It hasn’t taken long for the former Fraser Gallery space in downtown Bethesda to reincarnate—as Gallery B.
The space’s new identity is thanks to Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, in joint partnership with landowner Bethesda Place Ltd., according to BUP’s Stephanie Coppula.
“We talked to the developer, Bethesda Place, about the possibility of being able to put artwork in the space. We’ve obtained a short-term lease of a little over a year, and we’re hopeful it could be extended after that.”
The former Fraser Gallery space has been vacant for several months, since owner Catriona Fraser decided to close the Bethesda location. The Fraser Galley was among several downtown Bethesda galleries to close their doors in recent years, reporting that art sales were down in the uncertain economy.
The award-winning photographer still serves on the board of the Washington School of Photography and on the Bethesda Art and Entertainment District Advisory Panel. She is chair of the Trawick Prize (the exhibition for which is now on display) and the Bethesda Painting Awards, and is director of the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival.
The gallery’s original location, in Georgetown, closed in 2005. She continues to market the work of Fraser Gallery artists at art shows and fairs in several cities.
Gallery B will have approximately 1,500 sq. feet of available exhibition space. Coppula told Patch there has been a lot of interest in the recent announcement soliciting local and regional artists and art organizations to apply to use the space.
In addition to individual artists, “There have been a lot of local arts groups interested,” she said, ”where they would bring in four to five artists to represent their work. There are also people who run galleries in Washington, D.C. who want to do a temp exhibit here, whether it's sculptors or painters or whatever kind of art.”
Gallery B is available for month-long exhibitions from December 2011 to May 2012. The cutoff date for applications is Sept. 30. “We’re asking artists to fill out an application and we will review their work and see who would fit best in the space,” explained Coppula.
The gallery does not take a commission on any artwork sold during the exhibition.
The first exhibition at Gallery B has already been set. “A Retrospective of Figurative Bronzes” by architect and sculptor Mark Kramer will run Oct. 12 – Nov. 5, with an opening reception Friday, Oct.14, 6-9 p.m. in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6 p.m.
The November exhibition is being finalized, said Coppula, with an art curator from Washington, D.C.
Gallery B is located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda. Artists wishing to apply should email email@example.com or call 301-215-6660, ext. 120.