make > shift > gallery

makeshiftgallery-headerIn a coordinated effort between the Office of Small Business, the Department of Public Works, and the Office of Innovation, make > shift > gallery aims to enhance the appearance of vacant and abandoned properties along the City’s commercial corridors with the goal of activating underutilized space through a variety of artistic installations while providing the creative community with opportunities to showcase their artwork.


make > shift > gallery

provides the artist with a blank canvas to create renderings of potential businesses (“shopjackets”) and other creative imaginings in these spaces, allowing aspiring business owners to be able to envision themselves in these spaces and attracting more foot traffic to our commercial corridors. Art could take the form of shopjackets, murals, galleries, or other media defined by the artist. Residents and business owners in the targeted areas have weighed in on what they would like to see fill these vacancies through a series of surveys, focus groups, and interviews.


On Ocean Avenue, the community would love to see:
• More community involvement
• Enhanced public services (eg children’s programs, career center, events)
• Diversity of businesses (eg fresh food, restaurants, arcades)


On Palisade Avenue, the community would love to see:
• Cleaner, better upkeep on building facades
• Access to more diversity of businesses (eg arts, restaurants, upscale grocery)
• Access to services (eg transit, greenspace, basic amenities)


Have a property that would be a good fit for the program?
Do you own a property that is currently vacant and wish to participate in the program? Contact with property address, current images, and your contact information for more details on participating.

Call For Artists

make > shift > gallery is seeking proposals from visual artists for upcoming pop-up arts exhibitions across Jersey City in 2016. The Office of Small Business, the Department of Public Works, and the Office of Innovation will be sourcing currently vacant and abandoned properties to populate with artwork and create rotating exhibitions.


Mediums Accepted:

Visual artwork, sculpture, installation, video, photography, mixed media


Exhibition Types:

Outdoor murals on walls and/or boarded windows (i.e., “board-ups”)
Indoor art exhibitions on walls – Comparable to a gallery space
“Shopjackets” – Interior window installation to give the appearance of a functional storefront
Interior window installation of artwork or sculpture


What make > shift > gallery Will Provide:

  • Coordination of exhibition location on behalf of artist that fits scope of submitted project
  • Assistance with exhibition installation, when appropriate
  • Coordination of artist install and load-out
  • Design and printing of promotional materials for exhibition
  • Coordination, photography and refreshments for opening and/or closing receptions, when appropriate
  • Publicity and marketing support of exhibition and artist(s)
  • A stipend to participating artist(s)


What Artists Need To Provide:

  • Signed and returned Art Exhibition Indemnification, Waiver And Release Agreement
  • Design, maintenance, installation, and deinstallation of project
  • Promotional high-resolution images and artist statement for use in marketing
  • Promotional support for participation in make > shift > gallery to channels (i.e., email newsletters, Facebook, website, interviews, blog, etc.)
  • Assistance in staffing exhibition site and/or developing staffing plan, when appropriate based on location and previous authorization by property owner


Artist(s) Application, Selection and Acceptance Process:

Prospective artists will need to complete project application and return via mail, email or through online form. Application is available for download or online completion below.

Proposals are reviewed by staff of the Office of Small Business, Department of Public Works and Office of Innovation. The criteria for accepted proposals will be installations/completed pieces of artwork that engage the community, best utilize vacancies and abandoned spaces to its potential and accessibility. All submissions will be reviewed for content.

Accepted proposals will then be matched with a participating storefront vacancy that can best accommodate the artist’s exhibition type, installation, and spatial requirements. Artists will be notified upon acceptance of proposals with matched make > shift > gallery exhibition location, proposed installation date, opening reception date and deinstallation date. As participating properties are being routinely identified and secured, the artist selection and acceptance announcement may take up to 7 weeks from time of submission.


Stipend Schedule:

Participating artists will receive a stipend for their accepted project on the following schedule:

  • Visual Art, Gallery Style: $250-$500
  • Shop Jackets: $250-$450
  • Installations (Sculpture, mixed media, film/video): $250-$450
  • Board Up Murals: $600-$800
  • Murals: $400-$1,200


Stipend Payment:

Stipends will be made available to accepted artists and amount will be based on scope of work and materials list for approved projects on a sliding scale.

First installment will be made available upon commencement of project with signed and returned Art Exhibition Indemnification, Waiver And Release Agreement.

Second installment will be made available within 30 days of completion of mural/artwork installation.

Want to get involved?

Apply with your proposed project below.

  • Select as many as apply.
  • Outdoor Murals & Board-Ups: Please include proposed theme and size. If you have an existing piece or pieces of artwork that you would like to recreate as a mural, include attach images of existing artwork.

    Visual Artwork For Indoor Installation: Include exhibition theme, approximate number of artwork pieces to be included, sizes/dimensions of work, and attach current artwork images.

    Video/Film: Please include title, length, date of production, format, and equipment required.

    Installation/Sculpture: Please include links to renderings, project materials, amount of room required and descriptive language to communicate proposed installation.

  • Select as many that apply to project
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