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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Closed: Lawrence Gallery's Portland Location

Posted by Matt Stangel on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Last night The Oregonian's Bruce Hammond reported that the Lawrence Gallery's Portland location is closed for business. From The O:

Gary and Signe Lawrence, owners of three Oregon art galleries, have closed their Pearl District location. Their Lawrence Gallery in Sheridan — their original store opened in 1977 — and the one at Salishan on the coast remain open.

"The Portland gallery location has been under-performing for several years," Gary Lawrence said in a statement Tuesday. "We've invested substantial personal resources to keep the Portland location open during the recession because we feel it is an excellent location."

But Lawrence said he had health issues recently that made it difficult for him to be actively involved with the Pearl District gallery at the corner of Northwest Ninth Avenue and Davis Street. "We are currently negotiating with potential investors on a possible joint venture which may reopen a gallery in the Portland area at some date in the future," he said.

The Lawrence Gallery's closing comes at the heels of other recently shuttered art spaces, and a reported decline in art sales from many local gallerists and curators who I've spoken with in the last six months. Though, while blue-chip galleries like Lawrence and Mark Woolley Gallery have closed in the last year, new spaces continue sprouting up (like the Screaming Sky Gallery on Alberta, or Garbageman Astronaut in Everett Station Lofts) evening out the ebb and flow of Portland's galleryscape.

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