by Jen Graves
on Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 9:21 AM
The Capitol Hill gallery/bar/creperie is closing its 11th Avenue space on June 19 and looking for another location in the immediate vicinity, according to owner/curator Erik Guttridge. Unlike the announcement last week that estimable gallery Howard House will be closing, this decision is not economic—it's due to an irreconcilable difference with the landlord, Guttridge wrote in an email: "I am looking at other potential spaces in the neighborhood and hope to announce a new address within a few weeks."
Here's hoping he comes up with one fast. The idea of another art space biting the dust right now is a depressant.
Full press release on the jump.
GREY GALLERY AND LOUNGE CLOSES ORIGINAL LOCATION JUNE 19TH, 2010
Due to unfortunate complications between the building owner (Matt Basta) and the landlord (Nicole Stone)- Grey owner, Erik Guttridge, has decided to close Grey at its current location and seek a more secure tenancy elsewhere in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Guttridge plans to re-open Grey by the fall of 2010.
The original 8-year lease between Grey and Stone, a 3-year sublease with a 5-year option, became void when building owner, Basta, evicted Stone under questionable circumstances in October 2009. Basta and Stone are currently suing each other. Basta has been unwilling to negotiate a lease rate reflecting fair market value, asking for as much as an 85% increase in rent (later backing down to a still steep increase of 50% for only a 1 year term), effectively forcing Grey out of the location less than 3 years after an extensive build-out financed by Guttridge and investors.
Guttridge is currently looking at other locations in the neighborhood and talking with investors and other supporters of Grey to make the move possible. “I am proud of what Grey has accomplished in its first two and a half years while maneuvering through a hostile relationship between the landlord and building owner. Although moving comes at a significant cost to my staff, exhibiting artists, investors and myself, I am excited about the possibility of running Grey in a much more positive and professional environment,” says Guttridge.
Since Grey opened in January of 2008, it has been named one of “Seattle’s Best Bars” by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, “Best Lounge,” also by Seattle Metropolitan, and “Best New Gallery/Bar” by Seattle Weekly. Through exhibiting local and emerging artists and hosting events for arts organizations and non-profits, Grey has become a social hub for Seattle’s creative community. “I love the community of neighbors, artists, collectors, designers, musicians, politicians, business people, friends and strangers that congregate and celebrate at Grey. I’m very fortunate to be part of a community that appreciates and supports a business like Grey. Maybe they just like us for our cocktails. That’s fine too,” says Guttridge.
Grey will be hosting several events in celebration of its community of artists, DJs and patrons in last two and a half weeks in its current location. These events include:
Hellogoodbye June 3 — 19, 2010 Preview: June 3, 7 -10p Reception: June 10, 5p - 8:30p New work by Robert Hardgrave and Greg Boudreau, who were scheduled to have full solo exhibitions, and a 2-year retrospective including works by other artists from past exhibitions at Grey Free
Best of Artwalk Awards- Special Capitol Hill BLITZ Edition Presented by Blue Moon, 4Culture and City Arts June 10, 8:30pm (following Hellogoodbye reception) Hosted by Joey Veltkamp Free
International Lounge June 13, 7pm - 2am Trent Moorman of Head Like a Kite vs. Scratchmaster Joe, live performance Adam Svenson & Garek Druss dj set No Cover
Drum of the Draw Saturday, June 19, 5p-9p A bi-monthly live, invitational drawing event that brings artists and their creative process to the public for one night every other month. The artists create original drawings while the public is invited to enjoy refreshments, observe the artists at work and purchase art as it is completed. None of the work is over $200, making it an affordable way to purchase works from some of your favorite Seattle artists. Free
Last Hurrah Weekend! June 18 - 19 Special editions of Grey Area and SOLID Saturdays Late Night Happy Hour from 12am — last call Friday and Saturday night. 1/2 price Champagne bottles all weekend (while available).