Gallery 10 - Another Loss

1519 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

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December 1-24, 2010
Reception: Friday, December 3, 6-8 PM
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat Noon-6 PM

Gallery 10 announces its final exhibition, the "Last Picture Show," an exhibition of some 40 works in all media by gallery artists. I One of Washington’s oldest artist-run galleries, Gallery 10 will close its doors on Fri., December 24 after thirty-six years.

Gallery 10 has been a pioneering influence on art in the Washington DC area since its founding 1974. It has promoted excellence in art by stressing artistic independence and integrity with innovative shows and by reaching out to the art community and creating opportunities for artists. The gallery was the first in the area to present installation and conceptual art forms, and was unique in its program of national and international exchange shows and its partnerships with embassies.

The art exchange program brought shows and artists from abroad: Italy, France, Lithuania, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Russia, and from across the US: California, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, etc.

The gallery has been a successful hybrid of incubator, international and metropolitan cultural exchange, and polished and edgy career solo exhibitions. Every artist in town knew dropping by Gallery 10 meant seeing something of interest, finding out about the next art event in town, and if Noche Crist or Maxine Cable were sitting at the desk, perhaps champagne. Mary McCoy, a Post art stringer in the 80’s, described the artist run gallery’s approach: “...Something in the mix of continuity of members' shows and the unexpected contributions of guest artists generates a lively energy that keeps the atmosphere of risk and dedication to art alive and well. Many of Washington's most respected artists, from painters to installation artists, got their start here. In providing a space for both local and out-of-town artists working in nontraditional forms, Gallery 10 also furnishes a provocative forum for art in this capital city.”

Over the years the exhibitions were consistently listed the NW Current which covers galleries and museums alike. Washington Post art critics in the second half of the 70’s, and the 80’s kept up with the gallery as well as the stringers in the early 90’s. More recently Post critics have discounted artist-run venues. “Who better to curate exhibitions than artists with advanced art degrees and years of curatorial experience and critical eyes?” asks Claudia Vess who first showed at the gallery in 1979 and later curated exhibitions such as Afterlife, a show where many viewers were so emotionally moved they burst into tears. “Artists are the first to recognize significant trends and interesting approaches."

The gallery will finish its 36 year run with the Last Picture Show opening on Wednesday, December 1, with HanuChrismaKwanza in the Inner Space. A reception on the Dupont Circle first Friday, December 3rd artists walk, from 6 to 8 pm launches the shows. The gallery will remain open through Fri., December 24 and close with cider and schnapps.

Like many in the DC Metro Area I feel the closing of Gallery 10 as a personal loss. Another OAK in my known art world falls.

I was a member from 1999 t0 2009 - a challenging and exciting period of my personal art career. When storytelling took me over completely I couldn't juggle both - so I resigned being an active member. It was a hard decision.

I cannot imagine how hard the decision has been for the members. What brings something like that on. Well, in the art work, its usually a simple answer - MONEY. Soaring rents, dwindling membership because dues are high, and the art market. Its not easy to sell experimental art work - especially in a tight market. So, in my view, Gallery 10 is another casualty of the present economic calamity in the United States.

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