Update: A reader questioned whether the gallery closing is related to the recent sale of an adjacent four-storefront block. Uforge’s twitter account tweeted the following:
our decision was made before the block announcement. We wanted more time to support our artists directly. 😀
— UFORGE Gallery (@uforgegallery) August 20, 2016
Jamaica Plain’s Uforge Gallery on Centre Street will close its doors at the end of October — but the gallery director and co-founder emphasizes that Uforge will continue its work supporting arts in the community.
In a letter posted on social media Friday afternoon, Brian Crete explained that the storefront gallery, which opened in 2011, has relied solely on volunteers for day-to-day operations, and it has been increasingly difficult to staff and maintain the gallery, as well as perform other needed activities like fundraising and promotion.
Although the gallery space will close, Crete promises that Uforge “will continue its work and its mission,” including participating in the city’s Boston Creates initiative and other city-wide arts collaborations. And in the meantime, he invites the community to attend the gallery’s two remaining show openings, on Sept. 2 and Oct. 6.
Crete’s full letter is below:
JP’s Uforge Gallery to Close its Doors but Not its Work
After more than five years in its Jamaica Plain storefront, Uforge Gallery will close its doors at the end of October. However, it will continue to support artists and remain an active presence on the Boston arts scene. Gallery director and co-founder Brian Crete explained that while Uforge will leave its Centre Street location, “the gallery will continue its work and its mission.”
For instance, Managing Member and community outreach volunteer Cristina Nelson noted that “we are excited about the Mayor’s Boston Creates initiative and the City’s encouragement of and support for city-wide arts collaborations, in which we’ve been active participants.” Nelson echoed Crete’s assertion that “despite leaving our physical space, we will continue to be a strong presence on the Boston arts scene.”
Since its 2011 inception, Uforge has relied solely on volunteers to operate the gallery. However, as Crete explained, its members “are active artists with day jobs, family and community commitments, and other demands on their lives, including working on their art.” Crete noted that members have found it increasingly difficult to spend the time to staff and maintain the gallery, and to perform other needed activities, such as fundraising, community outreach, and gallery promotion.
However, gallery exhibits and events have always been popular and well-attended. “We’ve had tremendous turnouts at our openings, and great interest from area artists who submit work for exhibition,” said Alex Kittle, Assistant Gallery Director.
As far as Uforge’s future plans, they will be finalized shortly, and shared with the community, Crete said. “Meanwhile,” he added, “we are still open for private rental events and other programs until the end of October.” He added that “we hope the community will attend the September 2 and October 6 show openings, and visit the gallery on weekends to see our artists’ creative and innovative work.”
Individuals who would like to support Uforge’s continuing arts initiatives through a tax-deductible donation may do so through the gallery’s website: www.uforgegallery.com.
Gallery Director and Co-founder