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Art Elite Arrive for NYC's Armory Arts Week

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Blue chip galleries, the artist elite and billionaire collectors are descending on New York today for Armory Arts Week. After 14 years, the international event has expanded beyond its signature show to include satellite fairs throughout the city, including the AADA Art Show and acclaimed Volta NY, which focuses explicitly on individual artists in lieu of the broader gallery platform of traditional art fairs. Armory Arts Week -- ending Sunday -- will again feature community programming in a different neighborhood each night, including Soho (tonight) and Downtown and the Lower East Side (Sunday), with self-guided art studio tours and exhibitions open to the public and often free of charge.

Those who have never been to the show, or an Armory-style international arts fair, should expect a convention-style event with international galleries exhibiting a cross-platform of artists and their works for public viewing and purchase. Entrance is $30 per person, with discounts for students and seniors. Those looking to delve deeper into the arts world find Open Forum, a series of hosted interviews and open conversations led by the art industry's top collectors, curators and museum directors.

New York's Armory Arts Week begins today, luring blue chip galleries, the artist elite and billionaire collectors to top hotels, bars and nightclubs betweens looks at installations throughout the city.

As more art fairs debut and thrive on the world stage, from Art Basel Miami Beach to the newer Art Platform in Los Angeles, The Armory Show tries to stand out and add an authentic New York feel. More experienced visitors will notice the changes, including a more "boutique layout" and a new destination restaurant and cafe. There's also now Armory Performance, highlighting musical artists from the Nordic region as well as the United States from a stage inside The Wall Street Journal Media Lounge on Pier 94.

The coming of gallery owners and art dealers from around the world means a boom for select New York City hotels. The Surrey has long been a proud sponsor of The Armory Show (as well as The Whitney Biennial). Although its Upper East Side address isn't as close to the action as a room at the Mandarin Oriental, its boutique luxury spirit and private art collection with works by Chuck Close, Richard Serra and Jenny Holzer provide an arty fix when away from the fair. The in-house Cafe Boulud leaves little reason to leave the hotel, especially with its Bar Pleiades coming to perky life during fair nights thanks to an ingenious cocktail menu by star bartender Maura McGuigan.

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