Bittersweet End of an Era

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Grove Gallery and Studios will be closing at the end of February after a run of 10 years. Bittersweet, indeed.

I’m sad, naturally. It’s been great to have a space where I can bring in pretty much anything I create, which has allowed me to experiment—a LOT—but still sell the work without having to commit to an entire exhibit. I’ll surely miss the excuses to see Deb Cholewicki, who was the reason I joined in the first place and whose friendship I cherish. We’ll find other things to do together…we just signed on to do another joint exhibit in 2020. I’ll miss seeing the people I’ve gotten to know or know better as a result of crossing paths at the gallery. It’s a great bunch of art enthusiasts and creative souls with good hearts.

I’m glad. For the last number of years I’ve been the gallery treasurer and marketer. Accounting is not my strong suit, but I’ve done the best I can. We’re legal, current, and on the up-and- up. This responsibility has used up a lot of my brain, and the wrong side of my brain at that. At times I’ve pulled my hair out with frustration and fear of letting the gallery down. I will not miss it one bit and will never ever ever sign up to handle bookkeeping again!

I’ve learned a lot about the coop format, both what does and does not work. I’m glad for that experience and the lessons learned.

I am truly proud of what we have built. We sold a lot of art for a lot of artists and provided something unique for East Lansing. The gallery is lovely and the workshops have been wonderful. We’ve grown and evolved and gotten ever better.

There’s no single reason for the closing. The lease ends in March. When we evaluated all the factors we deal with and anticipate in the future the scale tipped solidly toward closure. It’s simply time to say farewell and move on to new adventures. I look forward to having more time to be in the studio.

Thank you, my friends, and all those who have supported the gallery. It has meant a great deal to me to see you at events an workshops, to see your names on receipts, and to hear that you felt we brought something valuable to the area. I have total faith that some other creative folks will fill the void we leave.

So, I’m marking lots of things down for clearance and realizing just how much work I have at the gallery. I really don’t want to bring it back home. I hope you can come for the sale, starting at the party on Friday, Feb 1 from 5:30-8pm. Many artists will have at least some work discounted. Even fixtures will be up for sale between Feb 1 and 15 for pickup between Feb. 16 and 22. As things clear out it’s going to feel really weird…that will be on the sad side of the equation. That’s life, eh? Moving on.