Editors’ Picks: 17 Events for Your Holiday Art Calendar, From a Christmas LED Flower Display to an Origami Extravaganza
Plus, see the holiday displays at Bergdorf Goodman's and the New York Botanical Garden's annual holiday train show.
Each week, we search for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. In light of the global health crisis, we are currently highlighting digital events, as well as in-person exhibitions in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all EST unless otherwise noted.)
Monday, December 21–Tuesday, December 22
In a scene straight out of the Last Supper, artist Anne Mourier is staging a performance in which she washes visitors’ feet in warm water and Marseille soap. The piece is meant to evoke our connection to the earth through the soles of our feet and the caring, feminine role of “Mother Earth.” To participate, book one a 20-minute slot. Both the artist and the audience will be masked for the duration of the performance.
Location: The Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
Price: Free with reservation
Time: 2 p.m.–6 p.m.
Through, Saturday December 26
This exhibition by 10 women-identifying artists takes place in a gallery dedicated to dismantling the “cis-male-centric art canon” by highlighting female, non-binary, and transgender artists. The show is an exploration of the color green, once thought to make paintings less desirable to collectors. The show includes works that probe the color’s many associations, including vegetation, nature, growth, greed, and jealousy.
Location: Olympia, 41 Orchard Street, New York
Price: Free by appointment
Time: Thursday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Through Sunday, December 27
3. “The Privilege of Getting Together” at Regular Normal, New York
The inaugural group show at Regular Normal is an impressive survey of 16 emerging artists, including Bony Ramirez, Joiri Minaya, Larissa de Jesus Negron, Bryan Fernandez, Melissa Joseph, and Max Sarmiento. Behind the new gallery is the co-founder of MECA Art Fair and ARTNOIR, Danny Baez, who believes a gallery should first and foremost serve as an open forum for its community.
Location: Regular Normal, 76 Bowery, New York
Time: Wednesday and Thursday, 12–7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 12–8 p.m.; Sunday, 12–6 p.m.
Through Thursday, December 31
4. “Six Feet Apart But Still Together” at the Tompkins Square Library, New York
Photographer Paul Adrian Davies has always been drawn to the streets of New York, but the scenes of 2020 were like no other. His current exhibition at the New York Public Library documents the city under lockdown, from the proliferation of sidewalk dining to plywood barriers erected to protect storefronts from protesters. Though the photos all illustrate the need for distancing, the artist draws hope from evidence that we can be united in our efforts.
Location: Tompkins Square Library, 331 E 10th St, New York
Time: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Through Friday, January 1, 2021
5. “Point of Action by Studio Cooke John” at Flatiron Plaza, New York
For the seventh straight year, the Flatiron Holiday Design Competition is installing public art installation at southwest corner of Madison Square Park. This year, for the first time, the exhibition crosses 23rd Street to allow for more social distancing. Nina Cooke John’s design creates nine individual spotlights, with red circles framed by metal armatures and draped with curtain-like ropes. Painted circles on the ground connect these vignettes, reminding us that we remain interconnected even as circumstances require us to keep our distance.
Location: The North and South Flatiron Public Plazas at the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street
Time: Open daily, at all times
Do you enjoy giving thoughtful presents for Christmas, but are also known for procrastinating? Fields Projects has got the perfect solution for you. The gallery is presenting an exhibition of small artworks by over 100 artists, with each work priced under $300. With artworks by some of the best emerging artists of the day, you’ll be sure to please even the most discerning friend or relative this holiday season.
Location: Fields Projects, 526 West 26th Street, #807, New York
Price: Free by appointment
Time: Thursday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Through Sunday, January 3, 2021
7. “Luminaries” at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place
“Luminaries,” the annual holiday installation from design firm LAB at Rockwell Group, is back for 2020. As always, the artwork is tied to charity, and Brookfield will donate $1 (for up to $25,000) to the nonprofit ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants) for each illuminated “wish” cast by a visitor. There is also a light show every hour on the hour, set to the sounds of Michael Bublé, Tony Bennett, the Bird and the Bee, and Pentatonix.
Location: Brookfield Place, Winter Garden, 230 Vesey Street
Time: Light shows on the hour, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; wishing 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Through Wednesday, January 6, 2021
8. “Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The public health crisis hasn’t stopped the Met from putting up what just may be the city’s most beautiful Christmas tree, decorated with 80 Baroque angels and cherubs. The base of the tree is surrounded by the most ornate Nativity scene you’ve even seen, featuring 50 animals and 70 figures, including the Holy Family, shepherds, and the Magi. The sculptures are 18th-century Neapolitan masterpieces donated to the museum by Loretta Hines Howard.
Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York
Price: General admission, adults $25; seniors $17; students $12; children under 12 free
Time: Thursday–Monday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; closed December 25 and January 1; timed reservations required
Through Sunday, January 10, 2021
9. “The Origami Holiday Tree” at the American Museum of Natural History, New York
OrigamiUSA has teamed up with the American Museum of Natural History to present the institution’s 49th annual origami-decorated Christmas tree. In honor of all that New Yorkers have suffered through in 2020, this year’s “Cranes and Colors” design features 1,000 origami cranes, a symbol of peace. The paper ornaments, which also include creatures inspired by the museum collection, have all been hand-folded by origami artists from all over the world.
