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Skinner Howard Contemporary Art downtown has been at the heart of Sacramento’s gallery culture for the last seven years, but this month’s show will be its last.
The gallery announced Tuesday the closing of its 5,000-square-foot space at 723 S Street at the end of June. There will be a final show previewing tonight and running through June 30, featuring functional art by Cody Lane and new works on panel by Michael Shemchuk.
Skinner Howard has shown the works of roughly 200 artists in the "industrial chic" warehouse gallery since 2006. Owners Pamela Skinner and Gwenna Howard combine creative forces to present mostly Northern California artists producing functional and two-dimensional works in a range of media including steel, aluminum, found materials, oil, acrylics, watercolors, charcoal and ink on canvas, wood, board and paper.
“It’s a lot of effort and work, and we have done it with fervor and passion,” Skinner and Howard said in a statement to the art community. “It’s just what we do and what we like.”
However, they said the monthly pressure of maintaining a large space is something they can do without.
“We have decided to close the current gallery, take some time out, recharge, redirect and find a business model that will work for both of us.”
In a telephone interview, Skinner said the gallery is not going away.
“We’re looking at new options where we can accomplish more and work toward a more progressive and sustainable future,” she said.
The gallery will maintain its website at skinnerhowardart.com, continue to represent its artists and be available as art brokers and dealers, Skinner said.
Skinner has long been on art’s leading edge in Sacramento, first gaining recognition in 1994, when she blazed a trail into the R Street corridor, which was then largely abandoned, and opened Excentrique Functional Art Gallery in a loft that was once an industrial bakery.
Howard joined the gallery in 2004. They moved into the S Street space in 2006, bringing rolling walls into the vast warehouse to create intimate viewing areas in a gallery that can easily accommodate more than 100 visitors.
Linda Raynsford, Anne Gregory and John Yoyogi Fortes are just a few of the artists whose works have consistently shown at Skinner Howard over the years. The gallery strived to feature artists from California, Arizona and the East Coast, but the economy put a crimp in the budget for insuring and shipping art, Skinner said.
The duo admitted the decision to close the gallery is bittersweet.
“The gallery space we created is one of a kind, and we will miss it a lot,” they said. “This is not goodbye, but see you soon in a new way.”
Final show details:
The last show previews tonight and runs through June 30, featuring functional art by Cody Lane and new works on panel by Michael Shemchuk. A preview party is 5 - 8 p.m. Thursday, June 7, and the Second Saturday Reception is 6 - 9 p.m. Saturday, June 9. Gallery Hours are noon - 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and by appointment.