The Art of the Matter

The social commentator Cleveland Amory once posited a corollary to Gresham’s Law (the economics axiom that debased coinage drives sound money out of circulation, because folks horde the latter while continuing to offer the funny money for payment), but his version was about fashionable addresses. It went something like this: artists come first, setting up shop in a place where few people live, in search of cheap space far from the madding crowd. They are followed by “solid people” — pioneers who value both interesting neighbors and a quiet environment. This combination of creative types and decent folk, in turn, draws what Amory called, “nice millionaires,” seeking wholesome surroundings in which to raise their children and live the simple life. These are followed, according to Amory, by “naughty millionaires,” whose profligate ways and tawdry behavior drive up prices and scare off the first three groups, including the artists who made the community swank in the first place.

Welcome to Tribeca, awash in naughty millionaires, and hemorrhaging solid people. This is where Jennifer Famery-Mariani, director and chief curator of Tribeca Art Night, plans to prove Armory wrong, by keeping the neighborhood’s arts scene vibrant. She does this through quarterly, free festivals, the third of which takes place tonight (Thursday, March 16), from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

“Tribeca Art Night celebrates art at large in Tribeca and brings the greater New York City community together around exhibitions, performances, talks and workshops,” she explains. “It is specifically designed to embrace all facets of art, from drawing to design to crafts and much more.”

The festival is located in the 24 participating Lower Manhattan venues: 13 fine-art galleries, four design galleries, three university/institutional galleries and four art non-profits in Tribeca. (For a complete list, browse:



Participants are also invited to join any of six curator-led tours, attend one or more of the eight special events on the program, or simply grab a map of the Tribeca Art District and embark on a self-guided tour through two dozen exhibitions and special talks.

“This is the next, up-and-coming art district,” Ms. Famery-Mariani explains. “It stands out by the quality and the diversity of its cultural landscape. Art is everywhere in Tribeca and an integral part of the daily life of Tribecans.”

Ms. Famery-Mariani, an independent curator who lives in Tribeca, describes the festival as, “a local community grass root initiative. It literally started with me walking the streets to identify art venues, which all come together to celebrate the cultural diversity of the neighborhood.” The project began in last September, was scaled up for its sequel in November, and has grown further for the third edition, which takes place tonight.

For more information, please browse, or email Ms. Famery-Mariani at To R.S.V.P. to attend tonight’s free event, please browse:

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