Developers join Newark arts to transform empty storefronts into art exhibits

Linda Lindner//September 27, 2019

Developers join Newark arts to transform empty storefronts into art exhibits

Linda Lindner//September 27, 2019

Newark Arts has cultivated partnerships with real estate developers to convert seven vacant downtown spaces into temporary art exhibits.

The Newark Arts Festival will showcase local arts and culture and is expected to attract more than 12,000 visitors.

“Through partnerships with some of today’s most exciting artists, developers have an opportunity to showcase their spaces and enhance marketability,” said Jeremy Johnson, executive director of Newark Arts.

In recent years, developers have created tens of thousands of square feet of new and rehabbed residential or commercial space. Upper levels get leased first, while empty ground-floor spaces often await tenants. One solution is the activation of unoccupied retail spots with artist installations.

Newark Arts Festival Developers Map.

“Artists are constantly looking for exhibit and performance space. By converting vacant storefronts to temporary showplaces, we can attract art buyers, generate foot traffic, and even spur interest in long-term leases. Most importantly, Newark’s art and culture can continue to bloom as artists enliven otherwise quiet streets,” Johnson said.

“Prudential is proud to be the title sponsor of Newark Arts Festival for the second year running,” said Shané Harris, president of the Prudential Foundation. “Art and culture are part and parcel of Newark’s ongoing economic growth. We applaud these efforts to connect the area’s diverse artists and creatives to available real estate spaces for exhibit opportunities.”

“The City of Newark is in the midst of more than $5 billion in development,” said Bernel Hall, president and CEO of Newark Community Economic Development Committee. “This partnership enables area artists and small creative businesses to benefit from the city’s growth and for developers to further enhance real estate. Newark Arts Festival’s pop-up exhibits, along with participating studios, galleries, restaurants and services, will generate economic activity for artists and small businesses alike.”

More than 200 artists will be shown this year at the festival, and the majority will be featured at distinctive downtown addresses, according to lead curator Adrienne Wheeler, a Newark-based multi-media artist and arts educator.

The Newark Arts Festival will take place Oct. 10-13, 2019, at locations across the city. For more information, visit www.newarkartsfestival.com.