Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 5, 2014

Market Street nonprofit group moving

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The folks at the Market Street Art Center want people to know they’re not going anywhere. It’s the nonprofit group, Market Street Art Center Inc., that’s on the move.

This past Thursday, the nonprofit group announced it is currently searching for a new location, leaving its office space at 247 Market St. Board member Mike Miller said once a new spot is found, the nonprofit group will also change its name.

”We have a few places we’re looking at,” Miller said.

In a written statement, the Market Street Art Center Inc. board said, “Our focus will continue to be on the greater Lockport community, artists at all levels, families, organizations and businesses. We will offer exhibition galleries, programs for anyone wanting to learn about art, about making art and arts-oriented events, and classes for adults, children and those with special needs.”

The tentative plan is to hold a gallery grand opening in April, Miller said. But that plan is still in the early stages, with updates coming soon, he added.

The nonprofit’s move will not affect the Art & Soul Gift Shop, the studios or the two galleries operating out of 247 Market St., said Sally Bisher, who runsthe shop and gallerieswith her brother Art Hilger. The two also own Hilger Properties, which in turn owns the building. Hilger rents out studio and office space to artists and businesses.

While at 247 Market St., Market Street Art Center Inc. leased a single office, Bisher said.

Hilger Properties has fielded a number of questions about what is happening with the various commercial enterprises operating out of 247 Market, according to Bisher.

Miller said he also has fielded questions, in addition to well wishes and expressions of support for what the nonprofit group wants to do.

Both Miller and Bisher said there’s no animosity behind the non-profit group’s move, noting the center and the nonprofit could work together in the future. Miller has a studio and teaches a class at 247 Market St. and will continue to do so, he said.

“We wish them all the best,” Bisher said.

“It’ll be a friendly relationship,” Miller said.

For those who don’t understand, three separate entities have been operating from 247 Market St. The first is the Market Street Art Center, which includes the studios and both galleries, the upstairs gallery and the Joseph A. and Kathleen M. Whalen Gallery downstairs.

The second is the Art & Soul Gift Shop. Both entities are run by Hilger.

The third entity is the nonprofit group, Market Street Art Center, Inc. Formed in 2007, the not-for-profit 501(c)(3) group ran the classes and exhibitions held at the 247 Market St. building. When the center opened in 2001, Hilger ran them.

He’ll be doing so again, Bisher said, as exhibitions and classes will continue at Market Street Art Center.

For example, the fourth annual Bi-ennial Black and White Show will return, starting with a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 9. People can download the prospectus at www.marketstreetstudios.com and submissions are due Jan. 16.

The art center studios and Art & Soul Gift Shop are taking their annual hiatus through Jan. 25. The building is closed to the general public for renovations and repairs.

For more information about the nonprofit group, email info@marketstreetartcenter.org.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.