Making a Gallery…..

In December of 2014, the former Albany Arts Gallery officially changed hands, awarding Robert Abrams the proud title of owner.

And in hot pursIMG_1264uit, the space came under a glorious renovation! Closing for the month of March, gallery manager Chelsea Thompson, assistant manager Kristin Milewski and owner Robert Abrams worked tirelessly to strip the gallery down, exposing its rustic cement floors and neutralizing the former colorful space with a soft heather gray, allowing the artworks to sing.11080494_861569893884777_2005039303236696217_o

But there was another, and perhaps more significant, task for Robert and his staff to address. The question was: is it possible to preserve a gallery with a thirty-year tradition while simultaneously realizing his vision of a space unfettered by the need to incorporate “marketable” art?

The concept had undeniable appeal, and on April 11th, 2015, the gallery opened to reveal the results. Carefully mapped into two distinct parts, a curated showroom and a museum-style gift shop. The former is now the Abrams Claghorn Showroom, and the shop is known as the Gallery Store.

The Abrams Claghorn Showroom IMG_0711hosts rotating, unique exhibits to reach new and diverse audiences with each passing month. The selection process for the  showroom focuses on artists with distinct voices. The showroom’s mission is to display work as the artists intend; the concept or statement is paramount, and the gallery is altered to fit the show. In the last year alone, the showroom has hosted 11 separate shows, with many involving more than one artist.

The space just adjacent to the showroom is the Gallery Store, a museum-style gift shop. This is the place for functional objects, jewelry, cards, prints and original fine art. All of the work that is available in the store and in the showroom is made by Bay Area artists.