History & Mission
Drawing Rooms is a nonprofit art space in the Topps Building on the Mana Campus in the Journal Square neighborhood in Jersey City. We recently moved from a former convent in Downtown Jersey City where we were for 5 years. We show two and three-dimensional works by emerging and mid-career artists in NJ and the NY metropolitan area. We provide a place where artists can gather, connect and advance their careers. Our innovative and exciting exhibitions, public programs and publications enrich the lives of our community through an appreciation of and involvement with contemporary art.
Drawing Rooms is operated by Victory Hall Inc. a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization producing exhibitions, programs and public art projects in the NJ/NY area since 2001. Other Victory Hall Inc. programs include Rainbow Thursdays Artists (art classes for developmentally disabled adults), Victory Hall Press and The Art Project, exhibition development for Art House, The Oakman and Hamilton House.
WHO WE ARE
We are a nonprofit arts organization in operation consistently for more than 17 years run by two artists, James Pustorino and Anne Trauben.
Our new facility at the Topps Building features galleries, flat file spaces and work areas, storage space for artist works and supplies, as well as director and curator office/studio space. We are fortunate that along with the gallery, the new Drawing Rooms provides a place where the director and curator can both focus on work for the non-profit and also create their own artwork. We continue to operate on a shoestring budget, but are more hopeful about increasing our sustainability now that we are autonomous in our new space. We consider ourselves scrappy, tenacious, resourceful and persistent. We are dedicated to maintaining a place for the arts in Hudson County where artists and the community can gather.
Our organization is sustained through a funding program that draws from diverse sources. A Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation grant and a Hudson County LAP grant, along with fundraising events, which include artist donations, sales of art works and sponsor ads, and individual donations fund the gallery space and programs. Dodge and County grants also add to salaries for management and curation, and provide support for management of the Rainbow Thursdays Artists' program. A City of Bayonne CDBG grant provides support for the Rainbow Thursdays teaching staff, along with a Provident Foundation grant. The director and curator provide funding for office/studio areas through outside curatorial work. The Scipione Benevolence fund and a Qualcomm matching grant also support all facility rental areas and salaries. A general grant from the Fund for Charitable Giving adds funds where needed most.
In our new space at the Topps Building, we are excited to be completely autonomous (our previous location was a multi-use building). We can now begin to grow and stabilize our budget to increase our sustainability, so that we can serve our community for years to come.
Victory Hall Inc. a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, began its enterprise in an old Elks Club Hall in Jersey City in September 2001 as a project of OLC Catholic Parish. As the neighborhood was shaken by the the events of 911, we became a gathering place for hundreds weekly in our community. We slowly renovated the building to become, from 2001 to 2007, a vibrant space for the arts in Jersey City and the surrounding metropolitan area, presenting contemporary art, original theater, spoken word, performance, poetry, film, music, and dance events. We regularly drew thousands of visitors each year to arts weekends, films, and classes.
Despite the loss of our original space in 2007, over the next five years we continued producing art exhibits, public art projects and interactive educational programming in public buildings, businesses and institutions throughout the NY/NJ community. During this period, worked with K Hovnanian, LeFrak, Mack-Cali, Mestrovest at the Beacon, Silverman Brothers among others. Projects included a 50 banners of artists works surrounding the 77 Hudson/70 Greene building, murals and parking lot "street art" with Snyder High School students at MLK HUB, Jersey City, and "Drawing Together" an exchange of artworks between Jersey City Public School children and children from Cotagaita, Bolivia.
In 2012, after a year of preparation and development of the former convent building on Grand St. in Jersey City, Victory Hall Inc. once again procured its own space, culminating in the opening of Drawing Rooms in October of that year. A month later, Hurricane Sandy damage forced a temporary seven-month closing during which time we once again worked to clean and renovate the building until finally re-opening our arts center in May of 2013. We showed hundreds of artists in the six to seven exhibitions we did per year in nine gallery rooms. We also had Artist Workspaces, and the Tenth Room Gallery Shop. We remained in this location for 6 years, until 2018, when we were asked to leave. Our final exhibition , Somewhere Over the Interconnected Rainbow, allowed us to raise enough money to renovate our new space, a ground floor metal storage unit at the Topps Building on Newark Ave near Mana Contemporary. In May 2019, we will inaugurate our new space with a grand opening exhibition and fundraiser, Somewhere We Landed, 5/4/19 - 5/11/19.
Victory Hall connects artists and the community in order to create meaningful cultural experiences for all. Through its gallery exhibitions and community programs, Victory Hall welcomes and supports artists so they can contribute to the creative life of our community.