It’s no secret that New York is essentially the center of the universe when it comes to art and culture, and the city is ringing in the new year in top form. January is bringing with it a number of high-profile art openings that are sure to wow anyone lucky enough to attend, and they won’t be around for long. If you’re in the area, here are 5 art openings in NYC that you can’t afford to miss this month.

1. “New Land…New Life” — An Italian Family’s Migration to America

(December 3 – January 16)

Keith De Lellis Gallery, 1045 Madison Avenue #3, Upper East Side

Image4967aMarvin Koner, 1957

Marvin Koner’s best-known work as a photographer has graced the pages of LIFE and Esquire, but his talents extended in many different directions. Consider this opening, highlighting Koner’s 1950s photo essay chronicling the struggles of immigration to the United States. It’s a timely  subject, and one beautifully broached by the evocative photographs being shown now through mid-January at Keith De Lellis Gallery on Madison Avenue.

2. “Chance Ecologies” — The Wild Landscapes of Hunter’s Point South

(December 18 – January 22)

Radiator Gallery, 10-61 Jackson Ave, Long Island City

Chance-Ecologies-750x534Radiator Arts / Chance Ecologies

Development is all anyone ever seems to be talking about in NYC these days, and Long Island City’s Radiator Gallery is currently presenting a show that tackles the subject head-on. “Chance Ecologies” takes a look at a developed section of the Queens waterfront and asks audiences to question the place of wild areas in a changing urban environment. It’s eye candy to the max, showing now through late January.

Their next exhibition “Food Nostalgia” opens on February 5. Here’s an appetizing sneak peak…

IMG_0704-750x500Radiator Arts / Food Nostalgia

3. “The Value of Food” — Sustaining a Green Planet

(October 6 – April 3)

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, Morningside Heights

0002ba10_bigSt. John the Divine, The Value of Food

NYC’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine is no doubt one of the most impressive pieces of architectural history in the country, and it’s currently being taken over by a show with an important message on food security. “The Value of Food” is an impressive statement on how we can move forward as a society that works with nature rather than against it to ensure food security and sustainability for centuries to come. If you’re looking for art that truly leaves a lasting mark and also carries an important message, look no further than this installation, which is open for viewing until April 3rd.

4. “New York Air”

(November 3 – January 31)

Anastasia Photo, 143 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side

STNMTZ_20140915_38249Anastasia Photo Gallery, New York Air

Chances are you’ve seen the photography of George Steinmetz in GEO Magazine or as part of the work he’s done for National Geographic. With “New York Air,” he chose to focus specifically on what the city looks like from above, and the resulting photos are breathtaking. Steinmetz captures the allure and aura of New York in ways that few photographers before him have, including expositions on daily life and the seemingly mundane in a city of beauty and excitement. The eye popping exhibition can be seen at Ludlow Street’s Anastasia Photo until January 31st.

5. “Don’t Forget to Look Up”

Park Avenue (between 53rd & 54th)

065.-Teachers-approaching-looking-up-768x512Don't Forget to Look Up

Looking for an installation that sits squarely outside of gallery pretension? “Don’t Forget to Look Up” on Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th is for you. The 33-foot tall stainless steel figure is a sight to behold, and the latest in a series called “Looking Up” that was first unveiled in London in 2012. It’s the brainchild of sculptor Tom Friedman, and it has to be seen in person to be appreciated. If you’re walking Park Avenue from now until June, be sure to “look up.”

[Featured Image: Radiator Arts]