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Uptown Gallery closing after deal falls through

Steve Revland announced last weekend that his business, Uptown Gallery, 74 Broadway, Fargo, would be closing. Forum file photo

FARGO — After a deal to purchase Uptown Gallery fell through, the art space at 74 Broadway will close.

Steve Revland, who started the business in the fall of 2013, announced the development in an email and a Facebook post over the weekend.

Revland announced in October that he wanted to sell the gallery by Nov. 15 or he would close up shop on Dec. 1. By the end of October, he announced a deal was being worked out to bring in a business partner, freeing Revland to make furniture that he exhibits in Uptown.

He discovered last week that the deal fell apart.

"I'm crushed. I'm heartbroken. I've been preparing for this takeover for four months," Revland said Monday.

Revland opened the space, which he rents, in the fall of 2013.

The store's closing date has not been announced, but this weekend's announcements said a gallery-wide sale would run through at least February and until all the inventory is sold or the building's owner found new renters for the space.

Revland said Monday the sale, which started Saturday, would be for 20 percent off works. Some of the artists who didn't want to take part in the sale have said they would reclaim their works.

He said that while the current space will close, a different version of Uptown Gallery could emerge at another location.

"I still am keeping my options open for moving, scaling back to a smaller space. We are not going to remain in that space. It's just too expensive," Revland said. "I still want to have a presence downtown, something more affordable, more feasible. Fifty-seven-hundred dollars a month is a tough nut to chew."

One option may be a co-op, he said.

No new shows will open, but the booked events will go on as planned. Uptown is hosting a talk by Margie Bailly called "What would Mister Roger's say: Making the Case for Civil Communication" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. At 5 p.m. Friday, Susie Ekberg Risher hosts "The Spiritual Art of Essentializing: Baring it All" in the space.

Revland has said his business plan was to run it for two years and sell it to someone else while he worked on his furniture.

"That was my plan; to create it, pass it on and let someone else take it to the next level," he said.