In a matter of a few months, several galleries have closed, each one a crash of dreams and aspirations of an individual, artists and the community. I have just received confirmation that Trinity gallery on Beach Drive is closing after twenty-four years. Its landlord, the owner of North Star Realty, did this out of greed, tripling rent.
With two exceptions, both decorative galleries, all that is left of the arts on Beach Drive are the big-box venues: The Mahaffey, MFA, Chilhuly and the Dali.Now the Dali is closing on its best month thanks to the St. Pete Grand Prix.
What is this city thinking? Do they really value the arts? The short-sighted on Beach Drive think they are shooing away their loss leaders, but they have thrown away their attractants and gutted their tenant mix. Look what happened at Bay Walk.
By segregating the arts to the West on Central, Beach Drive will lose its core, and as the artists and gallerists cluster away from Beach Drive, the hip, cultured and moneyed will follow.
Al Abrams is one of the best of us.