FARGO - Steve Revland attributes the closure of Revland Gallery and Cultural Event Center later today to a lack of interest from the public. The business that opened last September will close for good at 5 p.m.
"My partner and I, we worked really hard to create a beautiful space for our artists in the community, but there was not enough interest or sales to sustain it," he said.
Revland said he knows that's probably not what other artists, especially young folks graduating from college, want to hear.
"I've been involved in the arts as an artist and gallery owner for 44 years, and the market for handcrafted fine art seems to have dwindled a bit," he said. "I'm not sure if it's a generational thing or what, but I think any gallery owner would tell you right now it's a tough business to be in."
Revland said people like Dayna del Val, president and CEO The Arts Partnership, do a great job coordinating venues and events for area artists, but patrons need to "bring their wallets" in order for that to continue.
"It's one thing to come in the gallery and look. It's not a museum. It's not a nonprofit. You need sales, and we just didn't not have them," he said.
Revland opened Revland Gallery and Cultural Event Center at 6 Broadway N. with business partner Jacque Holland Stamatopoulos on Sept. 7, 2017.
At the time, Revland envisioned a gallery on the main floor with space to display work from as many as 35 different artists. The basement was to feature 30 small studios for rent to local artists. He also planned to rent out the gallery for special events as well as a small studio space for solo exhibits, classes, musical performances and other events.
Revland said he "saw the writing on the wall" a few months ago that they would not be able to keep all the necessary revenue streams going.
Prior to the Revland Gallery and Cultural Event Center, Revland operated the Revland Gallery at 409 Broadway and the Uptown Gallery at 74 Broadway.
He said this latest closure was a "hard pill to swallow," but he's now looking forward to spending more time with his wife and grandkids.
"I'll be 65 in May, and it may be time to slow down a bit,' he said. "But I've never known any artist who actually retired. There's always a possibility of me popping up again somewhere. And I'll continue marketing myself through Instagram and Facebook."
To follow Revland, search "Steve Revland/ designer-builder" on Facebook and @SteveRevland on Instagram.