As the national political debate shifts to funding of the National Endowment for the Arts, and as Cuyahoga Arts and Culture continues to debate the value of funding for individual artists, Cleveland’s art community received another disheartening sign of the times. Lauren Davies, director of 2731 Prospect announced the gallery will be closing its doors following the end of its current exhibitions this spring.
“There has been enthusiastic attendance at the gallery and we have received fantastic feedback for our shows, but sales have not been sufficient to support our ongoing exhibition schedule,” said Davies in a farewell email to the gallery’s patrons. “It’s extremely disappointing to close the gallery, but it’s been a great opportunity to present the work of so many wonderful artists.”
Davies opened 2731 Prospect with the help of family members in 2015, following the retirement of legendary gallerist William Busta. The space was formerly known as the William Busta Gallery. Busta was always quick to credit his wife, Joan Tomkins, and her financial commitment to the gallery as a big part of his longtime success.
"I want to thank my family, John and Allyn Davies, for their support for the gallery,” Davies said. “None of these exhibitions would have been possible without their generous financial backing. Also, I sincerely want to thank everyone who has purchased work from the gallery and therefore supported both our mission and the artists.”
Picking up where Busta left off, 2731 Prospect has showcased emerging and established local artists, and several from New York and California. The current exhibition features work by the chair of the Painting Department at the Cleveland Institute of Art Tony Ingrisano, 2016 Cleveland Arts Prize winner Kristen Cliffel and Assistant Professor of Studio Art, Reproducible Media at Oberlin College Kristina Paabus.
On April 22, the gallery will host a closing reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Both a celebration of the artists and a farewell to the gallery, the public is invited to join Davies and the artists one final time. No word yet on the future of the gallery space, but stay tuned. On behalf of everyone at Scene, we wish Lauren Davies and company success moving forward.
(2731 Prospect) 2731 Prospect Ave., 888-273-1881, 2731prospect.com