The Very Best of NYC Art

The Orchid Show, Jade Yumang, Carrie Mae Weems and much more

Since the beginning of March, elaborate and kaleidoscopic displays have decorated the New York Botanical Garden. The Orchid Show is on exhibit only thru Apr 21, so hurry! The galleries of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are exploding with orchids in an amazing array of colors, shapes, sizes and textures. Tens of thousands of blooms – blue and purple Vandas, green and yellow cymbidiums, delicate pink and white moth orchids and more – stand out amid stately palms and exotic tropical leaves. The largest exhibition of its kind in the United States also offers insight into caring for orchids, music from around the world and a gorgeous setting for evening cocktails and conversation.

At the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, there's an incredible installation of works repurposed for its window gallery. Jade Yumang in Post-Performance Syndrome uses elaborate environments and costumes as a way to evoke queer history, and creates new ones based on the notion of formlessness and transformation. It's on view now thru Apr 27.

At the Guggenheim, Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video is a retrospective of the artist's 30-year career. On display thru May 14, the exhibit includes photographs, written texts, audio recordings and videos. It’s a study of gender, class and race that's not to be missed.

A major Judy Chicago retrospective opened on Apr 4 at the Brooklyn Museum: Chicago in L.A.: Judy Chicago's Early Work, 1963–74. After viewing this revolutionary artist's formative work, take a gander at her permanent installation, The Dinner Party, consisting of beautiful table settings on an enormous, triangular banquet to commemorate important women in history. A tribute to women's cultural achievements, it serves as the centerpiece around which the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is organized.

First, there was SoHo; then there was DUMBO. Now there’s SONYA! The cute acronym (at least it’s a pretty name this time) doesn’t stand for another neighborhood – it stands for South of the Navy Yard Artists. The two-day SONYA Art Walk on May 17-18 is free and open to the public. Download a location map for this self-guided tour of artists' studios and other art venues in four Brooklyn neighborhoods: Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Wallabout and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

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