Art Show Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend and Summer Exhibitions in NYC

Memorial Day Weekend

The sun is out, the first picnic blankets have been spread in Sheeps Meadow and we’re feeling that familiar spring in our step that comes with summer in the city! If you are staying in town for the Memorial Day weekend bookmark these exhibitions to see between that lazy Saturday brunch and the barbeque on Monday for a dose of culture. Bonus points for going on Sunday so you have interesting talking points during the barbeque conversation!

1. Uptown Standout: Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion

Dates: May 10 through September 5
Venue: The Met Museum, 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

For those who mark their calendars for the first Monday in May you may have already checked out the “Sleeping Beauties” Exhibit at the Met. While the Met Gala has already come and gone, you can see the museum's priceless fashion collection in the groundbreaking "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" exhibition. Through avant-garde technology, once motionless garments spring to life, allowing visitors to experience their original vibrancy. Inhale the aromatic floral histories released from vintage hats. Feel intricate embroidery patterns embossed on gallery walls. Witness the restrictive "hobble skirt" in illusory motion through holographic projections.

Spanning four centuries, over 220 nature-inspired pieces transcend their static displays, reminding us fashion was meant to be lived. Floral motifs, previously confined behind glass, beckon you to unlock their stories. Cutting-edge animation and soundscapes reanimate these sleeping beauties, once devoid of dynamism. No longer mere artifacts, these revitalized clothing masterworks reclaim their sensory essence, inviting you to experience the ephemeral magic of fashion reawakened.

2. Uptown Pick for the Hip-Hop Enthusiast: Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry

Dates: May 9 – January 5, 2025
Venue: American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park W, New York, NY 10024

Step into the dazzling world of hip-hop culture at the American Museum of Natural History’s "Ice Cold:
An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry." This stunning collection traces the evolution of hip-hop fashion through exquisite jewelry pieces worn by some of the genre's most iconic stars. Marvel at Slick Rick's gem-encrusted crown, a symbol of his regal presence on stage. Feast your eyes on the Notorious B.I.G.'s legendary gold "Jesus piece," a testament to his larger-than-life persona. Admire the diamond-studded Roc-A-Fella medallion, a nod to the record label co-founded by Jay-Z, who helped redefine hip-hop's opulent aesthetic. And don't miss Nicki Minaj's sparkling "Barbie" pendant, a playful embodiment of her vibrant persona. From the 1980s to today, these jaw-dropping pieces celebrate hip-hop's enduring cultural impact, blending style, swagger, and a fearless spirit into wearable works of art.

3. Downtown Pick: Ernie Barnes: In Rapture

Dates: April 25 – June 15
Venue: Ortuzar Projects, 5 White St, New York, NY 10013

Ernie Barnes: In Rapture" at Ortuzar Projects celebrates the figurative painter's five-decade career depicting the joyous movements of sports, dance, and everyday life. The exhibition surveys Barnes' signature "neo-mannerist" style animating the human form, tracing inspiration from Italian Mannerism to 20th century American painters like Thomas Hart Benton. Despite segregation barring him from museums as a child in Jim Crow-era North Carolina, Barnes honed his skills on an art scholarship while playing college football.

Barnes’ early paintings memorialized his years as an offensive lineman in the AFL before becoming the league's official artist in 1966. Famed for elongated, gravity-defying figures like those in "Protect the Rim," Barnes integrated transcendent athleticism throughout his work, from basketball to the 1984 Olympics. With paintings pulsating with movement and elation, this exhibition spotlights how Barnes' vibrant canvases elevated the lyricism of the body in motion to fine art.

4. Chelsea Pick: Shelter at the Miles McEnery Gallery

Dates: May 16 – July 3
Venue: Miles McEnery Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011
Information: bennett3

Miles McEnery Gallery presents "Shelter," an exhibition of 17 new oil paintings by Amy Bennett that encapsulate uncanny domestic narratives. Small in scale yet dense with story, each panel depicts a snapshot moment that prompts viewers to imagine the lead-up and aftermath through their own lived experiences.

Bennett's serene yet unsettling scenes teeter between subjective realities and familiar memories - a sunbather under the moon, a sleepwalker adrift, a flooded kitchen at breakfast. Rather than painting from photos, Bennett constructs miniature models with figurines in tinfoil garments frozen mid- movement amid sprawling nature preserves and interior vignettes. The resulting oils "are not just technically brilliant repositories of painted form; they are texts that query the circulation and sedimentation of images, or perhaps memories, and how these come to snap us," writes Elizabeth Buhe. Through her meticulous process, Bennett prompts contemplation on how domestic familiarity can render the uncanny.

5. Further Down the Highline: Bloomtanica at Genesis House

Dates: May 2 – June 9
Venue: Genesis House, 40A 10th Ave in the Meatpacking District
Information: Exhibition is Free to Visit, walk in! No Reservations Required https://meatpacking-

"Bloomtanica" is a groundbreaking installation blending the natural and digital worlds through Jeff Leatham's avant-garde floral design. The acclaimed artist has curated an immersive experience where the boundaries between nature and technology dissolve into a surreal floral realm. Visitors are transported into Leatham's signature kaleidoscope of blooms, meticulously arranged to create visually stunning, emotionally captivating displays that masterfully play with color, texture, and form.

Born in Utah before finding his passion at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, Leatham ( revolutionized floral design as the Paris George V's Artistic Director. His bold, architectural creations ( for celebrities and luxury brands have earned global praise for their artistry and ability to transform spaces. In "Bloomtanica," Leatham's innovative floral art blurs the lines between physical and digital through immersive reflections, allowing nature's beauty to be experienced in a surreal new light.

6. Closing Party Not to be Missed: A Part of Me

Date: Saturday May 25
Time: 6pm
Venue: Revelation Gallery 224 Waverly Place, New York, NY

Creating art and painting color/symbolism has been a life-giving vessel to heal the energetic wounds that so often plague our society. Bibi Tran closes this loop and series with a healing marriage of music and visual art: the psychic sense that unionize BODY, MIND and SPIRIT.

This closing event will be a special musical journey featuring a rand of gifted spirits and artists hailing from various melodic backgrounds. From songbird, to sound healers, musical producers, flutists and pianists we will come together and journey to honor the closing party “A Part of Me: The Reclamation of One’s Whole Self through Energetic and Karmic Release”.

Performances will begin at 7pm with breaks. Artists performing include Manu
(, a sound healer, Joel Ronson
(, a producer, Maya & Marissa
(, a capella duets, and piano keys by Rayadavari

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