Mana Contemporary is Building a Street Art Museum

Future site of the Mana Museum of Urban Arts. Courtesy Mana Contemporary.

Jersey City-based art center Mana Contemporary—the exhibition branch of the Mana Fine Arts art storage, shipping, and packing empire—is building a street art museum in a former ice factory in Jersey City near the New Jersey end of the Holland Tunnel. Renovation work on the 100,000-square-foot building that will house the Mana Museum of Urban Arts (MMUA) will begin next month, in June 2014, with a range of related public programming set to start in September 2014—long before the museum’s as-yet unannounced completion date.

In addition to a rotating program of special exhibitions inside the institution, MMUA will boast specially-commissioned murals on its exterior walls, a large billboard where artists will create new works, and a full range of educational and community outreach programs. It will also build up a permanent collection of original works and documentation of significant local street art pieces and ephemera. Programs at the new institution will be curated by renowned street artists Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks.

“This is long overdue for one of the most significant art movements of our time,” Iurato said in a statement. “For me, it’s not just about housing a spectacular collection of art. It’s about community, roots, and being a catalyst for future artists. Mana is approaching this project with the integrity and respect that these art forms deserve.”

Mana Contemporary director Eugene Lemay, who has been wanting to build just such a museum for years, bills it as the first institution of its kind. He added: “I am excited to bring this potent and authentic art form and the community surrounding it to Mana.”

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