Founded in 1979 in the Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts, the William Paterson University Galleries is one of a few visual arts organizations in Passaic County (northern New Jersey) and uniquely provides meaningful and valuable opportunities to view, interpret, study, and discuss the arts. The University Galleries oversees a collection of approximately 3,500 objects that is often the basis for thematic exhibitions and an educational resource for WP faculty, students, staff, visiting scholars, K-12 audiences, and the public. The University Galleries encompass three exhibition spaces that total 5,000 square feet. Annual programs consist of on average 6 solo and thematic exhibits, numerous public programs, exhibit tours, and K-12 arts education workshops. These activities provide direct access to art and artists, offering intimate insight into the artistic process.

The University Galleries serves as a cultural resource for William Paterson University, neighboring communities, and the region by presenting exhibitions of visual art, overseeing the University’s art collections, and offering educational programs. The Galleries seeks to introduce diverse audiences to contemporary art and artists, and to enhance visitors’ appreciation and knowledge of the arts. Embracing the University’s commitment to diversity and reflecting our diverse communities, the Galleries endeavors to explore and respond to all aspects of diversity and to foster critical thinking, discussion, and discovery.