The Best Events Happening in New York Over July 4th Weekend

Fireworks aren't the only things to look forward to this week.

Independence Day is almost upon us, and those in the New York City area are in luck: The art world is offering a great many ways to celebrate July 4th weekend.

In these engaging and interactive events and exhibitions, some of which are specifically designed for the holiday festivities, families can engage in museum workshops, learn about the history of GIFs, and even watch artist Tom Sachs prepare a cup of tea.

With a focus on fun-filled activities that appeal to all, we’ve compiled a list of events that promise to deliver.

June 15, 2016 – July 31, 2016

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

1. “The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture” at the Museum of the Moving Image
Regardless of how you pronounce the word, Graphics Interchange Format, or GIFs, are now a part of how we communicate with friends and coworkers. There’s still time to catch the current exhibition dedicated to this phenomenon at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, which presents a broad range of the most popular reaction GIFs used by Redditors. The show, in effect, creates what the exhibition’s website states as “animated GIFs used not for artistic expression but as an element of nonverbal communication, as performed language.”

Location: 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria
Price: $15 adults
Time: Wednesdays–Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Fridays, 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. free admission 4:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m; Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Friday, July 1, 2016


Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCE. Courtesy of the Bronx Museum.

2. First Fridays! Outdoor Film Screening at the Bronx Museum
In collaboration with the New York African Film Festival, the Bronx Museum is presenting Africa United, directed by Debs Gardner-Paterson. The documentary tells the tale of three Rwandan children and their quest to fulfill their lifelong dream of taking part in the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg. The event will also feature a special performance by Afro-Cuban jazz artist Dayramir Gonzalez and the group Habana enTRANCE, along with a set by DJ Asho.

Location: Joyce  Kilmer Park (Grand Concourse between E 161st and E 164th) Rain location: The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Price: Free
Time: 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Sunday, July 3, 2016

open studios

Families exploring art together, May 2016. Photograph by Andrew Kist. Courtesy of Whitney Museum of American Art.

3. Open Studios for Families at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Families are invited to bring their kids and spend the day making art based on different works in the museum’s current exhibitions. One exhibition currently on view is “Mirror Cells,” which showcases furniture and objects in direct dialogue with one another to reference our brain neurons that allow us to observe the behavior of others and experience joy and pain. Another exhibition, “June Leaf: Thought Is Infinite,” focuses on aspects of surreal creatures in a deeply imaged world of unreal settings. For future dates, visit Whitney Museum Open Studio Family Programs. The Whitney will also be open 7 days a week during July and August, and will continue to be open late on Fridays and Saturdays until 10:00 p.m.

Location: Whitney Museum of American Art, Floor 3, Laurie M. Tisch Education Center, Hearst Artspace
Price: Free with museum admission
Time: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Stanley Casselman. Frequency-A5V (2016). Courtesy of Mark Borgi Fine Art.

4. Stanley Casselman: Recent Works at Mark Borghi Fine Art
Mark Borgi Fine Art presents Stanely Casselman’s one-man  show to premiere this weekend, July 2 at the Bridgehampton Gallery. Thriving with abstract acrylic paintings, his show Recent Works is the end result of a 30-year-long project to investigate and study the art of using paint. Breaking up each masterpiece is part of Casselman’s mission, and to inflict thought-provoking questions from his audience as to how the lines and shapes on the canvas board contribute to the meaning of the painting as a whole.

Location: Mark Borgi Fine Art, Bridgehampton Gallery
Price: Contact Gallery for price details: (631) 537-7245
Time: Opening Reception: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Through September 4, 2016


Follower of Giovanni Battista Cima de Conegliano. The Virgin and Child with Saint Andrew and Saint Peter (Late 15th-Early 16th Century). Courtesy of the Met Breuer.

5. Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible at the Met Breuer
The inaugural exhibition at the recently-opened Met Breuer takes the term unfinished to a whole new level. With works dating back to the Renaissance era, “incomplete” paintings by art history’s pantheon of masters, such as Titian, Rembrandt, and J.M.W. Turner, are shown in a new light. Modern and contemporary artists such as Lygia Clark, Janine Antoni, and Robert Rauschenberg also have offerings on view.

Location: The Met Breuer, Floor 3 and 4
Price: $25 suggestion
Time: Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Through July 31, 2016

Walker Evans (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1903–1975 New Haven, Connecticut) [Subway Passengers, New York City], 1938 Gelatin silver print; 12.2 x 15.0 cm (4 13/16 x 5 15/16 in.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Arnold H. Crane, 1971 (1971.646.18)

Walker Evans. Subway Passengers (1938). Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

6. Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play at the Met Fifth Avenue
In a thrilling new exhibition, the Met Fifth Avenue will be showcasing rare photographs of criminals and lawbreakers by modern artists such as Walker Evans, Diane Arbus, and Larry Clark. Highlights include Alexander Gardner’s “Execution of the Conspirators,” a series that tracks the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination, as well as surveillance photographs of Patricia Hearst’s 1974 bank heist. With a total of 70 installations, the Met collection has mixed old photographs with new works by modern artists.

Location: The Met Fifth, Gallery 852
Price: $25 suggestion
Time: Sunday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

Through July 24


Tom Sachs and Johnny Fogg. Tea Ceremony: Offer Bowl (2016). Courtesy of the Noguchi Museum.

7. Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony at Noguchi Museum 
To mark their 30th anniversary, the Noguchi Museum is currently offering a solo exhibition by someone other than Noguchi. Artist Tom Sachs is reimagning the practice of chanoyu, a distinct method of preparing and serving tea according to ancient Japanese tradition. Visitors are allowed to watch as Sachs and his companion, Johnny Fogg, perform the tea ceremony for a few guests. Those interested in participating may select one of the times available to apply.

Location: Noguchi Museum
Price: $10 general admission
Time: Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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