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.

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

Public Reception

Surface Surface Surface Surface Surface

Join us for the opening reception of Surface, a group exhibition opening in Mana BSMT’s gallery, featuring 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 media 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
(4) Sam Cannon, Untitled, 2016
(5) Julian Glander, kwurdy2.jpeg, 2016

Saturday, January 21, 2017

888 Newark Avenue

Free admission with RSVP

About the Artists

Matthias Brown (Traceloops)

Matthias Brown (Traceloops) is an artist specializing in hand-drawn, black and white, traditional animation. By stripping the process of excess, the remaining animation reflects a very tangible experience that explores the interplay between negative and positive space as well as the portrayal of two and three dimensional movement. Brown studied Graphic Design at SCAD Atlanta and currently resides in Jersey City, NJ.

Sam Cannon

Sam Cannon is an artist and director based in NYC. Her personal work focuses on the manipulation of time, space, and the female form. Living somewhere between still photography and video, her images explore the way we interact with never-ending moments in the age of the 15-second clip.

Julian Glander

Julian Glander was originally a baby. Presently, he is a visual artist working in animated GIFs, comics, video games, interactive toys, short films, and illustrations (of dogs). In the future, Glander plans to become a ghost.

Thoka Maer

Thoka Maer is an artist who illustrates and creates animated illustrations. Her work runs the gamut from the figurative/narrative to the abstract/surreal, held together by the consistent use of pencil and crayon. She is currently based in New York.

Hayden Zezula (Zolloc)

Hayden Zezula (Zolloc) is a 3D animator from Austin, TX, currently based in NYC. He focuses on mesmerizing looping video, blending beautiful and creepy to create unsettling imagery.

This exhibition is sponsored by GIPHY Arts


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