The owners of Gallery 16 in downtown Great Falls announced that they plan to close the gallery doors at the end of May.
For five decades, the gallery has provided an opportunity for artists across the state to showcase their art.
The pieces displayed in the gallery are selected by gallery members. Current gallery member Judy Ericksen shared what pieces visitors might find in the gallery during its glory days: “Anything that said 'art' to you: paintings, sculptures, pottery, cards...all made by hand.”
Ericksen said seeing the doors close is going to be a difficult transition. “It’s a hard change. Partly because we’re such a tightly knit group and we enjoy each other’s company and making the gallery work, but we’ve provided for hundreds and hundreds of artists throughout the whole state of Montana and so they’re going to be missing this opportunity to show their work too.”
While the gallery is closing, the gallery members are not parting ways. “The members are going to be getting together. We’re already making plans...It’s a sisterhood. So we’ll be seeing each other,” Ericksen said.
The end of May isn’t the last time the public can see their favorite pieces on display, either. “There will be one more big show of Gallery 16 member work, and I have a good-sized studio. It's gonna be at my studio and we'll get the word out so everyone will have a chance to come and see us again and see our work together,” Ericksen said.
There is currently no set date for the final Gallery 16 showing.
However, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday May 23rd, people can stop by the gallery to purchase display items or even a few art pieces. There are currently four remaining pieces, including one from well-known Great Falls artist Val Knight. Other items being sold are glass display cubes, picture stands, easels, fabrics, ladders for displays, cabinets, chairs, tables, picture racks, and office equipment.
Gallery 16 is located at 600 Central Avenue in Great Falls.