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Friday, March 23, 2012

Philip Slein Gallery Moving to Central West End; Shearburn Heads to Grand Center

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Philip Slein
  • Philip Slein
It's a game of musical chairs for a trio of St. Louis art galleries.

Next month the Philip Slein Gallery on Washington Avenue plans to move to the current home of William Shearburn Gallery in the Central West End.

Shearburn, in turn, is moving temporarily to Grand Center, to the building that once housed Schmidt Contemporary Art. And Jim Schmidt, who left Grand Center in January 2011, will join Slein in the Central West End as a curator and consultant.

Got that? Slein to Shearburn. Shearburn to Schmidt. Schmidt incorporates with Slein.

Slein tells Daily RFT that he hopes to hold a grand opening at his new space on Friday, May 18, with two new exhibits.

"We're very excited about joining the art scene in the Central West End," says Slein, who opened his downtown space in 2003 with business partner Tom Bussmann. The gallery specializes in edgier, contemporary work, representing Tom Huck and Art Chantry among other artists.

"I love being downtown and will continue living downtown," says Slein. "But there's really no other area in St. Louis like that block at McPherson and Euclid. I had my first gallery job at Atrium Gallery and first show at Duane Reed. Both are just down the street. It's just a great community there, and we want to be part of that."

The William Shearburn Gallery had been at the 4735 McPherson location since 2004 and before that spent a dozen years across the street. William Shearburn tells Daily RFT that he'd been looking to sell the building for a while and recently found a buyer (not Slein) at the right price.

"I want to take my equity from real estate and put it back into art," says Shearburn, who adds that he's currently negotiating a deal to purchase the "ultimate space" for his gallery. Until then, he'll set up shop temporarily at the 615 N. Grand location once home to Schmidt's gallery. 

"I wish I could talk about the new space," says Shearburn. "It's going to be amazing, but it's a bit premature now to discuss."

Meanwhile, Jim Schmidt will find a permanent home with Slein's gallery in the Central West End. Schmidt has already been working alongside Slein since last year when he moved his pieces to a space inside Slein's gallery on Washington Avenue.

"We're thrilled to work with someone like Jim with 30-plus years in the St. Louis art scene," says Slein. "We've been working closer and closer together the last few years, and it's worked very well."

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