East Village Pop-Up Reimagines the Gallery With Morning Yoga and Affordable Art

Visitors at the Allies enjoy the terrace. Photo: Andy Zou.
Visitors at the Allies enjoy the terrace. Photo: Andy Zou.

In advance of Memorial Day Weekend, the Allies, a pop-up space that hopes to serve as a prototype for a new brand of gallery, is offering affordable art and morning yoga classes in New York’s East Village.

The temporary exhibition has been set up by New York-based art pop-up planners Imagination in Space and London’s We Are Pop Up, in collaboration with Copenhagen architecture collective and design firm Pink Cloud and the Columbia School of Architecture. The off-beat art installation is part of Made in the Lower East Side‘s Spring 2014 Storefront Transformer project, which is bringing a series of innovative operations to the first floor of 37 East 1st Street through the end of the month.

With the tag line “say goodbye to the gallery,” the Allies hopes to reinvent the traditional model of selling art by offering a diverse range of work at affordable, democratic prices in a vibrant public space.

The exhibition features six young artists from New York and London, all of whom have found success through self-promotion on social media, rather than via traditional gallery representation: British graffiti artists Elmo Hood and Inkie; Joey L, who photographs indigenous peoples in Ethiopia and India; Bowery muralist Misha T; Sam Spratt, who has created album art for Childish Gambino and Janelle Monae; and Yazmany Arboleda, known for his living sculpture, which he has enacted in Kabul and Nairobi.

Elmo Hood. Courtesy the artist.

Elmo Hood. Courtesy the artist.

More than 200 signed prints, paintings, and photographs will be on offer. The gallery space will also offer jewelry by Heidi Gardner and timepieces from Brooklyn-based watch company Martenero.

Housed in the storefront of a nondescript brick building, the Allies offers more than just art and design. The cement-paved backyard has been transformed into a cheerful urban oasis by Columbia students, with quirky couches crafted from Noodle pool toys.

Sunrise yoga classes will be offered for $10 in the terrace area from 7 to 11:30 a.m., and the gallery will be open afterward until 7:30 p.m. Online farmer’s market Farmigo is hosting farm-to-table “innovation dinners” on May 21 and 22. Other evening events, called the Collectors Club, will include parties, viewings, and panel discussions.

The Allies launches publicly tonight with an opening party. RSVPs are currently open. The pop-up will run through May 27.


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