Obviously, it's a significant loss. That gallery was a lot less conservative than a lot of commercial galleries," White Flag Projects director Matt Strauss says of Curlee's gallery. "But there is no gallery in St. Louis that I would not be surprised to see fold tomorrow: It's all that precarious, it's all that fragile and it's all based on an individual's desire to continue to eat it [economically]. I'm very sorry to see it go, and I hope it finds some other life somewhere else, somehow else."

In fact, Curlee is already planning a new venture. Rather than another commercial gallery, though, Curlee envisions something of a salon.

"I'm not going to limit myself to photography anymore," says Curlee, who is in negotiations for another space on Washington Avenue. "My goal is to do some small, edgy projects. I will have room for a little gallery, and I might do installations for the entire space."

Art to go: Ellen Curlee's final exhibition, Take Out, will deconstruct her gallery.
Jennifer Silverberg
Art to go: Ellen Curlee's final exhibition, Take Out, will deconstruct her gallery.

Location Info


Ellen Curlee Gallery

1308-A Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Category: Art Galleries

Region: St. Louis - Washington Avenue


Take Out
May 23 (opening reception 6-9 p.m.) through June 14 at the Ellen Curlee Gallery, 1308A Washington Avenue; 314-241-1299 (www.ellencurleegallery.com).
Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat.

She wants her reincarnation, titled Ellen Curlee Projects, to feature video art, an expanded inventory and possibly a sitting room with a library. She's also thinking about collaborating with other galleries.

"I want it to evolve naturally. I don't want to build too fast, because I want to promote my artists so that their art can be shown [in galleries] out of the city," says Curlee, who intends to hold her first event in October. "I'll be streamlined, bare-bones and free to do interesting and fun things. I want to play more.

"Because this space," she says, indicating her gallery, "is kind of serious and stuffy. But art should be about playfulness and experimentation. I want to create a place where those kind of things can just happen, and I'm not so worried about the bottom line."

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