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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 will close its doors in 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.”

, 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.

Jeannette April 25, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I would love to see the gallery reopen in one of the empty spaces in Wheaton. It may make it easier to get to, park, and shop. We don't have anything like this gallery in Wheaton. It would be so cool and might open us up to more galleries. We are, after all, supposed to be an arts & entertainment district. Let's get moving on that!
Andrea Capron April 26, 2012 at 02:51 AM
That's sad to hear! I never even got to visit the gallery and being an artist myself, that would have been great to do. I hate when people cut out art and music opportunities....just for a Costco? That's silly! Why can't people just drive to Beltsville to go to the Costco? That area is crowded enough as it is.
Andrea Capron April 26, 2012 at 02:52 AM
I agree Jeanette!
Jeannette April 26, 2012 at 02:07 PM
The gallery knew that the space wasn't permanent. They knew that someday the mall would lease the space. I liken it to Artomatic, a yearly art show in the DC area that finds vacant space and uses it for their show, and then packs up and goes after a month. Our gallery has had the use of the space for longer than that, but I hope that they find another vacant space and gets a good deal to reopen their gallery. I look forward to that day.
Interrobang April 26, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Why should people have to drive all the way over to Beltsville to save money on groceries?

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