Here are our Top 4 favorite galleries in NYC’s Alt Art Scene. By Local Expeditions team member Stephanie Schroeder

If you are interested in the alternative art scene, there are art galleries galore in New York City, but which ones are the most unique? Check out our guide to the four most interesting galleries with amazing exhibitions.

Amy Li in the Button Shop Gallery

Amy Li has it all in a button shop.

According to a Public Radio International piece about Amy Li Projects, “Amy Li uses the front space of her father’s 30-year-old button shop in Manhattan’s Chinatown as a place to showcase local artwork. The shared space has helped both Amy and her father — button customers are intrigued by the artwork, and Amy helps her father translate from Chinese to English.” Li curates popular shows with both emerging and established artists, many from the downtown New York City arts scene, but also newer entrants into the NYC art world such as painter Erin Smith from Australia. Amy Li Projects is located in Chinatown at 166 Mott Street (between Broome & Grand) and is open Weds-Sun 12-6pm.

Fountain House Gallery Logo

Challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

The Fountain House Gallery is located in Hell’s Kitchen at 702 9th Avenue (at 48th Street) and is open Tues-Sat 11am-7pm and from 1-5pm on Sundays. The Fountain House Gallery, described as, “the premier venue in New York City representing artists with mental illness. The gallery sells original artworks and collaborates with a wide network of artists, curators, and cultural institutions. Embracing artists who are emerging or established, trained or self-taught, Fountain House Gallery cultivates artistic growth and makes a vital contribution to the New York arts community.” Fountain House Gallery succeeds in its mission to “provide an environment for artists living and working with mental illness to pursue their personal visions and to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness.” The gallery’s exhibitions show artwork that is delightful, hopeful, visceral, often challenging, and always very real.

Judith Braun and Joeseph A. Gross

Artist Judith Braun with gallerist Joseph A. Gross at Simuvac Projects.

Simuvac Projects, which is “committed to exhibiting works of diverse media by emerging and established artists,” is a relative newcomer to the New York art scene via Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The gallery has had some notable exhibitions. Recently Ivy Haldemen was featured at Simuvac and garnered quite a bit of publicity for her hot dog-inspired paintings. Simuvac Projects is located at 99 Norman Ave, right off the Nassau stop of the G train. Hours for the gallery are Wed-Sat 11am-6pm and 12-6pm on Sundays.

Violet's Cafe Art Gallery

No words to describe…

We found out about Violet’s Cafe, located at 135 Huntington Street in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, from an article in the New York Times. It’s an Art Gallery. No, a Living Room. O.K., Both, tipped us off about this cool place and we think the gallery’s approach is fabulous. See the gallery’s website for more information about current exhibitions.

Emily Weiner in her gallery

Emily Weiner has an alt gallery in her Brooklyn home!

Have you found a unique gallery on your travels in the 5 boroughs? Please Email us at localexpeditions@gmail.com and will spread the word about NYC’s alt art scene!