Slowing economy closes gallery until July

PETERBOROUGH – The Sharon Arts Center’s Main Gallery will close after the current show ends Feb. 28, a victim of weather and the poor economy. It will reopen for a show in July.

“The only reason is, we want to meet our budget for the year,” Executive Director Elizabeth Smith said.

“We were hit very hard during the ice storm (in December). I guess a lot of people just didn’t feel like Christmas shopping.”

The Center’s craft gallery in Depot Square and the education center in Sharon will remain open.

About 150 juried artists sell their wares through the craft shop.

“We are committed to keeping the gallery open,” Smith said. “This is typically the slowest traffic time of year and it will give us some time to get the carpets cleaned, some walls painted, get a few things done.”

The gallery always loses money, Smith said, “but it is an important part of the downtown.

“We need the financial support of the community,” she added.

“There will be considerable reduction in state funding and community support is more important than ever.”

The current Members’ Show is the 63rd edition, and is always a popular show. The gallery attracts about 25,000 visitors a year.

The gallery frequently showcases local artists and artists’ societies.

“The board is committed to keeping the gallery open,” Smith said.

No full-time employees are affected, but part-time help was reduced because of a slowdown of Christmas sales.

To contact the gift shop for winter hours, call 924-2787.