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East Orange Studio Tour Reveals a Vibrant Community of Artists

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Mona Brody, photo by Yvette Lucas

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Philemona Williamson, photo by Daniel Wing

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Alyce Gottesman, photo by Luke Mogen

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Stephen Douglass, photo by Eric Valosin

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Tom Nussbaum, photos by Linda Street

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Alex Schoenberg, photo by Yvette Lucas

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Alyce Gottesman, photo by Linda Street

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John Parris, photo by Linda Street

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Nora Chavooshian, photo by Linda Street

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Christine Romanell, photo by Yvette Lucas

Disclaimer: The following post is shameless self promotion, since I also have a studio in East Orange, NJ.

This past Sunday, November 8th 2015, was the annual Artist Studio Tour at Manufacturer’s Village in East Orange, NJ. The sun was shining and red balloons danced in the warm breeze to mark entrances, while a sizable turnout of art lovers explored over 35 studio spaces. The parking lot was full, as were the studios with art and conversation. Painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and conceptual art from contemporary to traditional graced the interiors of the historic old brick buildings. On a regular day the village is quiet, with the exception of the hum of machines in the woodworking businesses. Quite a few residents were unaware of their fellow artist neighbors. The studio tour is a rare opportunity for everyone to mingle with the public and one other.

About 12 years ago, artist Mona Brody was the first pioneer in Manufacturer’s Village. Soon after, Tom Nussbaum joined her with other artists who were forced out an old industrial building that is now the Parkway Loft Apartments in Bloomfield, NJ. They formed Franklin Street Studios. Over the years, more of the factory spaces were occupied. One of the most recent being 356 Artgang – consisting of some graduates from Montclair State University’s MFA program. William Paterson University’s MFA program is also represented with Michael Rees in building 1.

New Jersey is a vibrant hub of contemporary art. The large group of artists in East Orange, NJ is just a taste of what the state has to offer. Not What It Is is committed to encouraging and directing attention to a long underestimated and underserved art community.

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