Art Galleries to Visit in Essex County

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We can all use some beauty in our lives right now and since most of us are still unable to explore like we used to, we have to find creative ways to experience the things we love, including art. From Newark to Montclair, Essex County has an incredibly rich history filled with a community of talented artists ready to showcase their work. We have created a guide to an array of amazing art galleries in Essex County to enjoy. While not many have reopened their doors, the majority of art studios and galleries in the area have virtual programs available for the public to enjoy from the comfort of their homes. Read on for a guide to amazing art galleries that are worth a visit in Essex County.

art galleries essex county

{Photo credit: @studiomontclair}

73 See Gallery and Design Studio {73 Pine Street, Montclair}

73 See Gallery

{Photo credit: @73see_gallery}

73 See Gallery and Design Studio specializes in curating Fine Art and pop-up exhibitions as well as artist representation, graphic design in artist catalogs and promotion pieces. The studio has exclusive on-line Gallery exhibitions where you can also purchase artwork. 73 See Gallery and Design Studio’s current exhibit, “Urban Illuminations,” was born during the pandemic and showcases the work of artist Dan Fenelon best known for his giant public artworks. “Urban Illuminations” can be enjoyed in person at 619 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair where it is displayed outdoors, or at the studio’s site.

Arts Unbound {544 Freeman Street, Orange}

Arts Unbound

{Photo credit: @arts_unbound}

Arts Unbound is a studio and gallery specializing in the visual arts for youth and adults with disabilities. Located at the Dora Stern Gallery in the city of Orange, the studio provides visual arts education and professional development to help emerging artists compete on the retail market. The retail store features fine art and hand-made accessories by artists with disabilities alongside artwork by the teaching artists. 

Read More: A Guide to Acting Studios + Theater Groups in Essex County

Clerestory Fine Arts {40 Church Street, Montclair}

Clerestory Fine Arts

{Photo credit: @clerestoryfineart}

Clerestory Fine Arts is a female-owned gallery that opened its doors in 2019. According to the mission statement, “Clerestory” has multiple meanings and is the architectural term for the most elevated row of windows in a church, designed to “let light in.” The art space is intended to showcase artists from Montclair and surrounding northern NJ towns by presenting museum-quality work and collaborating with local arts organizations and collectors. Currently on view is Power Play showcasing the political turmoil of the United States’ 2020 Presidential Election created by two international artists, UK-based Australian artist Heath Kane, and Cuban-American Walter John Rodriguez. The gallery is open by appointment only and the artwork catalog is available online for your viewing pleasure.

Festus Marazere {61 Stanford Avenue, West Orange}

If you’re looking to purchase new art, Festus Marazere’s art gallery is the place to go. Created by a Nigerian-American poet and artist with a specialty in oil paintings, the artist is inspired by the world around him which can be seen through the use of vibrant colors in his work.

See More: Museums in Essex County for a Fun Day of Learning

Gallery Aferro {73 Market Street, Newark}

Gallery Aferro

{Photo credit: @gallery_aferro}

Located in the heart of Newark, Gallery Aferro’s mission statement is to embody the exchange of ideas through art in service of advancing human dignity and beauty with a focus on visual arts. The gallery offers exhibitions, events, and a studio residency program available all year-round. At Gallery Aferro, they believe art is for everyone and since its founding in 2003, the art space has helped connect art collectors and researchers to artists whose works span more than 80 years of history and include paintings, drawings, embroidery, watercolors, photographs, and mixed-media installations. The online art shop contains the gallery’s collection available for purchase including work by Gladys Barker Grauer, known as the “Mother of Newark Arts,” who passed away in 2019. Gallery Aferro is the exclusive curatorial liaison for Barker Grauer’s work.

Montclair Art Museum {3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair}

montclair art museum mam

The Montclair Art Museum has officially reopened its doors with over 3 new exhibitions including Fragile Freedoms. MAM was founded in 1914 and was the first museum in New Jersey to grant access to the public + focus only on art. It has preserved American and Native American Art since its inception and contains over 12,000 pieces of artwork including sculptures, ceramics, artifacts, and more. Tickets to the museum must be reserved prior to entering and Fridays from 11AM to 12PM are reserved for immunocompromised persons as well as seniors. MAM’s artwork can be enjoyed virtually on the website as well. 

Montclair State University’s Art Galleries {1 Normal Avenue, Montclair}

Montclair State University’s Art Galleries

{Photo credit: @montclairstateu}

Montclair State University houses multiple galleries including the flagship Segal Gallery, which includes work from faculty and students alike. The Sculpture Garden has over a dozen outdoor works. University Art Galleries’ mission is to propagate culture and art through interpretive contemporary exhibitions. The Galleries’ vision is to become a premier destination for modern and contemporary art. Although the university’s galleries remain closed to the general public, they’re definitely worth a visit once open again. Be sure to attend the re-opening in September 2021 when MSU unveils the brand new exhibit! Meanwhile, enjoy the gallery through a Zoom presentation on the website.

Paul Robeson Galleries {54 Halsey Street, Newark}

Paul Robeson Galleries

{Photo credit: @paulrobesongalleries}

Established in 1979, the Paul Robeson Galleries are located at Rutgers University-Newark in honor of artist and activist Paul Robeson. The Galleries’ mission and programming embody Robeson’s life-long commitment to artistic freedom, cultural democracy, and an activist approach. This commitment includes organizing free exhibitions and public/education programs on local, regional, and international contemporary art and culture, as well as developing civic partnerships through community outreach programs. The galleries are free and open to the public. While the galleries are still closed, current exhibitions and artwork can be enjoyed online.

Pierro Gallery {5 Mead Street, South Orange}

Founded in 1994, the Pierro Gallery of South Orange (PGOSO) presents the work of diverse, established, and emerging visual artists. The gallery is located in the Baird Community Center. The Gallery produces up to seven exhibitions a year and hosts artists gallery talks, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and special events, free of charge for the widest accessibility to all.

Studio Montclair Inc {127 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair}

Studio Montclair Inc

{Photo credit: @studiomontclair}

For over 20 years, Studio Montclair Inc has celebrated artists by showcasing their work.  The studio’s mission is to promote culture, education, equality, and tolerance through art and diversity. The studio is currently open to the public through appointments only and there are also multiple virtual exhibitions available online. Studio Montclair Inc also offers art classes through their Art Academy to people of all ages and abilities. Classes include painting, jewelry design, drawing, fiber arts, and sculpture.   

ValleyArts {400 South Jefferson Street, Orange}

ValleyArts

{Photo credit: @valleyartsinc}

Founded in 2005, ValleyArts’ priority is to serve, and support artists, creative organizations, and the neighborhood through educational programming, community space, local events, and partnerships. The non-profit gallery produces fun, engaging, and free events as well as donation-based and low-cost workshops on topics relevant to local residents. ValleyArts regularly has virtual events available on the website.

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Written by:

Yarleen is a proud Jersey girl with Cuban roots. She’s an actor and writer with an affinity for poetry, travel, and fried plantains. Yarleen can usually be found with an Americano in hand, or any caffeinated beverage. When she’s not on stage, enjoying a new hobby {currently learning Krav Maga}, or typing away at her laptop, you can catch her jogging while listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or exploring art galleries and museums in New York City.