The River Market neighborhood is a hopping after-dark destination. But it's struggled for a mix of commerce, particularly retail. That picture grew dimmer today with news that the River Market ArtSpace, a shining anchor for the neighborhood at Clinton Ave. and Cumberland, is closing after an almost 12-year run.
We got the news in a nice letter from owner Debra Wood.
It is with great sadness that I let you know River Market ArtSpace is closing its doors effective immediately. As you know, ArtSpace has occupied its corner at President Clinton and Cumberland Avenues for over 11 years. However, failed efforts to re-negotiate our lease during these difficult economic times are forcing us to close our doors for good.
During its nearly 12 years in operation, River Market ArtSpace has proudly represented many of the finest artists in Arkansas in one of the most rapidly growing areas in the state. On behalf of each of them, we are profoundly grateful for the opportunity afforded us during these last years and we appreciate every individual who chose to purchase work from our gallery for their own collections or to give as gifts. Individuals from all over the globe have been in ArtSpace, and we have done our best to elevate the standards from which people judge the culture and artistic viability of our state. We close our doors knowing we were successful in that regard.
Many thanks to the Arkansas Times staff who supported us all these years in every way possible. From Max Brantley who published just about every letter to the editor ever written by the owner, to Phyllis Britton – an unwavering supporter of 2nd Friday Art Night, to Leslie Peacock, the best arts writer in the state of Arkansas. Her continuing support of our exhibits and our artists did not go unnoticed, and her efforts to help this initially “green” gallery owner get it “just right,” has made this job way more fun than it ever should have been. Many thanks to all of you for being such valued members of the Little Rock community, for supporting the arts, and for supporting local businesses trying to make a real difference.
Debra S. Wood