The rapidly expanding Jersey City arts complex Mana Contemporary — one of ARTINFO’s top 20 art day trips near New York City — has crossed state lines and opened a Chicago outpost. The new facility, located in a landmarked, 300,000-square-foot former industrial building at 2233 South Throop Street in the Pilsen neighborhood of the city. To give you an idea of just how quickly Mana’s Midwestern location is coming along, the building has already leased out the first floor to 20 artists for studio space and hasn’t even had its official opening yet.
The first free public event will coincide with this year’s EXPO Chicago and Fountain Art Fair, on September 22, and will feature an exhibition of artwork by Ray Smith to be shown in a 2,000-square-foot gallery space on the premises.
Mana Contemporary was founded by chief executive Eugene Lemay who cut his teeth with the organization’s other founder, Moishe Mana, by helping to grow their first business, Moishe’s Moving and Storage, into a multi-city empire. Traces of the moving company’s signature services are available at both Mana facilities, which offer artists amenities like shipping, storage, and framing, making the arts center a very attractive, nearly all-inclusive, work-live-play space. Since opening, Mana in Jersey City has hosted a wide-range of public events and exhibitions showcasing its resident artists as well as bigger names, like 2012’s large-scale Keith Haring show, and this summer’s Nobuyoshi Araki survey,
Other things to look forward to at the new Chicago facility are three galleries, 70 studios, a library with resources courtesy of gallerist Donald Young’s family, a classroom space in partnership with the University of Illinois Chicago, a 3-D printing shop, and a restaurant by chef Eric May.
Watch this video tour of the future Mana Contemporary Chicago:
— Alanna Martinez
(Image courtesy Mana Contemporary)