History & Mission
Victory Hall Inc. 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.
Drawing Rooms is a nonprofit art space in the Topps Building on the Mana Campus in the Journal Square neighborhood in Jersey City. In 2018, we moved from a former convent in Downtown Jersey City where we were for 6 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 visual 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. In 2022, Drawing Rooms expanded and now includes The Terrarium Gallery at Drawing Rooms, The Alcove Gallery at Drawing Rooms and Public Arts Projects on Newark Ave at Drawing Rooms. Other Victory Hall Inc. programs include Rainbow Thursdays Artists (art classes for developmentally disabled adults), Victory Arts Projects, Victory Hall Press and The Art Project, exhibition development for Art House, The Oakman, Hamilton House and Colab.
WHO WE ARE
We are a nonprofit arts organization in operation consistently for more than 20 years run by two artists, James Pustorino and Anne Trauben. 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, a Hudson County LAP grant, a Princeton Area Foundation grant and a Jersey City Cultural Trust Fund 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. 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 expanded space at the Topps Building, we can 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, we 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 October 2012, Victory Hall Inc. once again procured its own space, opening Drawing Rooms in the former OLC convent building on Grand St. in Jersey City. A month later, Hurricane Sandy damage forced a temporary seven-month closing. We worked to restore the building until finally reopening 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 and the gallery shop, and developed an Artist Workspace Studio Program.
During this same time, we began both our Rainbow Thursdays Artists program at Windmill Center and a partnership with Shuster Management, creating solo-artist exhibits throughout all their residential buildings.
In 2018, Drawing Rooms moved to and renovated a new space at the Topps Building on Newark Ave and continued producing exhibitions until COVID caused a temporary closing to the public in 2020.
In 2020, we partnered with Shuster Management on a ground floor gallery space at 160 1st St in the Powerhouse Arts District called Dvora Pop-Up Gallery realizing the original dream of the PAD to have ground floor arts spaces. We remained in that space until January, 2022.
In 2022, with the support of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Capital Arts Grant, we expanded our galleries at The Topps Building to include The Terrarium Gallery at Drawing Rooms, The Alcove Gallery at Drawing Rooms, Gallery One at Drawing Rooms and Public Art Projects on Newark Ave at Drawing Rooms.