When you think of art galleries, the Louvre Museum is one that instantly comes to mind for many people. It has nearly 35,000 objects on exhibition in an area of 652,300 square feet. On average, 8.5 million people visit it per year. That breaks down to an average of over 28,300 visitors per day.
Artists in New York City generally don’t get the opportunity to have an art show in the Louvre. So they look for another venue within the city. However, for up-and-coming artists, paying for a spot in an art gallery is pricey. Very pricey. Astronomical, in fact.
Raphael Cohen, an art gallery founder, came up with a creative solution where the cost is very reasonable. Recently, he opened Juicys Gallery in a container at the Manhattan Mini Storage facility on Second Avenue.
That space doesn’t even come close to the space in the Louvre. The container is approximately 35 square feet and generally costs about $30 a month. This cost is miniscule compared the rent for a decent-sized art gallery elsewhere in some of New York’s other neighborhoods.
The gallery’s inaugural showing is a solo exhibition of Lily Wong called A Taste of Spring. Wong is showing brush and ink style drawings from her lithographic process.
Because of its small size, this gallery cannot handle the daily visitors that the Louvre has. Because of the mini-size, visitors can’t just drop in to see the art show. Instead, the viewing is by appointment only.
The storage container doesn’t have any windows so there isn’t any natural lighting. It does have lights that are on a timer. However, the gallery put up its own lighting system – to make sure they always have lights when needed and to have the right kind of lighting for the mood they want to establish.
Manhattan Mini Storage has become the creative solutions for several clever entrepreneurs. Colin Huggins stores grand pianos in several Manhattan Mini Storage facilities around New York City. He takes one out of storage, rolls it to a spot like Washington Square Park, and sits down and performs for those who pass by.
Then, there is Alex Schweder. He calls himself a ‘performance architect.’ He rented a Manhattan Mini Storage unit in the SoHo district. He set up two chairs facing each other. Then, he conducted ‘performative’ apartment renovations. That was where he worked with clients to redesign their living spaces for optimal effect.
“A 35-Square-Foot Art Gallery Opens In a Container at Manhattan Mini Storage.” Complex Art and Design; 4 April 2014.
“A Day In The Life Of “The Crazy Piano Guy” Of Washington Square Park.” NYU Local; 18 April 2012.
“NYC Architect Launches Art Project At Manhattan Mini Storage!” Manhattan Mini Storage Blog; 8 October 2013.