Closing gallery hopes to relocate

Deal for space three blocks north may be sealed this week

By Mary Ann Albright, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

 

Update

• Previously: Co-op members at Sixth Street Gallery in downtown Vancouver announced in July that they needed to raise $5,000 by Aug. 8 to keep the gallery afloat. They succeeded in raising about $4,100, but it wasn’t enough to stay in their current location at 105 W. Sixth St.

• What’s new: Members are close to finalizing a two-year lease at 109 W. Ninth St. They also are in the process of changing the gallery’s name to Gallery 360.

• What’s next: Members hope to have the new space open Oct. 1 for First Friday Art Walk. The last show at the current location ends Sept. 26.

Members of the Sixth Street Gallery artists’ co-op are close to finalizing a deal to relocate three blocks north. It’s a cost-cutting move for the gallery, which has been struggling financially due to dwindling sales, class registrations and donations.

The artists have to be out of their current location at 105 W. Sixth St. at the end of the month, but the gallery will be open to the public through Sept. 26. Members hope to have the new space open Oct. 1 for the First Friday Art Walk.

Because they’ll no longer be situated on Sixth Street, members also are in the process of changing their name to Gallery 360, a nod to Southwest Washington’s area code.

The prospective new space, 109 W. Ninth St., is next to Alibi Tattoo. It was the back room of a former tavern and is part of the historic Ludesher building.

It will require some work — painting, cleaning, perhaps adding a restroom and walling off storage areas — but the space has character, said Sam MacKenzie, a co-op member and president of Mosaic Arts Alliance, the gallery’s nonprofit parent organization.

Like the gallery’s present location, the new space has high ceilings, exposed brick walls and hardwood floors.

“It’s like I’m describing Sixth Street, or its sister,” MacKenzie said. “(The new space) has that wonderful gallery feel.”

One benefit of the Ninth Street space is its proximity to the cluster of galleries on Main Street between 10th and 11th streets.

“It’s closer to what we refer to as gallery row,” said Jamie Lutz Carroll, vice president of Mosaic.

The approximately 1,300-square-foot space also costs less than half what the group is paying now.

“It makes it much more sustainable,” Carroll said.

MacKenzie and Carroll said they hoped the deal would be finalized this week. They’re currently discussing plans for modifications to the space with the city.

Jeff Arthur, one of three new owners of the Ludesher building, is optimistic about the potential tenants.

“We’re excited to hopefully have the gallery come in,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of big plans for revitalizing that building and that area.”

Mary Ann Albright: maryann.albright@columbian.com, 360-735-4507.