Top cheap & free NYC exhibits to see ASAP

The city is ripe full of amazing art. From inside beautiful museums, to sleek galleries and free NYC exhibits. Even right there on the street. You’re always stimulated by something in this city, and a lot of the time, it’s even free.

It’s also a city where we love, not only to see cool stuff, but to show off the cool stuff we see. Proof of this is everywhere from the existence of rose mansions, to restaurants purposely designed and promoted as “insta worthy.”

But whether you’re the type to view things through filter filled videos, or someone who prefers to actually see life sans phone, these mostly cheap and free NYC exhibits are for you.

Here are some of the coolest affordable and free NYC exhibits to see now before they officially end which in the first few cases is as soon as tomorrow.

High Anxiety at the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

If you wander around Chelsea and Soho, you’ll find lots of little galleries and free NYC exhibits and you’ll likely discover some cool art in the process. But one show you should specifically seek out is High Anxiety at the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in Nolita. Sadly, I’m late to post this and it closes in two days, but for anyone local that may read this, stop by this weekend.

It’s only two small rooms and can be viewed quickly, but leaves a lasting impression. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m obsessed with sexy thrillers and noirs and this show epitomizes exactly that. Maybe it’s that as a NYC native I’ve always been fascinated with all the apartment windows constantly lit up in front of my eyes, and Richard Bosman’s one piece speaks to me a bit. Either way, if you’re a fan of mystery and noir, even just Dateline ID this show will speak to you too.

Tk’s Rorshack bouncy house exhibit.

Well known insta artist Cj Hendry’s Rorschach show mixes her well known Rorschach style art with an interactive arena. The exhibit is complete with massive bouncey house. Tickets are only $10, but only available at the door. And something tells me those lines are packed, with Insta worthy shots ready to go. Rorschach ends on 4/21.

Credit: Timeout

Basquiat at the Brant Foundation

I couldn’t miss a chance to see a show of Basquiat’s work, as I take every chance to absorb more of the artist whenever possible. Free tickets are selling online in 15 minute slots. They’re at full capacity but you can be waitlisted. You should do it. I kicked myself after obsessively searching every single sold out slot only to finally step away. One week later I tried again and finally got some. Show ends May 15th.

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Mad men exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

I must admit, even as an avid entertainment enthusiast, I have never seen one episode of Mad Men. But from what I know, those who have are pretty dedicated to the beloved series. Now they can harken back to that time again at the new Original Mad Man show at the Musuem of the City of New York.

It celebrates the illustrators of the 1940’s through 1960’s, specifically McCauley “Mac” Conner, (one of the original “man men”) who created the advertising illustrations that captured the spirit of era and also went on to inspire the tv show. Admission to the museum is a suggested $18 for non members.

Frida at Brooklyn Museum

This is not one of those free NYC exhibits but if you’re a Frida fan like me, it looks like it will be worth every penny. I’ve been to a lot of Frida Kahlo retrospectives through the years from the more recent NYBG to traveling to the Philadelphia Museum in 2008. But the Brooklyn Museum’s Appearances can be Deceiving show is the largest showcase of the artists work in a decade. The show ends May 12th.

Snark Park

The exhibit is on the pricer side at $28 a ticket, (and $22 for kids). But it would be. It’s part of the massive new Hudson Yards, which is drawing big crowds. Snark Park’s first show Lost and Found is all interactive and includes a contemplation room and an actual maze.

What are your favorite free NYC exhibits? Let me know!


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