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Chelsea Art Walk Opens 125 Galleries After Hours

By Meredith Hoffman | July 26, 2011 12:53pm | Updated on July 26, 2011 1:01pm

CHELSEA — If you've fallen behind on your art-intake, you can catch up Thursday evening when more than 125 galleries stay open late for the second annual Chelsea Art Walk

The free event, from 5 to 8 p.m., includes live performances, screenings and artists' talks in the Chelsea arts district from 19th to 29th streets, between Seventh Avenue and the Hudson River.

Perusers can print out maps from the art world-centric M Magazine's website for detailed information.

With a five-fold increase of participating galleries since last year's event, the evening will draw thousands of visitors to the area, said Barbara Moreira, an art walk organizer from Hasted Kraeutler gallery at 537 24th St.

"Last year we had 2,000 or 3,000 people. It was huge," said Moreira. "In Chelsea, in summer it really dies down, and people are craving the chance to come see art at night after work."

Due to last-minute planning, only 25 galleries partook in last year's art walk, but this year, "if you're a gallery in Chelsea open for the summer, you're open for art walk," said Moreira.

The High Line's new section, which now stretches up to 30th Street, also promises to help popularize the event, she said.

"Whenever we look at the High Line it's bustling," said Moreira, adding that they began planning the event right when the walkway's new stretch opened. "Someone could theoretically work their way up the High Line and through the galleries."

The festival's quirky activities include ping-pong at Nicholas Robinson Gallery, a dollar-cutting demonstration called "Money...What's it to you?" at Pavel Zoubok Gallery and the presentation of a new artist-inspired ice cream sandwich at Meulensteen Gallery.

Meanwhile, live music enters the mix with shoegaze punk at Monya Rowe Gallery and an acoustic set at RARE Gallery

At 8 pm, the restaurant 404 NYC, which recently moved to 404 Tenth Ave. with hope of High Line foot traffic, is hosting an after-party with free hor d'oeuvres.

"We hope this tradition continues," said Moreira. "Maybe eventually we'll have 300 galleries!"