Welcome to the BSMT at Mana Contemporary.

The Mana BSMT is a collaborative hub for artists, with private and semi-private studios, and an open-plan workspace. Occupying the entire lower part of Mana Contemporary’s headquarters in New Jersey, half of this 100,000 square foot space is reserved for BSMT and Mana Residencies. The other half is available for rent to outside artists who seek a community experience.

The Residencies

Mana BSMT Studio
Mana BSMT Studio
Mana BSMT Studio
Mana BSMT Studio

BSMT Residencies

The BSMT Residencies are six-month stints curated by guest artists as part of an experimental initiative to foster collaboration. Participants are encouraged to curate their own programming, shaping the culture of the BSMT.

There are currently three BSMT residencies in progress. One—which began in July and runs through December—was chosen by Amy Khoshbin, a Brooklyn-based artist who works and combines many disciplines: performance, video, collage, costume and sound. Her work has been presented at BAM, Abrons Arts Center, The Invisible Dog Arts Center, The Stone, and festivals such as River to River, South by Southwest and MakerFaire. She has completed residencies at The Watermill Center, LMCC's Workspace Residency 2014–15, Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, Team Effort! in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Karen Finley, Tina Barney, and poets Anne Carson and Bob Currie, among others.

A specialized group, focused on animated GIFs, which began in August and runs through January, is led by animation artist Matthias Brown, also known as Traceloops. Brown has selected four peers who, like him, have amassed thousands of followers across social media platforms for their internet-based art, and collaborated with major brands and institutions. Brown has worked with, among others: Converse, NBC, Hyundai, The Tate Modern, and MTV.

The third group, led by Sei and Ki Smith of Apostrophe NYC, a pop-up concept that throws events and shows aiming to bring artists and their works outside of the gallery space, began in October and runs through March 2017.

BSMT Residency artists, curated by Amy Khoshbin:

Sarah Anderson
Itziar Barrio
Michael Clemow
Kenny Rivero
Amber Hawk Swanson
Yuliya Tsukerman

BSMT Residency artists, curated by Matthias Brown:

Matthias Brown
Sam Cannon
Julian Glander
Thoka Maer
Hayden Zezula (Zolloc)

BSMT Residency artists, curated by Apostrophe NYC:

Caslon Bevington
Ryan Bock
Morell Cutler
Alana Dee Haynes
Kolter Hodgson
Charlie Hudson
The Love Child
Julia Powers
Bruno Smith
Sei Smith
James Reyes
James Rubio

Mana Residencies

Established by curatorial director Ysabel Pinyol and curator Karline Moeller, Mana Residencies give local and international visual artists the opportunity to work at the organization’s prestigious New Jersey headquarters. The annual program provides a complimentary studio for one year, providing five mid-career artists the opportunity to freely develop and expand their practice with the benefits of additional space, a strong community, and ongoing support. Participants are immersed in the art complex, which includes resources such as the Keating Foundry and the Gary Lichtenstein Editions print shop, as well as Mana’s art storage, handling, and framing services. Artists-in-residence also receive a strategic introduction to the curators, collectors, and other art world professionals who regularly visit the organization. Our residents are selected from a strong network of like-minded individuals, many of whom choose to continue their stay at Mana.

Please note: BSMT and Mana residencies are invitation-only.

Current Mana Residencies artists:

Alex Kwartler
Maria de Los Angeles
Martin Roth
Anne Vieux

BSMT Nights:
Again in Art City

Presented by Apostrophe NYC’s Base 12

BSMT Nights: Again in Art City
Sei Smith, video still of Sasha Feldman/Elvis Guest House, 2016

Base 12 Performances

—Caslon Bevington: Woven Installation

Bevington will create a dwelling which people are invited to enter. The dwelling will be made with the same textural layering as her paintings, and inside visitors will find artist-made books, delving further into the world of the artist.

—Ryan Bock: Multimedia Collaboration

Ryan Bock will work with video/new media artist Alex Halbert to create a multimedia experience that interacts with Bock’s work.

—Alana Dee Haynes: Photo Booth

Dee Haynes will be shooting her look book and recreating her mixed media pieces using the audience as models and hand painted clothing and furniture.

—Sei Smith: Massage Viewing

A massage therapist will give 5-minute massages to viewers as they look at a select painting by Smith, allowing them to feel the connection between the movement of the paint and their body.

—Bruno Smith: Musical Atmosphere

Smith will accompany his textile works with the sounds of electric guitar and effect pedals, inviting us to consider the strong connection between our senses.

—James Rubio: Nail Art

Mei Kawajiri, one of New York’s most sought-after nail artists, will recreate the paintings of Rubio on people’s nails.

—James Reyes: Sit Down Dinner

Reyes will cater a sit-down dinner allowing the viewers to mingle and dine on fine Spanish cuisine while feasting their eyes on the works in his studio.