Location: American Museum of Natural History 200 Central Park West, New York
Price: General Admission, $23; Students and Seniors, $18; Children (2–12) ,$13.
Time: Open daily, 10 a.m. 6 p.m.; closed December 25
Through Monday, January 11, 2021
10. “Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas” at the Morgan Library & Museum
Every year, the Morgan Library & Museum dutifully breaks out its original manuscript of Charles Dickens’s beloved A Christmas Carol for the holiday season. If the challenges of 2020 have left you feeling a little Scrooge-like this year, you’ll probably relate to the rather morbid page selection on view this year, in which the main character proclaims that “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.” And for those of us who can’t visit the museum in person, there’s also the opportunity to flip through the pages virtually!
Location: The Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue
Time: Wednesday–Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; closing 4 p.m. December 24; closed December 25 and January 1
11. “Oliver Jeffers at Rockefeller Center” at Rockefeller Center, New York
For the second straight year, as it continues its takeover of empty spaces throughout Rockefeller Center, Art Production Fund has tapped an illustrator to create a holiday-themed map of the complex, which is home to the world’s most famous Christmas tree. (This year, it came replete with the world’s cutest owl.) Visitors can take a free copy of a map pointing to local landmarks like the Atlas sculpture, and also spot 13 displays of Jeffers’s illustrations both indoors and out throughout the plaza.
Location: Rockefeller Center, 10, 30, 45, and 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York
Time: Open daily, at all times
Through Sunday, January 17, 2021
12. “Cecile Chong: Breath of Blue” at Selenas Mountain, Queens
This solo show by multimedia artist Cecile Chong includes a series of encaustic paintings, tapestries, and sculptures. Born in Ecuador to Chinese parents, the artist creates cross-cultural and cross-generational narratives in her work. In the encaustic panels, imagery that is indicative of antique blue and white Chinese porcelain is interrupted by the unconventional surfaces of ping pong paddles and skateboards. The artist’s use of found objects is a statement on the fragility of late-stage capitalism and the global climate crisis.
Location: Selenas Mountain, 63 Woodward Ave #6321, Queens
Time: By appointment
Through Sunday, January 31, 2021
13. “Holiday Train Show” at the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx
As it has every year for the past 28 years, the New York Botanical Garden is hosting spectacular botanical sculptures amid garden railway displays. G-scale trains crisscross the garden’s conservatory, transformed into a miniature landscape full of New York monuments, both past and present, from the Statue of Liberty to Gilded Mansions tragically lost to the wrecking ball. Each landmark is entirely constructed from plant materials, such as twigs, fungi, acorns, and cinnamon sticks. For those who can’t make the trip this year, it’s possible to explore the exhibition via the Bloomberg Connects App.
Location: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, the Bronx
Price: Tickets are reserved garden members due to reduced capacity; memberships start at $90
Time: Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Through Sunday, February 21, 2021
14. “Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection” at the New-York Historical Society
The museum’s annual “Holiday Express” exhibition features selections from Jerry and Nina Greene’s extensive collection of antique toys. (It’s called the Jerni Collection in a portmanteau of the couple’s first names). Model trains crisscross the museum’s first floor, stopping at toy train stations produced from the turn of the 19th century through World War II and crossing over a Lionel model of New York’s Hell Gate Bridge (c. 1928–34), among other highlights.
Location: New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at West 77th Street
Time: Friday (members and age 65+ and immunocompromised 10 a.m.–11 a.m.), 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
15. “Celestial” at ARTECHOUSE New York
The latest exhibition at digital art space Artechouse, which creates immersive, ever-shifting environments using laser projection technology, is inspired by Classic Blue, the Pantone color of the year. The hue was supposed to reflect a sense of peace and tranquility—qualities in which the year has been decidedly lacking. But the exhibition hopes to inspire in viewers as 2020 draws to its long-awaited close.
Location: Artechouse New York, Chelsea Market, 439 West 15th Street, New York
Price: $24 general admission
Time: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
16. “Living Canvas: Bloom” at 299 Park Avenue, New York
In collaboration with the LAB at Rockwell Group, Colombian multimedia artist and computational architect Pico Velásquez has created a site-specific animation of larger-than-life flowers in the lobby of a Midtown office building. The cinematic 60-foot-long digital “Living Canvas” LED display is a collaboration between LAB and Fisher Brothers, which recently renovated the building. To mark Christmas and New Year’s days, the floral animations will be replaced with ones featuring a festive display of ribbons.
Location: 299 Park Avenue, New York
Time: Open daily, at all times
17. “Bergdorf Goodness” at Bergdorf Goodman’s, New York
New York may have fewer department stores these days, but the grand tradition of holiday window displays continues at Bergdorf Goodman’s. Window dresser David Hoey has designed this year’s windows with an eye toward encouraging social distancing, eschewing the kind of intricate details that encourage crowds to press their noses against the glass. And, instead of focusing on the expensive fashions for sale inside, the windows celebrate New York City’s shared values, with mirrored acrylic sculptures of the words love, hope, harmony, joy, peace, equality, kindness, and unity.
Location: Bergdorf Goodman’s, 754 5th Ave, New York
Time: Open daily, at all times
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