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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Downtown Roanoke’s art gallery lineup continues to shift as 11-year-old Gallery 108 plans to close at year’s end.
Though the news seems to continue a disheartening trend of arts-related closings and cutbacks, the decision didn’t come about because the gallery was struggling financially, said Susan Egbert, one of the gallery’s founding members.
Rather, the business of running the co-op gallery, with 26 members and 41 more artists featured on consignment, had become too time-consuming for those few members who could share the burden. The gallery has no employees.
Those members who could volunteer their time to help out “want to go back to doing art,” Egbert said. “I think it will be a nice switch.”
In the meantime, Gallery 108 is holding a closing sale through Dec. 21, offering 20 percent discounts on all items. The gallery, located at 108 Market St., will also hold a closing celebration from 5 to 9 p.m. during the Dec. 7 Art by Night downtown gallery tour.
If you liked the gallery’s offerings, don’t worry. Many of the co-op’s members will stay downtown. Some are joining 202 Market Square Galleries, which opens next month above 202 Market in downtown Roanoke.
Egbert herself is making the jump to Studios in the Square at 126 Campbell Ave. S.W. Egbert said fellow 108 members Petie Stringfellow, Nancy Stellhorn, Rebecca Talbot and Miki Overcast-Kallan will be joining her there, and they’ll be participating in future Art by Night events.
“We certainly didn’t want to lose our touch with downtown,” Egbert said.
Studios in the Square owner Richard Kurshan said that while he’s begun renting out the individual studios to artists again, there will not be an official gallery in the building. “It’s just an economic decision to rent studios as we haven’t been able to sell the building.”
Other Gallery 108 artists have applied to an art gallery that’s expected to open next year in the newly renovated Center in the Square.
The members have had time to make plans ahead of the closing, Egbert said. “We sort of saw it coming last year.”
Arts sales remained steady even through all the downtown construction, Egbert said. The opening of the Taubman Museum of Art in late 2008 gave business a boost.
It’s unclear what will happen to the two-story retail space the gallery has occupied. “We’re sorry to see it go because it was great fun.” Egbert said. “We’re also looking forward to some new adventures.”
For more information about Gallery 108, call 982-4278 or visit gallery108.biz.
The Western Virginia Land Trust and the O. Winston Link Museum will hold a closing reception for the 2012 Land+Link Photography Competition from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5.
The land trust and the museum began collaborating on landscape photography contests in 2011. This year’s theme is “Nature’s Gift.”
The 20 finalists in the show, picked out of about 130 entries, are on display at the museum.
They can also be viewed and voted on through Dec. 4 at westernvirginialandtrust.org/news_events/photo/peopleschoice/. A $50 People’s Choice Award will be announced at the reception, and the photographers will be on hand. There will also be a silent auction to benefit both nonprofits.
Other prizes in open division, college division and young photographer categories range from $25 to $100, as well as memberships in both the land trust and the museum. The jurors are Pete Eshelman, director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership, Hollins University President Nancy Gray and The Roanoke Times outdoors editor Mark Taylor.
The Western Virginia Land Trust advocates for conservation easements, intended to preserve landscapes from commercial development. The Roanoke-based organization serves seven counties.
For more information, call land trust project manager Diana Hackenburg at 985-0000.
Tri-state wind fest
Radford University will host the 6th Annual Tri-State Chamber Winds Festival from Thursday through Saturday. All performances take place in the Covington Center Performance Hall on campus.
Participants include 40 high school students from Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia, who will take master classes and receive coaching from professional musicians before performing in the concert that concludes the event. Instruments include woodwind, brass and saxophone.
The concerts are free. The first, at 8 p.m. Thursday, features the Radford University Faculty Chamber Winds and the University Wind Ensemble. The second, 8 p.m. Friday, features the RU Concert Jazz Ensemble. The high school students perform 1 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 831-5569 or visit radford.edu/tri-state.
On the Arts blog
This weekend I’m recovering from the Thanksgiving holiday feast, but also contemplating my year-end summary of the top arts and cultural stories of the year.
Visit my blog and tell me what you think the year’s top stories were at blogs.roanoke.com/arts.
Weather JournalRain is here; no snow