The Broadway Art Center, which has displayed and sold artwork in the downtown Arcade Building since 2007, will close May 31.
Members of the center’s board made the decision Tuesday. Maintenance problems in the Arcade, situated at Broadway and Maiden Lane, are the chief reasons cited for the gallery’s end.
“The place is literally falling down around our ears,” said Susan Rivers, a board member and artist. “There are a lot of things that need to be fixed, and we were told it’s up to us to take care of the repairs. There are leaks and broken windows — it’s just kind of beyond us.”
The gallery opened as a place to visit during Albany’s First Friday series, which promotes gallery openings, one-night shows, local shops, restaurants and live entertainment on the first Friday of each month. The center later started a weekday schedule, opening from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. to cater to lunch hour shoppers. Paintings, photographs, fiber art, jewelry, pottery and sculptured pieces were available.
Since 2011, the Broadway has been operated by seven artists.
Rivers said First Fridays were popular at the gallery.
“It’s become a date night destination,” said Rivers, who lives in Saratoga Springs. “We have regulars; we have new people. Our shows have rotated pretty frequently and the caliber of art has just increased and increased. We created quite a community.”
The gallery’s final First Friday will be held this week from 5 until 9 p.m. Two exhibits will be presented — text-as-artwork pieces in “A Novel Idea/Line by Line” and paintings and etchings by Mary Gianetto in “Don’t Sit On It.”
Colonie resident Kathe Kokolias, also a board member and artist, is proud of the center’s accomplishments.
“What we brought, first of all, was an opportunity for local artists to show their work,” she said. “We were the venue for some first-time artists who never had displayed their work anywhere because we didn’t jury or judge their work. … We never had to turn anybody away.”
Rivers said the center could open again, in another location.
“We haven’t started looking yet,” she said, “but we’re not closing that door.”