The flame is aflicker but far from extinguished. Live Coal Gallery in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood will have no more gallery hours this year after this last Friday of July. But hopes are high for the gallery to re-open some time next year. The celebration this Friday is being thought of more as “goodbye for now” rather than a permanent closing.
Friday’s celebration, which will run until 8:00 p.m., will include artisan ice cream from Dish + Spoon and live music by multi-instrumentalist Will Cannon. There will also be a clearance sale on artwork with some pieces reduced in price by as much as half.
In a message to those on the gallery’s e-mail list, gallery owner Yvette Rock explained that “after appearing before a judge in fall 2012, I was granted a three-year” waiver from certain requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Rock was quoted a figure of approximately $15,000 to bring the gallery’s current location into ADA compliance. The waiver expires on September 15, 2015, but she has not yet been able to raise the money needed for the renovations.
A “small business expressed interest in partnering with LCG in order to create a collaborative space,” she wrote in the message. Although she did not name that small business, she did suggest the business could help the gallery’s current location become ADA-compliant.
Artists who have exhibited at Live Coal include at least three Kresge Fellows: photographer Bruce Giffin, painter Senghor Reid, and the late Prof. Gilda Snowden. “Yvette Rock has created a warm and comfortable gallery space which includes timely local art, great food such as soup and desserts, and classes for young people,” Giffin said regarding the gallery closing for the rest of the year.
Giffin added that “Live Coal has been very generous as far as showing my work as well as many of my peers! … I will miss Live Coal and Yvette and her family and look forward to the reopening early next year. Thanks for everything Yvette!”
The gallery’s website has a page for donations to help with the re-opening next year. Proceeds from the artwork clearance sale will also go towards the re-opening.
CORRECTION, August 2, 2015: As originally published, this article mentioned the possibility of relocating the gallery to an already ADA-compliant building. Through Facebook, Rock explained that “Live Coal Gallery is not looking for another building that’s already ADA compliant. We would collaborate with another business in making our current space ADA compliant.” We apologize for this error and continue to hope the gallery can re-open next year.