Judith Taylor, the owner and director of Gallery Shoal Creek in Austin, has announced that she plans to close the gallery’s brick-and-mortar space at the end of this month. The gallery, which has since 2013 been located in the Flatbed Press building in East Austin, came to a crossroads last year when Flatbed found out that its master lease on the building wouldn’t be renewed, in order to make way for redevelopment.
Ultimately Ms. Taylor has opted to forgo a permanent space in favor of advising and consulting services. Ms. Taylor will work with clients directly to help build their collections. Additionally, she will represent artists and will organize exhibitions in collaboration with existing spaces and businesses, like her current temporary project which is on view now at Korman Fine Jewelry.
In a letter on her website, Ms. Taylor further explains her decision to rethink her way of doing business:
“With change comes opportunity! The loss of our lease to re-development has provided the timely catalyst to redirect how I connect artists and collectors in our changing environment. Moving away from a brick-and-mortar gallery space will allow me to focus on what I value most: my relationships with art enthusiasts like you.”
Some other organizations and artists that were renting from Flatbed have already announced their future plans: CAMIBAart will move to La Costa Corporate Park, where it will open a multi-use space that will serve the gallery’s clients. Although it will have an exhibition space, it will also act as a consulting office, and many of its events will now be invitation-only.
Another Flatbed tenant, the Austin Book Arts Center is moving north to a space at 5501 N. Lamar, next to a Half Price Books. In its new location, the Center will continue its mission to educate the public through open events and workshops. And Flatbed announced in January of this year that it will be moving south, to a building adjacent to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. There, it will continue its project of working with artists on suites and editions, and will also open the Flatbed Community Press, an open studio for artist-printmakers.
You can read Ms. Taylor’s full letter below. Gallery Shoal Creek’s final show at its East Austin location will close on February 23.
Dear Friend of Gallery Shoal Creek,
With change comes opportunity! The loss of our lease to re-development has provided the timely catalyst to redirect how I connect artists and collectors in our changing environment. Moving away from a brick-and-mortar gallery space will allow me to focus on what I value most: my relationships with art enthusiasts like you.
Going forward, my attention will be on sharing my expertise and working directly with clients to build their fine art collections. I will be available to provide personalized art advising to seasoned collectors, to novices wanting to expand their art knowledge and confidence in making art purchases, or to designers helping clients accomplish their aesthetic goals. Rather than open a retail gallery in a new location, I will engage with individuals directly and conveniently by appointment at their home, office, or one of several places where I will have work on view. I will continue to represent a select group of accomplished artists with whom I have long-standing relationships and introduce collectors to the work of other artists that I think may align with their interests and tastes.
After thirty years of active involvement, my passion for contemporary art is as strong as ever, and I am confident that the dynamic Austin art scene offers exciting opportunities. In addition to advising and consulting, I will partner with other businesses and organizations that support the visual arts like Larry and Kat Stokes, the new owners of Korman Fine Jewelry and avid art enthusiasts. This month my team installed a beautiful temporary installation that complements their spacious, light-filled showroom on Burnet Road. The environment is perfect for rotating exhibitions that showcase large-scale work and demonstrates the impact that art can have. Later this spring, we will begin hosting exclusive art and jewelry events together.
Our current show featuring the work of internationally-known printmaker Koichi Yamamoto will continue through Saturday, February 23rd, and we bid farewell to our East Austin space at the end of the month. I invite you to drop by for coffee and conversation during our final week (February 19th to the 23rd, 11am to 4pm). I will be happy to take a break from packing to chat about these future plans.
While my business plans are changing somewhat, my gratitude for our friendship endures. I look forward to staying in touch and working with you for many years to come! I am just a phone call away and our website will keep you up to date on what is on the horizon.