Support pm gallery this weekend during a cash mob
When I think of the Short North and how far it has come from the days of seedy imagery and vacant storefronts to the nationally renowned arts district that it is today I give generous credit to the pioneers who staked a claim in our neighborhood’s less prosperous days. There are (at least) four important folks to recognize as key to the Short North’s success who are still contributing to the community today.
On the bar front that’s John Allen who opened the Short North Tavern, the neighborhood’s longest operating and most beloved watering hole, in 1980. Sandy Wood and The Wood Companies started renovating High Street buildings in 1984 beginning with the Lincoln/High Corner and then moving to the “Carriage House” the following year. From the beginning they rented to galleries, unique shops and one very important restaurant. Kent Rigsby started Rigsby’s Cuisine Volatile in the Carriage House in 1986 and continues to turn out innovative fare for Columbus’ movers and shakers. Putting the art in arts district are Maria Galloway and Michael Secrest who began selling artwork as pm gallery in 1980 at the intersection of Buttles and North High Street.
Today I write to implore you to help one of the founding members of the Short North Arts District keep afloat long enough to catch the next wave that will carry them into a fruitful future after a challenging year. Maria Galloway has spent 33 years living in and loving the Short North as a resident, a business owner and an involved member of the community. She and husband Michael have lived on Summit Street since 1985 where they have raised their two sons, Jacob and Eli despite the occasional challenges that come with embracing urban living.
pm gallery currently represents 300 independent artists and has supported hundreds more in their three decades of commerce. One hundred of these are local artists, including all of the current fine artwork represented, with familiar names like Paul Volker, Charles Wince and emerging artist Don Marks. Maria has been a member of the Short North Business Association (now the Short North Alliance) since its founding. She was on the board for more than a decade, has served on countless committees and even served a term as SNBA president. For years PM Gallery has been an indispensable Short North asset, Maria has been a valuable community resource and we would be remiss to not take action to prevent what would be an untimely loss to our neighborhood.
After 32 years of doing business at Buttles and High, pm gallery was evicted from their Short North home of three plus decades due to their longtime landlord’s legal difficulties. And it was decision time. Should they call it a “good run” and move on to other ventures or should they give it another go in another location? With the encouragement of friends, customers, neighbors and fellow business owners they decided to keep their chin up and carry on.
Maria was volunteering for the Short North Stage at the Garden Theatre when she was introduced to Kevin Lykens who was in contract to purchase the building across the street. Kevin showed Maria an available space the day he closed on the building and the new home for PM Gallery was secured. Much hard work ensued: the beautiful but beyond repair tin ceiling was covered (intact for future discovery) with a dropped ceiling; new hardwood flooring was installed on the back 3/4’s of the space; new gallery-appropriate lighting was added throughout; there was painting, painting and more painting done.
Now they have a fabulous new space with a charming mix of exposed brick and drywall at the north end of the district that is beautiful and open and displays the artwork of pm gallery’s myriad artists in ways previously not possible. And they have ample parking available directly in front of and around their shop that was nonexistent before. But they still face a lot of challenges. They have a larger space with more room to display but their overhead is higher than that of the space they held for 32 years. There is enormous potential in the Garden District portion of the Short North but the reality is that the traffic is lower than it was at Buttles and High. PM Gallery is struggling to make it through the slower pre-summer-Gallery-Hop season, re-establish their market and reassure their longtime customers that they did not close, they just moved north.
YOU CAN HELP! How can you help? YOUR MISSION (should you choose to accept it) is to jump yourself into the Short North (cash mob) Posse. Visit pm gallery the weekend of April 20-21 and do some shopping! Get your Mother’s Day shopping done early by picking up one of those gorgeous glass globes for mom or grandma. Buy yourself a piece of garden art, a pair of earrings or a new hand thrown ceramic coffee mug. (Full disclosure: my Short North magnets, pendants and coasters are sold here, feel free to ignore them!).
Go spend $10, $25 or $50 at this longtime Short North business in an effort to ensure that you can do it again the next time you want to pick up a special handmade gift item. And please help spread the word (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to your friends, family and colleagues who are fans of the Short North, friends of pm gallery and supporters of independent locally owned businesses. Bring a few folks shopping with you. We’ll support you back by giving out “Short North (cash mob) Posse” buttons to those who come in so you can proudly wear your support of small local businesses on your sleeve (or your pant leg, or in your piercing, whatever floats your boat). And there will be cookies. Who doesn’t love cookies?!
pm gallery is located at 1190 N. High Street. Visit them online at www.pmgallery.com.