Atlantic City’s cool new Arts Garage

Monday, November 25th, 2013. Filed under: Architecture Art Destination Guides

The new Arts Garage is phase one of the development of Atlantic City’s Arts District. Photo credit: Sea Shore Photo

I often wish I were in Atlantic City. No more so than today, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Arts Garage. When I toured the site a few weeks ago, workers were just putting finishing touches to the complex that marks phase one in the creation of a new Arts District in the heart of Atlantic City’s historic ‘Little Italy’.

Even littered with construction debris, the Arts Garage’s industrial aesthetic was fresh and exciting. My imagination soared as representatives of the project’s partners described the Arts Garage’s mission: to promote the visual arts, education, community enrichment and resources for emerging artists.

Officially called The Noyes Arts Garage Stockton College, the Arts Garage houses two museums, a museum shop, a café, retail galleries and affordable working studios for 15 artists.  It’s anchored by the Atlantic City Arts Center and satellites of the Noyes Museum of Art and the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey. Artists occupying the studios work in diverse media: painting, sculpture, photography, basketmaking, graphic illustration. A flexible classroom studio will put art in the hands of the public.

The Arts Garage is a partnership between the Noyes Museum of Art of Richard Stockton College and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The initiative marks phase one of the development of a new Arts District planned around Mississippi Avenue in the historic neighborhood of Ducktown, Atlantic City’s ‘Little Italy’.

The Arts Garage is located at 2200 Fairmount Avenue, occupying 16,000 square feet of The Wave parking garage at the corner of Fairmount and Mississippi Avenue. Ducktown’s eateries are steps away, as is Dante Hall Theater. The nearby shops of Tanger Outlets The Walk, and affordable on-site parking at The Wave garage, ensure the Noyes Arts Garage Stockton College will become a year-round hub of activity for both locals and visitors.

The Arts Garage is open Wednesdays to Sundays, 10-6. For information on events and a complete list of artists and organizations on the premises, see the Arts Garage website.

For more on Atlantic City’s cultural scene and other pleasures, check out Do Atlantic City, official website of the Atlantic City Conventions & Visitors Authority.

Here’s a little tour of Ducktown:

A quiet morning in Ducktown, Atlantic City’s historic ‘Little Italy’.

The scent of espresso coffee leads you to Formica Bros. Bakery, established in 1919.

Located at 2310 Arctic Avenue, Formica Bros. Bakery offers artisanal bread and glass cases packed with traditional baked goodies.

Arctic Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Why is it called Ducktown? Because the neighborhood’s early residents raised ducks for their down and feathers.

If you smell onions, you’ve found White House Sub Shop, the famous sandwich shop established in 1946.

Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern, a third-generation Italian eatery, is right across the street from Atlantic City’s new Arts Garage.

Dante Hall Theater is another anchor of Atlantic City’s Arts District. Recently restored, it’s a great place to catch a play, jazz concert, salsa or open mike night.

There’s a fresh breeze blowing through Atlantic City. Stay tuned for my full destination guide, coming soon.

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