Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include a statement from artist Frances Bagley.
One of the oldest artist-run co-op galleries in Texas, 500X, which has been at its Dallas location since its inception, is having to shutter its space. 500X opened in 1978 in its current Expo Park post-industrial building, which it does not own. In an official statement from the organization, it says there are plans to keep the name and find a new space.
Read the full statement from 500X below:
“After 41 years at 500 Exposition Avenue, 500X Gallery’s lease was terminated. Our doors will be closing permanently Monday, April 13, 2020. Though we are incredibly saddened to leave 500 Exposition, our namesake, current 500X members have begun looking for a new space to house the artist co-op moving forward. In the interim, 500X Gallery will compact the schedule of remaining shows to accommodate its members’ shows that were scheduled for March, April, and May. Additionally, we will work on alternative plans for the artists impacted by this situation. In closing, 500X Gallery stands by its mission to promote and provide opportunities to a diverse group of emerging artists in the Dallas-Fort Worth community and beyond. While our organization will not be able to continue our mission at 500 Exposition Avenue, we hope to find another outlet to continue our longstanding commitment to artists in Texas. We send our sincerest gratitude to the community for your participation, collaboration, and support in our programming over the years.”
A timeline of events leading to the closure was released by 500X via email and on the gallery’s website. It is alleged in the timeline that the members of the 500X collective were given notice to vacate the space three days after it announced its upcoming LGBTQIA+ exhibition. The timeline also indicates that the co-op had an agreed-upon meeting with the building management, which they claim was cancelled by the management; the timeline indicates that 500X was told that that the decision to terminate the lease on the space is final.
Twice last December, Glasstire wrote about a tense relationship developing between the gallery and its landlord the Gibson Company, over an exhibition that 500X alleges were instructed to take down for what Gibson deemed to be “mature content.”
“… it is a sign of the times, much like the removal of Tom(Orr) and my work at White Rock lake,” said artist Frances Bagley in a text message to Glasstire. ” The neighborhood changed, so the support was gone …. I agree with Christina’s letter from the editor in Glasstire this morning,” she continued. “It’s remarkable that 500X lasted in the same location for 42 years and now given the times, 500X needs a space that they can control and show the work they need and want to exhibit,” Bagley concluded.
Glasstire has reached out to the Gibson Company and past and current members of 500X. This story will be updated.