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West Chelsea Galleries Pack Up Before Hurricane

By Mathew Katz | August 26, 2011 6:05pm | Updated on August 26, 2011 8:02pm

CHELSEA — With parts of West Chelsea bracing for possible flooding from Hurricane Irene, many galleries in Evacuation Zone A heeded the call to leave on Friday afternoon, some taking their pricey paintings and installations with them.

The galleries, all in the low-lying areas west of 10th Avenue, had hired rental trucks to move their art to higher ground.

Workers inside the Mike Weiss Gallery on West 24th Street hurriedly packed artwork into crates. A sign on the window said the gallery was closed in preparation for the hurricane. When called, a representative from the gallery said she didn't have time to talk and quickly hung up.

Several other galleries in the area had similar signs up. Freight + Volume was closed as was Fredericks & Freiser.

On West 25th Street, the Bertrand Delacroix Gallery was still open. Staff said they would be leaving soon due to the evacuation order, though they wouldn't be taking their art with them.

"We have a strong fortress set up for any wind or glass shattering issues," said Vanessa Campos, assistant director of Bertrand Delacroix, referring to steel grates that will cover the windows.

"All art in the back is secured and elevated a few feet up already, so we should be fine for flooding."