NYA Gallery, NYA ART Center, Townley Studio

NYA Gallery keeps emailing me and contacting me through Instagram. Email is from NYAFAIR, TriBeCa, says there located at 7 Franklin Place, New York, NY. Seems fishy to me. I googled their curatorial fee and saw fees from $249 to $150 (if art is accepted), plus artist is responsible for shipping up and back. Anyone know anything? Thanks!


(NYA has many names, they should all be listed. They seem to re-brand every few months. Most recent is NYA ART Center, and the owner, Shane Townley also runs something under the same address Townley Studio. For $250 per painting per show, he must be doing good $. They make believe foreign artists on facebook that the nice looking crown statue and space is the gallery but that entire space belongs to a neighbor office and has nothing to do with them. Most of the gallery space is in the basement and is a major fire trap. I know several people who’s art works were not displayed as agreed or missing.)

    • Anonymous

      Has anyone here had any contact with Lucy Glendenning McCurran from Townley Gallery? I applied for a residency there and was accepted; however, the original offer was that the “Foundation” would cover costs; when I questioned it in an email to Lucy, I was told “the Foundation wanted to fully fund a resident artist and we have a Korean artist working now in the New York Art Center. However because we received so many great applications, the director of the Townley Gallery and Foundation decided to release some extra funding to allow more artists the chance to be in the art center rather than just one. So the fully funded position after the current artist will not exist but several grants over multiple months will be offered to the artists selected from the applicants.” I was then informed that the residency would require a significant outlay on my part. I requested a contract/residency agreement, which she responded that she was in the process of writing up a new contract specifically for residency artists and would get back to me ASAP.

      After several weeks of not hearing anything, I emailed her to follow up on the contract, and she told me they’ve “had a bit of a bombshell” and she “wants to speak with me tomorrow”.

      I have been pretty suspicious from the get-go (which is why I have refused to pay the deposit they requested without having something in writing. After this latest stuff-around, I started doing a bit more digging and have stumbled on to some pretty dodgy stuff about them.

      Disappointing to say the least, as I was looking forward to a trip back “home”.

      • Anonymous

        I would stay away from anything related to Shane Townley. His places (and they keep changing names, rebranding, call it whatever you like) charge artists one way or another. I would not trust any of their writings, they have barely the value of the paper they are printed on and i have seen them. You can’t trust even the identity of the person you are communicating with as they were using the name of somebody who left them to send chain mail (see more details on this below). You can’t trust that even the person you happen to meet there will be there in weeks time. Whatever he runs (call it art fair or gallery, tomato/potato) is still a vanity gallery type: you pay you get in and you will be damaging your reputation. “Disappointing” is better than being scammed. All the best to you.

  • Anonymous

    Complete scam! I’ve been tracking this guy over the last few years and it is the same story over and over again. Getting artists to pay a variety of fees in exchange for very little to nothing.

    Different companies under different names all with fake or exaggerated photos and descriptions – and all linked to Shane Townley. Hilarious that now even his “cafe” has “the best grilled cheese in the world.”

    Bad guys, bad news, not legit in the art world.

    And I found this online, seems to sum it up well: https://medium.com/@elcapitanpitufo/thank-you-matt-oneil-for-your-great-article-a300312c82a3

  • Anonymous

    Avoid like hell! i had an experience there and i didn’t like any bit of it. My friend told me she would try and i told her not to. She didn’t listen. They put her work in their “2nd rate area” (for works under $10k), an area for works that are not good even compared with their lousy average. Works there were displayed like in a thrift shop. She took her works from them. Bottom line: waste of money.

  • Anonimous

    I had a very bad experience with this band of scammers of the
     infamous gallery 104 (NYART FAIR) that do nothing but take advantage of the artists who are looking for opportunities, do not respect the works and much less the creators, they charge you what they want and change at every minute the price for the right to exhibit, Shane Townley the owner is a malicious mind, very careful with this subject.

  • CA

    “newyorkart” gallery is not a serious gallery. I canceled my exhibition because nobody reported on my mails for 2 month. The main thing is to pay the fee. Nothing more.
    #nyart #newyorkartgallery #fake #dafna #joselynlaw

  • Doug Frohman

    These are all predatory phony galleries that she be avoided like plague. The give-away is up-front “pay to play” arrangements, you undertaking expensive shipping or event appearances, etc. Legit galleries take 50% of a sale but there’s no up-front fee – just terrific work. Shipping can be an issue. If you’re out of town, gallery may ask that you ship work out and they’ll ship back or hold onto it after the show to interest future walk-ins. I usually ask for gallery to cover shipping. my fall-back is each paying half for shipping out & them paying to ship back. Make sure that them shipping back “at your request” in the contract.

