Located at the site of a former hatchery and overlooking the Delaware River, ArtYard’s main building at 13 Front Street, completed in May 2021, is home to our year-round exhibition, live performance, and film programs. This building houses the John & Lynn Kearney Gallery, the River Gallery, the 162-seat McDonnell Theater with a café/bar in the lobby, ArtYard’s Offices, and a spacious riverside courtyard for outdoor installations and gatherings.
- John & Lynn Kearney Gallery
- River Gallery
- The McDonnell Theater
- VSG (Very Small Galleries)
The new ArtYard building at 13 Front Street serves as the permanent home of ArtYard’s exhibition, theatre, and film program.
The property at 13 Front Street was originally envisioned as a stand-alone art exhibition space, with the now ArtYard Workshop intended to serve as the McDonnell Theater. But the necessity of operating both programs at 62A Trenton Avenue during the design process highlighted the advantages of a dual-purpose facility, leading to the design of one building that suited both requirements with a location closer to the heart of Frenchtown. We had come to the realization that the intersection of art and live programming enlivened both projects: people who came to see a film would linger to see the exhibition afterward, and the galleries began to function as a vibrant third space, or town square, as we had hoped.
The building site at 13 Front Street was formerly Kerr’s Chickeries. Architects Ed Robinson and William Welch designed the new building on the site of the old hatchery, inspired by historical photographs of Frenchtown’s industrial roots. Third-generation family business W.S. Cumby served as the general contractor.
“We searched everywhere for the right place to launch ArtYard, visiting sites abroad and in the American West before concluding that Frenchtown was the ideal town. For decades Frenchtown has quietly attracted independent-minded creative types who enjoy living cheek by jowl with fifth-generation town families, of which Mayor Brad Myhre is one. But it’s a low-key town that doesn’t trumpet itself. I did not ‘discover’ Frenchtown, but came to realize what was already here, hiding in plain sight. From the moment we opened our doors I saw that the town was humming with creative life, with book artists, poets, composers and award-winning chefs.”
— Jill Kearney, Founder & Executive Director