There is a huge cultural space right next to Manhattan that you probably never heard of. Intrigued ? Welcome to Mana Contemporary – perhaps one of the art world’s best-kept secrets.
So yes, you’ll have to cross the Hudson River and venture over to Jersey City but we guarantee the discovery is worth the detour. This former tobacco warehouse and factory occupying 6 floors and stretching over 450,000 square feet was converted into a contemporary art center. A gigantic space. At a time of deep cuts in arts funding for museums, Mana is a refreshing exception in the state of New Jersey. This private center has been fully funded by moving company magnate and art lover Moishe Mana. And he doesn’t want to stop there. It’s an ambitious project with a first branch already open in Chicago and plans for expansion in Miami, Tel Aviv, Paris…
Much more than an art center, Mana is a free agent at the service of creativity, revolving around art, music and dance. Under Mana’s industrial roof lies galleries, a foundry, a bookstore, a printing press, a café, a dance rehearsal space, music rehearsal rooms and even a satellite of the Florence Art Academy. Above all, Mana is a talent incubator with 75 studios occupied by vibrant artists in residence. Visit John Dubrow’s studio and discover his poetic paintings somehow recalling to mind Edward Hopper’s esthetics. Or Carole Feuerman’s hyperrealistic sculptures obsessively depicting swimmers. These are just two of many, many magnificent artists you will find.
You can visit the art center accompanied by a guide during weekdays only. You will follow your guide with delight through the maze of this artistic labyrinth and temple of disproportion. Do not miss their “open studio”: twice a year, Mana organizes an open studio where all artists present their workshop and where you can walk freely from one studio to the next with a glass of wine in your hand.
Here you go, you finally have a good reason to visit Jersey City!
888 Newark Ave, Jersey City
Guided tours from 11am to 3pm on weekdays