When Alvin Colon began approaching City officials and local boards four years ago about his dream of a cutting edge art gallery and performance space in the Commercial Triangle on Paris Street – he got a lot of confused looks from those who have never thought much of the area.
Over the last four years, he has built a space that has come to be respected and admired throughout the City, and to environs far beyond as well. Those confused looks are now greeted by possibility.
Last Friday, though, Colon announced that due to complications with the building owner, the Gallery is being forced to close. However, he is holding out hope that it may not be a closure, but simply a new chapter in the gallery’s history that could include a move to another Everett location.
“At this point, I want to try to continue what I stared in Everett,” he said. “I love the people here. The City has been great to me, inviting me to festivals and always promoting our gallery. Mayor DeMaria has always been extremely supportive of our events. I live all the way in Norwood. You can tell I must love Everett because I commute from Norwood every day to get here. Right now, there’s just a hope that we can find another location here in Everett and build on the arts foundation we have created here.”
The Paris Street Gallery has held everything from traditional art shows from emerging Everett artists to break- dancing contests to a body painting night. Numerous Everett artists – as well as artists from Chelsea, Revere and surrounding places – got their jump start courtesy of Colon and the Paris Street Gallery.
The gallery was supported by an informal agreement between Colon and longtime building owner Bill Gear.
Gear told the Independent that he didn’t know what would happen with the Gallery.
“I don’t know yet if they’ll have to close,” he said on Monday.
In a social media posting last Friday, however, Colon indicated that troubles with the landlord will force the closure.
“It is with much regret and sadness we announce the Paris Street Gallery will soon be closed,” he wrote. “We’ve had a great run and we thank all the folks that supported our mission and that were part of our mission…We know how hard it will be to have a similar space, a space that will focus on the artist community and a space that will allow an edge for young artists and all artists. Paris Corp. (Bill Gear) has given us until August.”
There was no official word, but it was indicated that City officials might be trying to work some back channels to find a way to keep the valuable cultural resource in the city. The space has hosted art events, weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers, community meetings, fashion shows, plays, hip-hop concerts, comedy shows and many other events.
However, the Commercial Triangle has gained in popularity of late with the prospects of that entire industrial area being re-zoned to usher in residential/commercial mixed-use construction. The out-of-the-way nature of the Gallery, which made it possible in the first place, has also changed with that new push by the City and some property owners.