The 2731 Prospect Contemporary Art, which in September 2015 took over the space next to the Inner Belt occupied by the William Busta Gallery for eight years, has announced that it will close after the run of its current shows on April 22.
The gallery, run by Lauren Davies, showed some of the same Cleveland artists who became favorites under Busta’s sponsorship, expanding to include artists from around the region and occasionally even farther away. It also emphasized photography more than Busta did, in addition to painting, drawing and sculpture.
“There has been enthusiastic attendance at the gallery and we have received fantastic feedback for our shows, but sales have not been sufficient to support our ongoing exhibition schedule,” said Davies.
That could be due in part with local art lovers’ lack of familiarity with many of the artists 2731 showed. Busta had been a gallerist for 26 and regularly encouraged and mentored the artists he showed, pushing them to create new bodies of work for repeat shows so that local collectors could watch them grow and become familiar with them as they progressed. At first glance, it was difficult to put some of these artists into context. It can take a while for interest to grow into acquisition.
Some are gloomily predicting this is a canary in the coalmine, indicating the pending demise of other galleries. But galleries, like restaurants, all seem to close for differing reasons, depending on their own business models and unique circumstances.
2731 Prospect will hold a closing reception for both the three current solo shows by Kristen Cliffel, Tony Ingrisano and Kristina Paabus (all locally based artists) as well as for the gallery Sat 4/22 @ 4-6pm.