Gallerie 13, 2nd Floor Gallery to merge

Five years after expanding his Mechanicsburg art gallery to include a second location, businessman Jeffrey Van Boskirk confirmed plans Wednesday to consolidate both and merge Gallerie 13 back into the original 2nd Floor Gallery.

“We’re just really going back to the way it was when we first opened. We’re going back to having one large gallery so we can focus on the artists and the art and not have to worry about the economy. That’s the whole idea of the gallery,” Van Boskirk said Wednesday afternoon.

“I was running two (galleries) a month. We had 8,000 square feet between the two galleries,” he added. “I don’t know anyone that has 8,000 square feet, unless its Walmart. Even the biggest galleries don’t have 8,000 square feet.

“I would’ve loved to have kept it open, but at this point, it just wasn’t cost effective for us to do that.”

According to Gallery 13 director Mary Beth Brath, Gallerie 13 will shut its doors on East Main Street Aug. 27.

Upon announcing the consolidation of the two galleries to her and other Gallerie 13 director Brownyn Hughes, Brath pointed out, “Jeff did offer for us to come over and help with the 2nd Floor Gallery. But we made the decision that we could move on to other projects that we had going on.”

Housed in a historic 19th-century church, 2nd Floor Gallery opened at its South Market Street location in November 2002.

Nearly five years later, in September 2006, Van Boskirk expanded the gallery to include a second location – Gallerie 13 – just a block away on East Main Street.

“All of us feel that Jeff will continue to be strong by consolidating the work into one building,” Brath said Wednesday. “Many of the same artists are taking their work over there. All it is is that it’s moving back into one facility.”

“I don’t think too many people are surprised,” she added. “Everyone has always been amazed that Mr. Van Boskirk had two galleries in Mechanicsburg, and he’s done the best he could for the artists. So he’s still going to continue.”

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