On Jan. 29 with little fanfare, Brett Wesley Gallery, the only free-standing, built-to-purpose gallery in The 18b Arts District, closed its doors and shifted its shows to Arts Square.
The building at 1112 S. Casino Center Blvd. was completed in October 2009 and was owner Brett Wesley Sperry’s first architectural design. He took more than a year designing a showplace for art and the use of creative people.
“I wanted the building to embrace the street,” Sperry said. “That’s why the canopy soars off the building and there are those lovely columns in front. The whole north wall is structural glass.”
In October the gallery opened an annex at Art Square, 1025 S. First St., another project Sperry worked on the design, architecture and interior spaces. The project was originally three buildings that was redeveloped by a group partnership including Sperry.
“It’s a great corner space with high visibility,” Sperry said.
At the time of the move Sperry said that the main gallery would remain at the Casino Center Boulevard location and the annex would showcase work from previous shows at the main location.
A week before February’s First Friday, Sperry sent out an email to the media announcing the move. As reasons for the move, he cited an increase in daily visitors and new collectors at the new location and that only 30 percent of the original gallery was being utilized.
“We’ve had very good sales at the new location,” said Victoria Hart, director of the galleries. “It’s also right across the hall from the art museum offices.”
Funds are being raised for The Modern, a proposed contemporary art museum Sperry hopes to build on property he owns just east of Art Square and the Arts Factory.
The old building is set to be leased to Jet Set Games, a software development company Sperry co-founded with Rade Stojsavljevic, the company’s current president. The company designs game apps for mobile devices.
Niether Sperry or Stojsavljevic could be reached for comment about the move.
The newly located gallery is currently showing “The Remix,” a selection of work from previous shows. The show is set to be on display during March’s First Friday.
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4532.