Riverside Artists Gallery to close its doors Dec. 31

Virginia Killian shows some of the artwork she has for sale at the Riverside Artists Gallery.

After more than 20 years, the Riverside Artists Gallery will close its doors Dec. 31.

Virginia Killian, one of the founding members, said they wanted to go out with a bang instead of a whimper, so there will be shows through the end of the year.

She said they decided to close the gallery for a number of reasons.

“We couldn’t find a way to keep it open with the number of artists we have,” she said. “We wanted to be a destination gallery. Our art is in a lot of people’s homes.”

She said they decided to close because of a combination of the changing times and changing market.

“The business has changed and it’s not working anymore,” she said. “We’re not attracting young, new artists. We can’t find a way to keep it open that doesn’t degrade the art.”

She said more than 70 artists have shown their work at the gallery over the years. They’ve shown high school art every year and hundreds of children have been through their art camp.

Killian said she isn’t sure what will happen to the art now shown at the gallery. She said the Parkersburg Art Center is opening a store and some members may sell their art there.

“And friends and family will really luck out,” she added. “But we hope to sell a lot.”

In 23 years in business, the gallery has been through a lot, including three moves, two floods and a fire in 2010.

It started out at 125 Front St. and eventually moved to 188 Front St.

“We had two fires within six months. We didn’t lose any work in the floods, but we lost quite a lot of work in the fires,” Killian said.

The gallery showcases felting, jewelry, photography, ceramics, paintings and copper work, she said.

“Fine arts and fine crafts,” she said. “We’re particular about what we put on our walls and displays.”

The hours of business are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Killian said they’ve had to cut hours because they don’t have enough people to keep it open.

“We have a couple of great volunteers and we’re open late on First Fridays,” she noted.

Gallery member Betsy Cook said artists are bringing in new art and there will be shows in November and December on First Friday and throughout the month.

November’s show is “For the Love of Glass” with visiting artists Dave Fetty and Nick Delmatto and Riverside member Bonnie Proudfoot.

“We envisioned this being a tourist art destination. There used to be a number of art galleries,” Killian said. “There are still wonderful art shops in town. Unfortunately, we won’t be among them anymore.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

At a glance:

∫ The gallery will close on Dec. 31.

∫ There will be shows on First Fridays in November and December.

∫ Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

∫ It’s located at 219 Second St., Marietta.

∫ Artwork will be 10 percent off starting in November.

Source: Riverside Artists Gallery.


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