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The Ohio Art League is Leaving the South Campus Gateway

Walker Evans Walker Evans The Ohio Art League is Leaving the South Campus Gateway
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The Ohio Art League announced today via email that the organization will be leaving the South Campus Gateway at the end of February. The organization has housed both their offices and their gallery space at 1552 North High Street in the gateway alley since relocating there from The Short North in 2009.

“Your newly elected board of trustees is exploring many exciting options – for space, community partnerships, strategic alignments and expanded outreach – and we look forward to sharing those details with you in the very near future,” stated the organization through a release co-authored by Board Chairs Jay Moffett and Andew Ina. “OAL is a long-standing institution working for and with artists. We are embracing this opportunity to find a new home that will strengthen our mission to serve the community.”

The space won’t sit empty for long though, as local artisan martketplace Simply Vague plans to open a new store called Devoted sometime in late March or Early April.

“Devoted will be a branch of the current stores but will carry Ohio made apparel from over 35 local vendors,” said owner Andrea Archibald. “The unique thing about our stores is that our vendors are not licensed through Ohio State or any other school for that matter. Our talented vendors think outside the box to come up with designs that don’t require licensing but still represent the state and many of the Ohio teams.”

The sudden change is leaving the OAL scrambling to find alternate venues for gallery exhibitions that have been booked beyond February.

“We have always known that this wouldn’t serve as our permanent home and have been carefully considering different options and areas for the future of OAL,” explains Organizational Administrator and Gallery Manager Esther Hall. “Recent notification from our leasing agency of another business moving into our spot was sudden and has just initiated the move sooner than we had expected.”

Hall says that she expects 2014 to be a challenging year for the 105-year-old organization, but also sees the change as way to give the OAL a fresh start in finding new ways to serve the local community and the entire state of Ohio.

“The beauty of the Ohio Art League’s structure is in our partnerships with artists and art organizations,” she adds. “We have strong support and partnerships through the Carnegie Gallery at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Fort Hayes Shot Tower Gallery and Riffe Gallery, just to name a few. A great deal of our programming can easily be in a number of different venues to give other galleries and arts organizations a chance to host and promote themselves through us.”

Update (Feb 8, 2014): We reached out to the South Campus Gateway / Campus Partners for additional information and received the following information in response:

“The official notice we gave Ohio Art League was in line with the terms of the lease,” said Amanda Hoffsis, President of Campus Partners. “Our Property Manager has reached out to Ohio Art League about other opportunities but I don’t think they’ve connected yet. We certainly love having Ohio Art League in our space so I would be very happy if there is an opportunity that pans out.”

More information can be found online at www.oal.org and www.shopdevoted.com.

Photo via Bradley Baillie of www.brokenlines.org.

Update: Additional information from Esther Hall added to this story at 3:10pm on Feb 6, 2014.

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  • This seems odd, especially their explanation that the leasing agent said that another business has leased the space. Wondering why that business could not have been located in one of the many vacant spaces next door to or across the plaza from the OAL gallery space.

  • Good question, Lisa. Here’s a look at the availability of space provided by South Campus Gateway’s website.

    http://southcampusgateway.com/files/scg_site_plan.jpg

    Looks like plenty of space to go around.

  • Someone should contact the leasing agent for comment. I would be really interested to hear their reasoning. It seems really odd not to give such a well respected Columbus organization (which contributes so much to our community) sufficient notice of such a drastic change.

  • Larissa – We reached out to the Gateway and got some extra info. Just added it to the bottom of the story.

  • labi

    The Gateway has been my least favorite of the spaces OAL has occupied. I’m going to hope that this transition will be a positive change.

  • AmorAmor

    This is such a shame. Hopefully their new space is a good change!

  • hometown

    The Gateway location was classy and well-maintained but was one of my least favorite Art League venues as well. Does anyone know where the Art League is headed to next?

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