A new Clarendon art gallery run by the Arlington Artists Alliance will temporarily occupy the space that formerly housed Fuego Cocina y Taquileria, and they won’t be paying rent.
Gallery Clarendon put up signs last Friday (March 9) and intends to open to the public by April 1. That’s so long as the alliance receives its occupancy permit in time, according to Jane Coonce, Gallery Clarendon’s executive director.
Until a permanent commercial tenant is found, the gallery, built and developed by volunteers, will stay and only pay utilities. Crystal City’s Gallery Art Underground is run in a similar way as Gallery Clarendon by Arlington Artists Alliance.
While the first floor will be a gallery, the second will be artist studios with art classes, including oil painting and pastels lessons, for children and adults. Coonce intends to offer a painting class with wine.
The first installation, according to Coonce, will likely feature the work of those who volunteered or donated toward building the space. Later installations will feature primarily Arlington artists and occasionally artists from nearby Northern Virginia locales.
Coonce added that there’s been excitement by both volunteers and the public for the new space to open.
“All the artists are excited. Even the people that walk by, when they stuck their head in before we put our little signs on the window, they said ‘what’s going in here?’ said Coonce.
“And [when] we say ‘gallery,’ they go ‘Oh, that’s what we need.'”