By Clara Wheatley-Schaller
On July 10th Summer Arts traveled to Jersey City to visit Mana Fine Arts. Mana is a very large complex which houses art galleries, studio spaces, framing studios, and storage and shipping facilities, bringing together artists, dealers, collectors, curators and art handlers.
Visiting Mana was a great way for the Summer Arts students to get a comprehensive look at the process of art making, art collecting and art handling from start to finish. Summer Arts students were invited into two art studios, where they were able to see works in progress and ask the artists’ questions. In addition, they toured several galleries, where they saw a diverse range of artwork. Summer Arts students also got an inside look at what happens to works of art after they are completed by the artist and before they are shown in museums or galleries; they visited a framing studio and crating, shipping and climate-controlled storage facilities. Students were impressed to learn that Mana houses some pieces that are worth millions of dollars!
Students were inspired by what they saw and learned at Mana and applied it to the work they created in their classes at Summer Arts. This summer students took a diverse range of art classes including animation, woodworking, sculpture, printmaking, songwriting, painting and photography. At the end of each session, students invite their families and friends to come to their art opening where they showcase the work they have produced in the Summer Arts program.
Rachel Webber, Director of Summer Arts, explains that, “We have never taken the students to anywhere like Mana before. In the past we’ve visited museums, galleries and artists’ studios, where the students learned about artists’ processes of making his or her work, and saw art as a finished product in galleries and museums. Visiting Mana was a great way to see the more unseen aspects of the art world, such as framing, collecting, storage, crating and shipping, while still having the opportunity to see studios and galleries. Not only did we get to see how all these things happen, but we also got to meet the people involved in all of these areas, which gave students a broader and more complete view of the art world.”