Visiting local galleries is a great way to view art in an intimate setting (not to mention that it often leads to dining out and exploring a neighborhood). In addition to displaying art, several galleries throughout the Hudson Valley offer attractions such as live music, poetry readings, even dance parties as a way to boost foot traffic to their spaces.
"If you have special events, it's another door for people to go through" to get into the gallery, said Arlé Sklar-Weinstein, director of Blue Door Gallery in Yonkers. "It helps us to thrive." And it gives gallery-goers more ways to have fun at the same time.
Here are five picks of art venues with upcoming events.
For those who like to dance: Gagliardi Photo in Nyack
An art gallery where you can do the cha cha or tango surrounded by fine-art photography on the walls? Gagliardi Photo delivers just that, thanks to owner Victor Gagliardi's gallery blending of his passions — photography and dance.
The Nyack gallery offers several Latin dance classes a week (Afro-Cuban salsa, tango, cha cha, plus deep breathing, ranging from $18-$30 per class; package deals are available).
Put those lessons to good use at two dance parties the gallery hosts each month: a tango party on third Saturdays (the next is May 18, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.; $18) and a Latin Dance party on first Fridays (the next is June 7, from 8 p.m. to midnight; $10).
The gallery features the photography of Adam Glickman, Bob Scheurman, Steve Sachs, Greg Logiodice and Sam Kaplan, and also sells books and does framing.
"People come here because it's an artistic place," Gagliardi said. "Plus, it's a place where they can learn to move their bodies, connect with people, listen to really sensual music, and be in a beautiful surrounding."
Info: 39 Hudson Ave., Nyack; 845-358-7031; Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; www.gagliardiphoto.com
For those who like to hear music: Upstream Gallery in Dobbs Ferry
Upstream Gallery, a cooperative started in 1991, hosts live music once a month. "The concerts have brought people into the gallery who might never have ventured in to look at art in the past," said Daniel van Benthuysen, an artist who exhibits and sells his work at the gallery. "And because the concerts are high-quality music and free to the public, we've defined ourselves as an even greater cultural asset to the local population."
On May 17, two bands will perform: And the Traveler and True Apothecary. On the walls through May 26: the work of artists Susan Steeg and Paul Greco. On June 15, singer-songwriter Talia Billig will perform while Monica Bradbury's paintings and Sondra Gold's sculpture is on exhibit (May 30 to June 23).
Info: 26B Main St., Dobbs Ferry; 914-674-8548; Thursday to Sunday, 12:30-5:30 p.m.; summer: Fridays, 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.; www.upstreamgallery.com
Front Street Gallery in Patterson
Front Street Gallery is the home of Family Music night — kid-friendly, semi-organized jams where musicians and singers of all levels are invited to play songs of well-known artists, said Jeremy Wolff, the gallery's owner.
On June 13, the gallery will host New Wave Family Music Night from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring the music of Elvis Costello, the Talking Heads, David Bowie, Squeeze and others. The Front Street Cafe next door will be open for the event, which is free.
The gallery is currently showing "Nature/Culture," an exhibit featuring 28 artists working in painting, photography, sculpture, video and mixed media.
Info: 21 Front St., Patterson; 917-880-5307; Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m to 2 p.m.; www.frontstreetgallery.org
For fans of spoken word: Blue Door Gallery in Yonkers
On the third Thursday of every month, Phylisha Villanueva hosts Open Stage, an open-mike series featuring spoken-word artists, comedians, hip-hop artists and singers. The next one will be held May 16, from 6 to 7:45 p.m., followed by one on June 20, from 7 to 9 p.m.; admission is free.
The gallery's current show is "Lost & Found in Yonkers," which runs through June 4. From June 6 to 29, it will present work done in mostly black and white by artists David Fischweicher, Claire Fishman, Larry Franke and DeAnn L. Prosia.
Blue Door also has a poet-in-residence, Golda Solomon, who hosts Art Speak, a poetry-writing workshop, one Saturday a month: $20 for members; $25 for non-members. The next will be June 22, from 2 to 5 p.m. Solomon also hosts Po'Jazz on Hudson, a series mixing poetry with live music; the next one will take place June 13, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There's a $5 suggested donation. A film festival is also in the works.
"I call us 'The Little Gallery That Can,' " Solomon said.
For those who like to mingle: Transform Gallery in New Rochelle
When Stuart Reisch and Andreas Messis asked a friend, Kara O'Neill, to dress up their custom-closet showroom for a photo shoot in 2009, she hung up her friends' artwork — and Transform Gallery was born.
Transform hosts a variety of special events. Coming up: On May 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., Green Drinks, with cocktails and discussions of sustainability issues. On June 20, from 6 to 8 p.m., authors Vicki Addesso, Susan Hodara, Joan Potter and Lori Toppel will read from their book, "Still Here Thinking of You: A Second Chance With Our Mothers." Both events are free.
On display is the sculpture and mixed media of artists Carole Eisner, Aurora Robson, Rodolfo Edward, Lisa Mee Doherty and Adriana Rostovsky. In June, the gallery will display artwork of students from New Rochelle High School at a date to be announced.
Info: 20 Jones St., New Rochelle; 914-500-1000; Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; www.transformgallery.com