Based in a vast 1920s former tobacco warehouse that will eventually encompass a footprint of more than two million square feet, Mana Contemporary’s flagship space in Jersey City unites exceptional artist studios, exhibition spaces, and ancillary services in a single location, facilitating conversation and collaboration. Visitors receive unparalleled access to projects taking place inside, experiencing a range of art-making techniques and presentations first-hand. A comprehensive and transparent creative hub, Mana offers a profound and personal approach to contemporary art.
Photo Courtesy: Mana Contemporary
There are street murals all over Jersey City. Just walk around downtown and you’ll be quick to spot them. Here is a favorite at 151 Newark Ave by Gaia. A NYC native who was featured on Forbes 30 under 30, Gaia’s mural at 151 Newark is of a colonist that established New Amsterdam, which includes part of NJ. The woman in the mural is a Lenape woman who used to live in what is now known as New Jersey.
Jersey City Culture’s Mural Map
Photo Courtesy: gaiastreetart.com
While we’re on the topic of murals, this is definitely a can’t miss. Literally. This mural adorns the side of Cast Iron Lofts which can be seen from the highway entering the Holland Tunnel. Dont’ wait til your next city trip to see it though — go walk by and get up close and personal with the vibrant Mr. Bowie.
Photo Courtesy: streetartnyc.org
Jonathan Levine Gallery
Jonathan Levine Projects is committed to new and cutting edge art. Our roots go back to 1995 when LeVine’s life-long participation in punk and underground music grew into a curatorial experiment with the visual culture that surrounded him. In 2017, the gallery relocated to Jersey City with a newfound focus on community and collaboration. The newly named Jonathan LeVine Projects aims to create engaging programs and interesting partnerships beyond the traditional gallery space.
Photo Courtesy: Widewalls
White Eagle Hall
Not every piece of art is a mural or in a gallery. If you look hard enough, you’ll find incredible craftsmanship and artistic energy all over the city. This stain glass window inside music venue White Eagle Hall is a testament to that and not to be missed. Be sure to listen to the music too!
JC is a great place to also access emerging artist studios. Whether you’re walking through the halls of Mana or going direct to an artist’s private working space, artists are usually open to a studio visit from art lovers and potential collectors alike. Pictured here is Lauren Schwartz who is a paper artist located in downtown. Her work can be found at laurencutspaper.com.
Photo Courtesy: laurencutspaper.com
Deep Space Gallery
Deep Space Gallery is in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood of Jersey City, just across the river from NYC’s Chelsea art district. Our goal is to serve as a creative incubator and launchpad for our roster of formally-trained and outsider contemporary artists. Founded in 2016, Deep Space Gallery continues to bring you monthly exhibitions featuring the best of Jersey City and beyond.
Photo Courtesy: Juxtapoz Mag (Ryan Bock)
Richard Meier Museum
Filled with fascinating artifacts, a research library, and space for exhibitions, the Richard Meier Model Museum reveals the design process behind a legendary New Jersey native and his architectural practice. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier has designed a host of legendary structures that reflect his ability to translate traditionally harsh, modern shapes into objects of remarkably minimal elegance. The museum is located INSIDE Mana Contemporary so be sure to make another stop when going through the vast facility.
Photo Courtesy: Ed Victori
Novado is the largest gallery in downtown Jersey City, and theres more to just art here. You can also have them help with framing, installation, and art consultations. They even host yoga! Check out their site for more details.
JC Oddities Market
Stop by this place to browse indigenous crafts and outsider art. Lots of funky objects and artwork that make for great gifts and collectibles for your personal cabinets of curiosities.
Once you’re done spanning the cities galleries, studios and murals, take a creative respite at Liberty State Park and tap into your own artistic energy. Take a camera a capture all the beautiful angles of the NYC skyline, or better yet, grab a pencil and sketchpad or palette and canvas and get to work! After a day of inspiring art gawking, the best thing you can do is pour it out in your own expressive way. You can pick up some inexpensive art supplies at Staples at Newport.
Itinerary curated by:
Passionate Jersey City Resident &
Owner of VICTORI + MO Gallery in Chelsea, NYC