddie rock” -The New York Times)

Sat., December 10 11am and 2pm

Full Disclosure – we were given complimentary tickets to review the show and venue.   All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

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times square, nyc kid, nyc art, nyc, broadway plaza

I purposely opted not to enroll Juliet in school on Fridays so we would have the freedom to take long weekend getaways or get to sleep in and enjoy mommy and me city adventures.  This is the last year we will have after all, before she has to attend school regularly M-Fri.  While the weather is still nice here in New York, we like to go out and explore all of New York’s offerings.  There’s so much to see and do and Times Square is one of the many locales that offers so much in terms of attractions, shopping and now art!  I’m excited to share with you, “The Beginning of the End,” an interactive and reflective monument in the heart of Times Square’s Broadway Plaza (between 46th and 47th streets).  It asks visitors to “reassess their perspective on an entirely different visual reality, how they see themselves in the environment that surrounds them, and how that relationship changes as the reflections create new visual possibilities.”

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Seeing Times Squares skyscrapers and flashing lights multiplied through all the mirrors was pretty spectacular!  If you’re in the area, you have to see this while you can.  It’s only around for another week (website says it closes down Nov 21st).  Who knows, it might just inspire a little dancing in the streets!

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It encourages even the most jaded New York-ers to look up, and really look around to appreciate the magnificent skyline and energy of the city.  We are so lucky to live in this vibrant place.

the beginning of the end, times square, broadway plaza, nyc art, mirrors

matching outfits, nyc mom, nyc kid

                                                                                                                                                                  Juliet’s dress is care of Sprouting Threads

I just wish Cuban artist Rachel Valdés Camejo could see all the joy she brought to the heart of this city through her art.  It brought smiles and such joy to tourists and NY-ers alike!

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Tips for parents:

  1. Nearby restrooms can be found at McDonald’s across the street
  2. The Disney store (which also has a restroom on the 2nd floor),  and the Hello Kitty TS store are great stops before/after
  3. There are tons of family-friendly restaurants nearby, (Carmine’s for Italian and Ellen’s Stardust Diner for dinner with a show are my top picks)
  4. Dave and Buster’s is at 234 W 42nd St, 3rd Floor
  5. Hershey’s Times Square is at 1593 Broadway
  6. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! is at 234 W 42nd Street
  7. Midtown Comics is at 200 West 40th Street
  8. You’ll see lots of opportunities to snap photos of your child with costumed characters found along the streets of Times Square (think Mickey, Minnie, Elmo, Hello Kitty and superheroes) but beware, you will be expected to tip!

Where else would you recommend hitting in the heart of Times Square?

For more of our artsy adventures, click here!

 

 

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When Juliet says, “Mommy I love going on adventures with you!” She is referring to our little mommy and me field trips where I take her to new and exciting NYC spaces offering arts and culture.  Here, we explored an immersive gallery experience at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery on 521 W 21st st.  The moment you first view this colorful, web like art structure, curiosity takes over and you can’t wait to get close-up to Ernesto Neto’s work.

nyc art, art gallery, kids art

Titled, “The Serpent Gave Birth To Humanity”, was made up of finger-knitted weaves that evoked the image of an “infinite serpent.”

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It welcomed touch which was so perfect for a toddler with curious hands.

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As you crawled through openings, and slithered through curvy tunnels, it was hard not to appreciate that you were in a special place.

dsc_3177There was also a round, canopied structure, that created a tent-like fort where Juliet found instruments to play with like a guitar and the drum set below.  She even danced to the music made by others!dsc_3185

It was very apparent that the artist considered the energy, sounds and movements made by the inhabitants part of his ever-moving art.  We had so much fun exploring the space, its textures, and its wonders that we hardly realized that an hour had passed!  It’s a great spot to come with kids, or just to sit, relax and reflect on its padded yellow floors.

tanya bonakdar gallery, nyc art gallery

This solo exhibition is on view from October 29 through December 17, 2016 and is free and open to the public.  We hope that you too will be able to experience this vibrant, immersive experience!

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For more video recaps, follow us @fabgabblog on Instagram!

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misaki kawai, cave life

I love art and so does Juliet.  We’ve enrolled her in art classes since age 18months and she has happily and proudly made her own art at various school settings and at home ever since!  She often comes running over to us at school pick-up excitedly telling us, “I made this for YOU!!” And we’ve already collected a mountain of her artwork, turning our fridge and sometimes her playhouse into a virtual art gallery.  One way we’ve encouraged her love of art is to take her to art galleries around the city.  Here are the 3 main reasons galleries are great places to take a toddler. 

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  1. It’s a mommy and me outing that doesn’t SUCK.  There comes a time (usually weekly) where you’ve had enough of the playgrounds and indoor play pits.  Anyone relate to this?  Kids running around, crying and screaming while your mind goes numb and you look into your phone as your only outlet for parental pleasure…  Sometimes you need to mix it up!  Take your kids to a kid-friendly art gallery for some education and culture that feeds both your minds and souls.  How many times can you say you left inspired after leaving the playground?? misaki kawai, cave life
  2. Experience the culture without the overwhelm.  Toddlers (and plenty of adults) have short attention spans.  Instead of trying to cover an entire museum in one day in order to try and get your money’s worth,  (after all you could be forking over $20 admission at a famed NYC museum), you can expect to dedicate anywhere from 10minutes to a half an hour at a gallery for free while feeling the same accomplishment and satisfaction of having completed an artsy, worthwhile experience.  Small doses feel manageable.  Avoid the overwhelm and ensure yourself a happy toddler.misaki kawai, cave life
  3. It encourages curiosity and creativity.  Win mommy of the week award (if there ever was such a thing) by enriching your child’s life with the joy of exploration, curiosity AND creativity.  Juliet actually told me the other day at our last gallery outing, “Mommy, I love going on adventures with you.  this is so exciting!”  You never know what you may find!  In today’s case, we found an all yellow room, with fun painted furniture in the shape of bananas, snakes and bones.  The large-scale paintings, and wall murals seemed straight out of a child’s imagination.  Juliet immediately related and was quick to tell me about her favorite finds.cave life, nyc art, nyc art gallery, 312 bowery, the hole

If you’re interested in checking out this sunny space, go to 312 Bowery to a gallery space named “The Hole” before this “Cave Life” exhibit by Misaki Kawai ends on October 30th.  Note that it is only open Wednesday – Sunday 12pm-7pm and is by the Bleeker Street 6 train and Broadway-Lafayette B, D, F and M trains.

It promises to bring out the kid in all of us.  Juliet and I went home and continued to talk about what we saw and even tried to replicate some of the artwork at home!

misaki kawai, cave life, nyc art gallery, the hole, art for kids

For more of our artsy adventures, check out our posts on  Refinery 29’s NYFW installation, NYC street art, and the Osgemeos gallery exhibit!

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