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Medea Gallery closing longtime location

Rising costs force members to close doors while they regroup; fundraiser coming up on Sept. 22

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In this January 2012 file photo at Medea Gallery, then-president George Tanner (left) and member Kathleen Black had concerns about the location’s future due to declining membership. Members of the gallery have decided to close its doors after 35 years to regroup and rethink before beginning the search for a new home.

FILE PHOTO BY SIMON FULLER Enlarge Image

In this January 2012 file photo at Medea Gallery, then-president George Tanner (left) and member Kathleen Black had concerns about the location’s future due to declining membership. Members of the gallery have decided to close its doors after 35 years to regroup and rethink before beginning the search for a new home. Photo Store

The city’s oldest co-operative gallery is leaving its Winnipeg home after more than three decades.

In light of rising rent and operational costs, members of the Medea Gallery, located at 132 Osborne St., have decided to close the gallery’s doors after 35 years at its current location to rest, regroup, rethink and revitalize before beginning the search for a new home.

To mark the occasion, members will be holding a fundraising lunch, titled Pasta, Present and Future, at Mona Lisa Ristorante Italiano (1697 Corydon Ave.) in River Heights on Sun., Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will feature a lunch including a pasta dinner, meatballs and an Italian salad, as well as draws and a silent auction and a chance for artists to network and attendees to mingle with clients and stakeholders under the umbrella of celebrating art and ideas, organizers say.

In a news release, current president Susan Mitchell said "we will need to change with the times, how we market. Who knows, maybe the public will want to join us on a regular basis for lunch?"

She added that gallery members are "looking for a smaller place in a favourable location. Thanks to the virtual world, we can maintain an online presence until we become re-established."

Earlier this year, longtime Medea Gallery member and Norwood Grove resident, Marika Onufrijchuk Sokulski, who has been affiliated with gallery for nearly 15 years,  told The Lance about her affiliation with the organization and the opportunities it provides local artists .

"It’s a place to exhibit my art and I like that it’s a co-op gallery and members have a say in how it’s run," she said.

"I also like that I get to show work in this space, as it is nice working with other artists who share the same goals. I think the gallery is great, as it has lasted so many years. Also, new members add excitement. I think Winnipeg is very lucky to have it."

During the same interview, then-president George Tanner described the future hopes of the gallery after two grants helped boost its chances of maintaining its tenure at its Osborne Village location after a period of uncertainty.

"These grants have made a big difference in how people perceive the gallery," said Tanner, a freelance graphic artist who lives in Tyndall Park. "We want to introduce the opportunities of the gallery to local artists and we’re trying to attract more established artists."

To learn more about the gallery, visit www.medeagallery.ca. Tickets for the upcoming event cost $20 each and are available from the gallery or member artists.

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