  • Anonymous

    I have also gotten these emails and not interested in this type of business at all , but on a recent trip to NY l decided to go to one of their openings. They make it seem “exclusive” and fancy which it isn’t. You have to rsvp ahead of time, then wait in a long line to get in while they check the guest list to make sure you are on it. For what reason???
    Once inside the artists are set up in the Basement in individual cubicles like an art fair. There is one narrow stairway with a loose step to go up and down. I realized this is a fire trap and hazardous If you had to get out fast. I did a quick look at the art which for the most part was “beginner” and got out of there real quick! Yikes!

  • Mark

    Thanks for feedback! A month earlier I got mail from Dafna


    My name is Dafna Assouline and I’m a New York Curator. I found your work on instagram and I think its very special and amazing. Im looking for a select few artists to represent. Let me know if you want to possibly work together in New York as I can help get you into galleries, art fairs and receptions to ultimately get your work into the hands of collectors. I would also like to help enhance your bio and CV.

    I do not charge any fees, only a percentage when we sell your work.

    Wanna chat this week?”

  • Angela

    I also got contacted first by Dafna and when I answered I got the following E- Mail starting with these sentences:

    Hello, I wanted to reach out to inform you that the curator Dafna is all filled up with her artist roster now because she is an independent curator. However she forwarded me your contact info because she believes you have exceptional work. So Congratulations for being referred by a successful curator and for all the continued success you are about to embark on!

    And, different to the first E-Mail were they said there will be no fee, they need 250,- Dollars web developer fee… very fishy and sounds like a nice income if they contact so many emerging artists…

    Anyway, I also get those E-Mail regulary and never proceed. Thank you all for your messages!!

  • Dafna Assouline

    This is Dafna Assouline.
    My name and number were used without my permission.
    I have been working with NYA art since the 1st of July.
    I had no Idea this mass email was sent and I apologize for any discomfort that was caused in my name. I was brought in to sell at fairs as well as well as find new talent because that is what I do best. I have 15 years of curating experience and am known for my sales capabilities.
    I only contact emerging artists I truly believe in and think I can promote. I am not looking to get rich here I just love art.
    this is simply not my style nor was it my intention.
    Again, I deeply apologize but I did not have a hand in this at all.

    • Derek

      Hello Dafna,
      I was one of the artists that received that email. Now I understand why I never received a reply from you. Thank you for taking
      the time to post and assist us. It sounds like you have the best of intentions : ) Best, Derek

  • Catie

    Hi. I just looked Dafna Assouline up on LinkedIn…she has 2 connections and opened her profile last month. This does seem very fishy to me. If I Google Dafna and New York Art I get many people named Dafna that are involved there. I am thinking NOT.

    • Dafna Assouline

      That was another email that was sent w out Tahira’s knowledge and consent. After leaving NYA for the reasons described they still wanted to use the leads…and so it goes.111

  • Anonymous

    I was curious myself about these guys. They also email me often asking to schedule a portfolio review. They tried to get me to join their website years ago for a fee (I didn’t join), but now it seems they have a space downtown. Most recently I got a canned message from one of their curators (always wary when they don’t address me by name and have several typos):


    My name is Dafna Assouline and I’m a New York Curator. I found your work on instagram and I think its very special and amazing. Im looking for a select few artists to represent. Let me know if you want to possibly work together in New York as I can help get you into galleries, art fairs and receptions to ultimately get your work into the hands of collectors. I would also like to help enhance your bio and CV.

    I do not charge any fees, only a percentage when we sell your work.”

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the feedback. I got yet another email from a different curator yesterday. The more they contact me, the fishier it seems. I’ll pass on this.

  • Michael

    That’s pretty standard fare for a vanity gallery/fair. Since they have the artist’s money they don’t have the same interest in selling the work as a regular gallery would. They make their money from rental gallery space, not sales.

  • Anonymous

    They keep trying to schedule a portfolio review and then blow it off. They say fees are to pay for their web designer etc to keep your info updated. They are throwing a big net out weekly for sure. I get emIs weekly. Don’t think its per say a scam but i would be leary. If you proceed i would try to speak to a few artists on their roster first. I believe the early newyorkart.com was connected to a print pub and i recall artist spending a lot of money for very poor results. Just my 2 cents. Maybe current artist are having a better experience

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