Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Art Space Needed

I have always been interested in the visual arts and was elated to be offered a job as a part-time sales associate at Gallery Clarendon. During my career, I was, by profession, a university linguist, and also an IT trainer for the Department of State, but not an artist.

For the past two years, Gallery Clarendon, managed by the Arlington Artists Alliance, has been a favorite venue for crowds and shoppers on Clarendon Boulevard. Guests often stop in after visits to a local restaurant or to Market Common. The generous space has allowed for individual artists’ studios and art classes on the upper floor. Visitors often reflect that they prefer the gallery as a venue to a restaurant, as it provides a novel point of interest in the Clarendon neighborhood.

The Gallery enhanced its offering by presenting a new show of art works every month, monthly wine-and-cheese receptions free of charge, and a juried show at least once a year. Artists’ sales have improved, and the viewer experience of so much excellent art in one place is beyond price.

Now a new restaurant owner has leased the space at 2800 Clarendon Blvd. #R-800 and Gallery Clarendon will close by February 8. The Alliance is in search of a new space, but unfortunately cannot afford to pay the high rents required in the Clarendon neighborhood. However, since the Alliance is a 501 c (3) non-profit organization, developers can let the Arlington Artists Alliance use the space while seeking a permanent lessor, and write it off as a tax deduction.

I would like to underscore the value of such an artistic center in the Clarendon neighborhood, and to ask if anyone knows of a suitable space in North Arlington for Gallery Clarendon. Displaying and marketing works of art, a nonprofit enterprise, does require public support.

I hope that you will publish this letter, and I thank you for your kind attention.

Very sincerely yours,

Carol M. Pearson-Sparhawk

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