Miki Stiles, MFA
Founder of Agora Gallery
Miki Stiles was not just the founder of Agora Gallery, but a passionate and dedicated artist with a goal of making an impression on the New York art world. An actress, artist, and all-around creative individual, Miki studied at the School of Visual Arts to pursue her passion for art. She found in New York an art scene that was inspiring, energizing, overwhelming, and unfortunately, very difficult to break into without the proper connections.
For a long time she struggled to get representation at one of New York’s traditional galleries without much success. In 1984 she decided to open her own gallery to show her work and provide other artists, from all backgrounds, with the opportunity to connect and exhibit their artwork in New York City. Promoting artists who have no track record in a certain market is always a risk. Miki was not a rich person and in order to sustain the gallery she had to charge the artists a fee for which many promotional services were provided. The gallery has been doing just that for more than 30 years and still functions with the same passion and drive that Miki Stiles always had.
With a large street level exhibition space at the heart of the Chelsea art district and a wide variety of printed and digital artist resources, the gallery offers a spectrum of services to artists from all over the world of varying expertise and experience.
From SoHo to Chelsea
Agora's first and second exhibition spaces were located in Soho, NYC. At the time SoHo was the center of the art world, but as galleries made the area more desirable, space became, paradoxically, less available for galleries. The art scene there stopped growing, and eventually moved to Chelsea, which opened up a whole new world of opportunities. In 2002, Agora Gallery moved to 530 West 25th Street, in Chelsea, which had become the new center of the art world.
Agora is a Greek word which means “open marketplace,” a place where people came not only to buy and sell goods but also to meet and exchange news and ideas – a place where everyone is welcome. The gallery takes its name seriously and is famous for showcasing a spectacular array of talented artists from around the world and around the corner as well as providing quality original art to a discerning collector base. Agora Gallery is also famous for our exciting receptions, which offer a unique opportunity for art collectors and artists to engage in a productive dialogue.