Gallery Lombardi: 1996 – 2009?

by Ivan Lozano December 8, 2008
Gallery Lombardi: 1996 - 2009?


Gallery Lombardi is closing for good on Jan 15th.

That’s a serious blow to Austin’s gallery scene.


The Statesman’s Seeing Things blog by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin euolgizes the space :

 What distinguished Gallery Lombardi was its open door, almost
anything goes attitude. To Prince — and to hard working gallery
director Rachel Koper — every artist, and every one
who proclaimed themselves an artist, was welcome. “If you are a
creative person, and you have an opportunity to be creative, consider
yourself blessed,” Prince is quoted in news release. “The rest is
window dressing.”

Sprawling group exhibitions with rocking live music at the late
night openings characterized the scene at the free-spirited Gallery
Lombardi. Not all the art at Gallery Lombardi was great. And the place
never graduated beyond its scrapy, free-for-all feel. But then it never
tried to be anything it wasn’t, and that’s admirable.

By Koper’s estimation, she organized an impressive 144 group
exhibits. And Koper — who also writes for the Austin Chronicle — has
been an important force in the indie art scene.


I haven’t always been a fan of the specific things that Gallery Lombardi shows, but I was
always well aware that it was an integral part of the Austin visual
arts scene. It’s quite sad and worrisome that we are losing galleries
at the rate of one a year: last year Volitant, this year Lombardi.

Will Gallery Lombardi be the
canary in the mine for Austin’s visual arts galleries?


Beyond the really obviously shitty nature of the loss, this messes
with the Texas Biennial solo shows venues list in a somewhat major way.
Where will they host all the solo shows now? They were already down one
space since a 5th solo show was added, so now they are down 2 spaces? Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of a slow slide towards death for the Texas Biennial…




_scott December 9, 2008 - 07:20

we’ve gained a few more. Maybe not with Lombardi’s sexy locale but honest to goodness venues none the less. Now if we could just convince people that there is art beyond W. 6th street…

Sometimes I wonder if Austin is simply a victim of it’s own perceptions.

salvo cheque December 9, 2008 - 08:34

And I thought I was pessimistic. Gallery Lombardi closes and that triggers the death of the Biennial?
If the Biennial dies, it will be for failure to be relevant.

As unavoidable as closing the space is, Rachel is a good person and business minded. I have little doubt that she didn’t warn the Biennial folks. Sure, they’re probably scrambling right now, but they’ll figure it out.
The Lombardi space is available to rent for $2500/ month.
Maybe they start selling Texas-shaped cookies.

salvo cheque December 9, 2008 - 08:53

Hey _scott
Don’t be shy. Name names.
I’ve got 1305 position, On the 5th and Birdhouse Gallery. Which venues have you seen pop up?

And I’m guessing by the number of people out for EAST and the gang of artwalks this month, that people know about art beyond 6th street.

Are they buying beyond West 6th?


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