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401 Grand St. Paterson, NJ 07505 | (973) 881-4000
"Rich History, Bright Future"

Passaic County Arts Center

New Life Brought to Historic Rea House

 The County of Passaic is proud to announce that the John W. Rea House, located in Goffle Brook Park, Hawthorne, NJ, will be designated as the “Passaic County Arts Center.” This historic home, which is undergoing a complete restoration, will provide a rotating gallery space for both established and emerging artists. Additionally, the Passaic County Arts Center will have multi-purpose studio spaces for art classes. The goal for the arts center is to enlist local artists to provide high quality, free, and lost cost, arts programming open to all residents of Passaic County.

“Our goal is not only to breathe new life into this historic home, but to re-purpose it into a destination that attracts local residents and tourists alike,” said Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara. “The Board of Chosen Freeholders has made an effort to expand opportunities for local artists, and this historic building will provide a new home for our growing art scene.”

Over the past two years, the County of Passaic has sponsored numerous community-based arts initiatives including the first ever Art in the Park Festival, the Little Falls Art Walk, regularly scheduled youth crafts classes, and planning of the first Passaic County Teen Arts Festival in almost a decade.

The Passaic County Arts Center will provide regularly scheduled programming for all ages including art classes for all skill levels, figure drawing, lectures, screenings and year-round exhibits. The Passaic County Arts Center will also serve as a space for artists to engage in professional development, build community, and foster high quality arts education for all.

“Passaic County has made great strides in our efforts to rehabilitate and repurpose our historic landmarks,” said Freeholder John W. Bartlett. “As we did with the Dey Mansion in Wayne, the John Rea House will be returned to its former glory and given a new life as the Passaic County Arts Center.”

The John W. Rea House built c.1830 was listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The restoration of the Rea House includes the restoring historic features throughout the interior and exterior, and the adaptive reuse of spaces for art galleries, working studios, and office space. The project is expected to be completed in December 2018, with an opening date in March 2019.


The Passaic County Arts Center is seeking proposals for solo and group exhibitions for Spring and Summer 2019. The Center is particularly interested in artists and works that have some relationship with Passaic County and the surrounding communities. All media are welcome. Proposals may be for thematic or solo shows. If the exhibition has a theme, please be sure to explain your concept. Please do not send original art or documents, as materials will not be returned.

OPEN CALLS for the following thematic shows:

“To See Each Other: Contemporary Portraiture”
How do portraits of strangers and loved ones help us understand each other as humans? What can we learn by looking at each other more creatively? Open call for portraits of all styles and media. The defining requirement is that the portrait must represent a real person.

“Passaic County: Rich History, Bright Future”
Using the phrase as a jumping off point, we are seeking artists who find innovative ways to think about and address the past in order to create a brighter future. What does the phrase “rich history, bright future” mean to you? How does the rich history of Passaic County influence your work? How might your work influence our bright future?

Proposals may be sent to:
Kelly C. Ruffel, Director

Department of Cultural & Historic Affairs