East Orange, NJ – The community of artists located in the historic Manufacturers Village Artist Studios are worried about the future of the Glenwood Avenue complex in East Orange now that it has come up for sale.
The artist community is seeking state, nonprofit, and/or private sponsorship to ensure the future of the 1880s industrial complex building as a cultural asset to the community of East Orange and the State of New Jersey.
The Manufacturers Village complex, housed on the original site of Johnson & Johnson then known as Seabury & Johnson, is home to over 60 artists working in a variety of mediums, including professional painters, sculptors, quilters, printmakers, photographers, multi-media artists and more.
Each October, the Manufacturers Village Artists host an Open Studios event, inviting and inspiring thousands of visitors from the neighborhood and surrounding communities as they explore the wide range of artwork and studio spaces. Since March, 2021, Liquitex art materials has been generously operating an on-site residency program in the building that gives under-served artists free studio space and art materials. In addition, the Village is home to one of the nation’s largest Black Lives Matter murals created by sixteen local artists of color in partnership with the Arts Council of East Orange and with support from the City of East Orange. Manufacturers Village has also served as an incubator space for many small businesses including designers, woodworkers, and startup businesses, with 100% occupancy and a waiting list for space.
The artists envision a future Manufacturers Village as a permanent regional cultural destination that anchors the neighborhood’s position as a thriving arts district, including contemporary art exhibition space, performance space, BLM Sculpture Park, Expanded Artists Residency Program, additional makers and business incubators, museum store and restaurants. Visitors and patrons from the surrounding region would bring an influx of economic activity to the local economy.
Without state, nonprofit, and/or private sponsorship, there is a serious risk this irreplaceable cultural asset will be lost forever. If you know how to help, or know someone who can, get in touch here.