Bushwick Artists Go Big at Mana Contemporary

Mana Contemporary from the outside. Photo by Katarina Hybenova.

Many people interested in art know about Mana Contemporary by now: a 1.5 million square foot art center in Jersey City. The center offers shipping, handling and studio space for fine art, but most importantly vast and impressive gallery shows where they exhibit influential artists from around the world.

mana contemporary

Across the island of Manhattan and over Chelsea lies another hub for art: Bushwick. Our beloved neighborhood is the yearly host for Bushwick Open Studios as well as amazing galleries like The Storefront Ten Eyck, Fuchs Projects, and The Living Gallery. The two creative worlds of Brooklyn and Jersey City have merged as Bushwick residents have found a home in Mana apart from the neighborhood craziness where they can create. Check out these artists who travel two rivers to work on their art.

Maria Pavlovska

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Maria Pavlovksa in her studio. Photo by Dallas Athent.

Maria Pavlovska is a Bushwick resident who moved her studio to Mana. In her work, geometric and abstract shapes are painted in large formats with letters etched out upon them. The paintings manage to be mystical, mathematical and aggressive all at once. It’s no wonder that Maria moved to a place where she could have 3,000 square feet to work. The mere size of her paintings call for space and light, which the studio allows. According to Maria, “every painting that comes from the soul and that derives from something pure within us, functions as a kind of quotidian poetry in action.”

Photo by Dallas Athent.

Witches of Bushwick

Photo by Katarina Hybenova.

Everyone’s favorite party-planners, Witches of Bushwickhave partnered with the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation (ESKFF) to offer a residency program at Mana. ESKFF has provided space in Mana where artists chosen by Witches can practice their craft three months out of the year. The WITCHES X ESKFF studio and gallery “shows how artists are fruitfully creating in the digitally saturated artistic landscape.” 2015 participants include Minka Sicklinger, The house of ia, Meriem Bennani, Hayden Dunham, Monica Mirabile, Anne Vieux and Jesselisa Moretti.

Video-art by Monica Mirabile which was shown at the WITCHES X ESKFF residency during Mana’s most recent open house.

Prospero Vega

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Self-portrait by Prospero Vega.

This Bushwick born and raised resident works on his writing out of Mana. His work is inspired by scatology, memories, gunfights, chewing gum, Roberto Bolano, disco and salsa, Japanese hair salons, Russian patrons at any bar, Jean Luc Godard and Anne Marie Mieville and everything, good, bad, ugly etc about NYC up until to 9/11/. Prospero moved his work space to Mana because it was hard to focus in Bushwick when long-time friends were dropping by all the time to say hello. His work can be read in Bushwick Nightz and Bodega Monthly. He’s currently working on a book about Bushwick called “Bushwick Diaries.”

Mana Contemporary is located on 888 Newark Avenue, Jersey City. They’re open 10am-5pm Mon-Fri.

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