1st Saturdays in Kingston

It’s been a tradition in Kingston since the ’90s that galleries open their doors on the first Saturday of every month to receive the public to view the month’s new exhibition. Throughout the years the First Saturday Guide has evolved in it format, scope and ownership. MAD has been publishing the Guide since 2017.

Due to COVID-19, our last published gallery guide was in March 2020. We relaunched the Guide digitally in December 2021 to support and promote Kingston galleries and venues, Our goal is to spread the word that art is still happening in our fair city and galleries are beginning to open up again in person or virtually.

We hope we can release our full size, printed version later in the year. If you’d like to be included in next month’s guide, we’d love to hear from you. See below for our monthly submission form.

Get in the Gallery Guide Next Month

Open the MAD 1st Saturday guide form and provide the information we need.

Printable Gallery Guide

Download the printable guide.

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1st Saturday: 2021 Relaunch

Due to COVID-19, our last published gallery guide was in March 2020, the 1st Saturday Gallery Guide is back! We’ve relaunched the Guide digitally as we raise funds and make plans for a full release of our full size, printed version, projected for 2022.

1st Saturday: A New Plan
In 2017 with the assistance of Ditto!Design! owner and graphic designer Rick Whalen, MAD initiated a partnership to reinvigorate and expand Kingston’s tradition of 1st Saturday gallery openings. Business Alliance of Kingston stalwart Nancy Donskoj and ARTBAR Gallery owner Ali Constant launched Kingston Gallery Business Group (KGBG) to lead the partnership and create a center of gravity for Kingston’s many galleries and 1st Saturday venues. Through this 1st Saturday partnership, MAD and KGBG now serve and attract a growing sector of Kingston artists, arts-based businesses and art lovers.

With more than two dozen galleries and arts venues regularly open on 1st Saturday – Uptown, Midtown, Downtown – MAD and its partners have rebuilt and strengthened Kingston’s historically large 1st Saturday crowds.

1st Saturday: A Brief History
Kingston’s 1st Saturday was the Hudson Valley’s first regular monthly gallery event when it originally launched in the mid-1990s. It inspired Art Along the Hudson, which held similar events in nearly a dozen communities. By the early 2000s, Kingston’s 1st Saturday was drawing 3,000 visitors. The buzz prompted Business Week and others to wax eloquent about Kingston in features profiling the economic impact of artists nationwide.

During this high-energy time for the arts, Kingston’s 1st Saturday, the Kingston Sculpture Biennial and the Kingston Artists’ Soapbox Derby all began and drew tens of thousands of visitors throughout the year.

Several other efforts also came together, including a popular citywide children’s art exhibit. Art galleries pooled their lists to promote regular monthly openings. The Arts Society of Kingston (ASK) was formed and began to issue 1st Saturday press releases. A gallery guide evolved and later the Kingston Trolley was used to create a hop on/hop off way to visit arts venues, eateries and shops from Uptown to Rondout.

1st Saturday: A Sustainable Economic Force
Many of the original 1st Saturday artists remain active in Kingston’s art scene, and today newer artists who live or work in Kingston have joined forces with them to inject their own artistic visions into Kingston. By capitalizing on Kingston’s exciting art history – and the combined power base of old and new creative energies – MAD has helped to establish the arts as a sustainable force in Kingston’s economy.

To join MAD’s 1st Saturday effort, please contact us: mail@madkingston.org