New Gallery on the Block: NYA

Shane Townley was running a gallery in Laguna Beach a decade ago when he decided he needed a broader platform for his artists – one that gave them a bigger and better chance to sell their work than just the spot on one wall in one gallery. So he launched an iPhone app that catalogs artists and galleries, where any artist can sell her work. And now he has launched NYA Gallery, which not only has the classic white box storefront on the charming cobbled block of Franklin Place, but also another 9,000 square feet of artists studios, art storage and a frame shop on the lower levels.

The studios will be open to the public and are generally for rent by artists, but some will also be donated as residencies for artists from other countries. He and his merry band of gallerists, handlers, educators and hangers (seen above) sell 50 percent of their artists’ work online, and also have a gallery on 1st Dibs. But Townley said they still need to sell in the 3D world. “Walls and artists go together,” he said. “They will still need a space to show.”

Townley spent four years here exploring different areas and neighborhoods while painting in a studio upstairs in 373 Broadway – biding his time till he figured out the New York art market. He came up with this idea as a way to replicate what he was doing in Laguna. His timing seems pretty good. “For Tribeca it couldn’t be a better time,” he said. “We’re onto something.”

NYA Gallery
7 Franklin Place (just west of Broadway, between White and Franklin)



  1. Vanity gallery type. Most of the gallery is a fire trap in the basement, accessible by a narrow flimsy staircase. Art quality overall is poor.

  2. Fun and lively place to check out. I’ve found some worthwhile art at events here.