Since moving the Ohio Arts and Crafts Guild operations to Canton, OH, we have operated a gallery in the Canton Arts District. We had always had an office, and our thinking was, if we had an office, we might as well open it up to the public and share the creations of our members.
We have moved the gallery 3 times, each time trying to better enhance our visibility and activity. At this juncture, however, we are at a crossroads, as things have changed that make keeping a gallery active has become increasingly difficult.
First, few members have actually participated in the gallery. Second, changes in the arts district have greatly affected our traffic and our ability to offer programming to the local community. A new business across the street with over 1000 employees has created poor parking availability, which has decreased sales and made it difficult for to offer educational programming to the community.
The final decision to close, however, was due to my own availability. I have been offered an Artist Residency that compelled me to move to another area of Canton, so I am no longer able to manage the gallery. I simply cannot be in two places at one time.
I will be operating my own office and studio from my home, so that will become the home base for Guild operations. We will no longer have a public office/gallery, however, the rest of the Guild operations will continue. Hopefully this will save on expenses and allow us to improve our other programming.
We have had some great times in the Canton Arts District, and we will be remembered as one of the true pioneers in developing Canton’s downtown through the arts. Although the doors of the gallery are closing, our influence will still be felt. We will be contributing to the community in many other ways in the future, and to all of the arts in Ohio!
Ohio Arts and Crafts Guild