The face of Monroe Street is changing quickly, and so are the faces inside its establishments. Grace Chosy Gallery will close its doors on Saturday, August 10 as director Karin Ketarkus prepares to retire.
Over the past 34 years, the gallery has shown works by regional talents like Charles Munch and nationally known Wisconsin artists like William Weege. Its last featured exhibition will showcase contemporary works by Warrington Colescott, Frances Myers and Paula Schuette Kraemer. Ketarkus plans to display "as many works by gallery artists as we can" in July, before selling the space's furnishings. July will also feature a closing reception, at which artists and fans can say goodbye.
The gallery's departure is just one of many changes on the near-west-side thoroughfare. Several new shops, including the Mystery to Me bookstore and Crescendo Espresso Bar, have appeared on the 1800 block in the last several weeks. Some other residents of the block, such as Brasserie V, are just a few years old. The 1900 block even has Macha, a tea shop that doubles as a gallery. Rachel Fox, who used to manage Hue Art Gallery, gives the place an arty flavor as events director.
But Madison will lose something important when Grace Chosy departs. For starters, it will be harder for local artists to find homes for their work. This is a difficult task to begin with, especially in a city where large-scale art collecting is a rarity.
That said, the gallery's future isn't set in stone. Though Ketarkus won't continue as director, she says the space could stay open if someone offers to take the helm.