Saturday, January 19, 2008

Say It Ain't So

Got a very depressing letter in the mail Thursday. Shanahan Gallery ( on Commercial Street in downtown Astoria, where I’ve got several of my prints for sale, is on the verge of extinction. The owners, Daryl and Cindy Moore, who “need to be able to travel out of the area regularly,” are looking for “someone (or a group) to take over ownership of the gallery.” Argh.

I think it’s the best gallery in town, by far, with a great selection of artists and their work. Okay, I might be a tad prejudiced because I have some of my work there, but I don’t think so. I go in there just to “ooh and ahh” over other artists’ work, and there have been several pieces I’ve outright coveted.

I remember back in 2005, when I first heard by email from Daryl Moore, saying he and his wife were moving to Astoria and opening a gallery, and they wanted to talk to me and see my work for possible inclusion. They came to visit me one day when I was down at the dock selling my photos to passengers from one of the cruise ships.

The first thing that struck me was how young the Moores were. They looked like they were in their early 30s, and I was expecting people in their 50s or 60s, so I was really shocked. The second thing that struck me was how earnest they were, and how dedicated to creating a really fine gallery to showcase Northwest artists and photographers.

They had their opening the following February, and there were only about 10 artists on exhibit, all photographers, as I recall. I was honored to be one of them. Since then, they’ve added many artists, including sculptors and painters, and there are a lot of things in the gallery to feast one’s eyes on. So I’m totally bummed out at the mere thought of there not being a Shanahan Gallery any more.

I checked it out, and the gallery is even on Craig’s List for sale (Craig's List). Heavy sigh. I can’t imagine anyone running it as well as the Moores do. The next to last paragraph of the letter says, “If we are unable to find someone or a group of people who have the means and passion to operate Shanahan Gallery in a manner consistent with our principles we will be closing the gallery at the end of February, 2008.”

All I can do is cross my fingers and hope to hell someone miraculously appears who is capable of taking over the reins. I’d really hate to see the gallery close. I sincerely believe it would be a terrible loss for the art community, not just in Astoria, but for the North Coast.

Click here to see Elleda's photography at the Astoria Photografpix web site


nootka said...

I'm sorry to see this, also.
I hope there's a someone(s) out there to keep them open.

Daryl Moore said...

It's true! Sadly, it's true.

Thanks for the wonderful comments, Elleda. We have greatly enjoyed running the gallery over the last two years and are happy you were a part of it.

It's definitely a catch-22 for us because the gallery has been successful, and we've enjoyed doing it, but we have other things that have become a priority for us and we've had to make a tough decision to leave the gallery.

And it's definitely true that we'd love to see the gallery continue and will do all we can to see that a ownership transition occurs...if we find someone interested to continue it. It's not an easy business by any stretch, but it's very worthwhile.


Elleda said...

Hi Daryl,

I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed on this one. And good luck on whatever else you and Cindy endeavor!