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Farewell, Grand Impromptu Gallery…

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Aug. 12, 2009 at 6:00 am |
August 12, 2009 6:00 am

The Grand Impromptu Gallery, in the Merlino building in downtown Tacoma.

If you want to see the art in the Grand Impromptu Gallery, you only have four more days. The artist co-operative-run gallery next to The Grand Cinema downtown is closing doors for good this Sunday, forced out of their space by planned expansions by The Grand.

The Grand Impromptu opened doors nearly two years ago after Art on Center vacated the space at 608 S. Fawcett. St. Members shifted and joined during the two years, sharing rent and expenses as well as management duties, and showing work in a succession of loosely themed group shows along with guest artists. The Grand’s decision to end the gallery’s sublease was made when the Grand’s own leasefrom Merlino owners P.M. Investments was extended through 2025, and the cinema made plans to build a fourth screen.

“It was never meant to be permanent,” said Impromptu founding member Bea Geller. “We came in on a whim, it was impromptu. And hey, it was successful! Who knew?”

While the gallery has sold work and attracted good crowds, says Geller, it has also been a lot of hard work. “It’s been good, to find out the selling side of art,” says the artist, who teaches photography and printmaking at Pacific Lutheran University.

So what will happen to the Impromptu co-operative? They’ll each go different ways, says Geller, who acknowledges that the different artists had different ideas on what they wanted out of the gallery. Some may reform in other spaces downtown, others – like Geller – will just go back to relying on other galleries to show their work.

Meanwhile, the Impromptu’s farewell show – “Rear View Forward” – is up until Sunday. There are two guest artists, Jane Martin and Aran Galligan, as part of MetalUrge, along with a good selection of work in a variety of media from members, including some poignant urban digital photographs from Geller herself.

Hours: 4-8 p.m. Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2-6 p.m. Sunday. 608 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma. 253-572-9232, grandimpromptugallery.com

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