—Charlie Hudson: Artist Bar

Vermont artist Hudson will collaborate with a local brewery, turning his studio in the ideal setting to drink a cold one and get lost in one of the artist’s intricate landscapes.

—Kolter Hodgson: Vader the Villin

Hodgson will perform tracks from his new music project, inviting the audience into the other half of his artistic sphere.

—Morell Cutler: Re-center

Cutler will be performing a ritual to slow down and replenish his center.

—Julia Powers: Mini-Golf Installation

Powers will create a mini-golf installation, mirroring the environment of her Cape Cod upbringing and offering a better understanding of the components that have led to the artist’s subtle realism.

—The Love Child: Portraits by the Artist

The artist will transform his studio into an intimate installation, allowing viewers to come in one by one and be photographed by The Love Child.

—Apostrophe NYC: Trump Piñata

Apostrophe NYC will create a piñata in the likeness of Donald Trump for the audience to break apart.

Guest Performances

—Stephen Lurie: Borders

Lurie will move throughout the basement creating a life-size map and constructing borders.

Installation in the Vault

What are you Fishing For?

A video work and series of photographs by German-born multimedia artist Annina Roescheisen. Using cinematic narrative inspired by allegorical depictions and charged with symbolism, Roescheisen plunges us into the heart of the union between a man and a woman.

Live Music

—Casper Television
—Apostrophe NYC Resident DJs

Saturday, February 11, 2017
5PM – 10PM

888 Newark Avenue

$10 suggested admission fee at door

5PM – 8PM

8PM – 10PM
Live Music and Trump Piñata Smash

Join us for an evening of extravaganza! Including performance, dance, music, installation, and other wonders, presented by Base 12, a group of BSMT Residents curated by Apostrophe NYC. The performances will center around Base 12’s studios—each artist will either perform themselves or find a co-conspirator to interact with their work. Wandering performers will also buzz around the studios to activate the whole space, inviting you to be truly engrossed in the environment rather than simply observing as you pass through. The performances will be followed by live music to let loose the energy generated from the various experiences.

Exhibitions on view

Through May 31, 2017

January 21​–​May 31, 2017

Surface Surface Surface Surface Surface

Surface is a group exhibition in Mana BSMT’s new 3,000 square foot gallery. It will feature work by five Mana BSMT Residents who work primarily as GIF artists: Matthias Brown (Traceloops), Sam Cannon, Julian Glander, Thoka Maer, and Hayden Zezula (Zolloc). Until now, their artwork has been created for and seen on screens, and shared across social platforms. This exhibition is their first exploration into creating work that can only be experienced in a physical space: sculpture, installation, performance, and gaming. By eliminating screens and creating site-specific experiences, this exhibition will illustrate a collective surfacing from the digital to the physical realm.

Join the conversation online using #SurfaceBSMT

(1) Thoka Maer
(2) Hayden Zezula, digital rendering of emit, 2016
(3) Matthias Brown, Quadline, 2016
(4) Sam Cannon, Untitled, 2016
(5) Julian Glander, kwurdy2.jpeg, 2016

This exhibition is sponsored by GIPHY Arts

Matthias Brown (Traceloops)

Matthias Brown’s Falling Faces explores physicality and process, as well as positive and negative space, using projection, shadow, and live painting on a free-standing screen. The piece seeks to highlight what is often seen as the shortcomings of production, showcasing these aspects of the process and using them as integral parts of the final work.

Sam Cannon

Sam Cannon’s work explores the way we consume images of women’s bodies, and the dialogue between digital art and art in the physical world. Her interactive piece, Self Preservation, is a life-size sculpture of her body cast in soap. A computerized shower system is triggered whenever the exhibition hashtag #SurfaceBSMT appears on social media: while we are invited to share the work online, we also contribute to it’s physical decay.

Julian Glander

Julian Glander created an interactive gaming piece entitled Kwurdy. A room-sized, expressive blob on a screen responds to human input through a confusing controller interface. Glander’s work explores form and formlessness, and how we use these to express our emotions.

Thoka Maer

Thoka Maer’s Fig.8 combines dream-like animations projected on a three-dimensional plane of geometric shapes, suspended by acrylic glass panels. Her work is a surreal exploration of the concept of vagueness through space and time.

Hayden Zezula (Zolloc)

Hayden Zezula (Zolloc)’s Emit consists of a 6 × 6 × 6 feet cube, mounted from the ceiling on top of a 18 feet platform with a central pit, giving the illusion of being endless. A digital animation illuminates and activates the cube from within. This play of depth and light mimics the surreal environments that exist in his digital 3D work.


We offer semi-private and private studios for rent to non-residency artists in our BSMT on a monthly basis. There is a waiting list, so we encourage you to apply in advance. Applications will be thoroughly reviewed before being accepted.



888 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306