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Delavan Art Gallery to close May 1

The morning of April 9, Bill Delavan released the following statement to local media:

Artists, Friends, Patrons, Staff and Supporters:

As Director it is my task to inform you that Delavan Art Gallery is closing at the end of our current exhibit, The Color of Spring, on Saturday, May 1, 2010. This culminates nearly seven years of operation, fifty-four major exhibits for the work of 186 area artists in individual shows, 15 group and special shows for upwards of 220 artists, and seven shows of the elementary students from two of our neighborhood schools (Blodgett and Seymour Magnet). Through all of these exhibitions we have had the pleasure of hanging or displaying nearly ten thousand pieces of artwork.

For the future, we are planning to turn the gallery space into five smaller art related areas. Tentative names for the spaces are "The Art Shops at Delavan Center" or "The Art Shops on West Fayette St."

While none of the plans are concrete, one of the spaces may be rented by current Gallery Manager, Caroline Szozda-McGowan, with the plan to be opening sometime during the summer or fall. In addition, one of the other newly-created spaces may serve as a general display space for special art displays and other art related events.

The decision to close Delavan Art Gallery has been long in coming and has been most difficult to make. While we are a for-profit gallery, we have been, in reality, a "double bottom line" enterprise. We have measured our success both by money and by the achievement of less quantifiable goals related to enhancing opportunities for area visual artists. Thus, from the onset, we stated that our mission was "to show and sell the fine art of area artists in the best possible setting." Thus, while economic considerations are certainly a part of the decision, they are by no means the only part. Nearly seven years of intensive effort in the arts is a long time. It is now time to explore new horizons.

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