Where Should Montgomery Art Association Go Next?
The MAA must vacate its gallery in Wheaton Mall because Westfield needs the space for the incoming Costco. The final art exhibit ends April 29.
Update, April 26:
Patch talked with Cathy Hirsh, the president of the Montgomery Art Association, about where the association will go next now that it must vacate its gallery space at the Wheaton Mall to make room for the new Costco.
"At this point, I'm considering all options," Hirsh said. "We're flexible. We can do a lot with different kinds of spaces."
The MAA proved that creative adaptability when it came to Wheaton Mall in December 2010.
"We fixed up this space," Hirsh said. "It wasn't ready for use as a gallery or a store."
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After the last art show ends April 29, the artists will come and pick up their artwork as usual, but no one will be bringing new pieces for the May show, and any extra furnishings will go into storage.
Hirsh is looking for a new space that can attract foot traffic, but she added that the MAA, as a non-profit, is not prepared to pay commercial rates. MAA has members all over Montgomery County, so Hirsh is not limiting her search to Wheaton.
"It would be nice to stay in Wheaton, but it's not a prerequisite," she said.
Original story, April 25:
The Montgomery Art Association Gallery will close its doors in Wheaton Mall this Tuesday after more than 16 months in a small space next to what will soon be a new Costco warehouse.
The gallery and the neighboring store will be included in the Costco construction work, according to Sidney Woods, Westfield’s marketing director. Costco is scheduled to open in October.
The art association came to the mall in December 2010, paying a discount rate to rent a 1,100-square-foot space that had been chronically vacant. Although Westfield has enjoyed a “great partnership” with the art association, Woods said, the current lack of available space in the mall means that the gallery must relocate elsewhere. He is hopeful that the mall and the art association can work together in the future, perhaps on seasonal art shows.
According to a statement released Tuesday, the Montgomery Art Association is actively looking for a new location: “For the time being, we are considering the Gallery “on hiatus,” and not permanently closed.”
The final exhibit, featuring artist Barrie Ripin, will be on display until April 29.
Where should the Montgomery Art Assocation look for another space? Do you have any ideas for a new gallery location? Tell us in the comments.