Lowell art gallery closing its doors after six years

EVERETT — The historic Lowell neighborhood is losing some of its funk.

Lowell Art Works gallery is closing its doors after being the Everett neighborhood’s only art gallery for six years.

The whole upstairs of the building is being rented out to a trucking company, forcing the closure of the gallery, a funky fixture that opened in August 2006, said Jules Anslow, director of Lowell Art Works Studios and Gallery.

Lowell Art Works is in the 76-year-old Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Hall. The building has high ceilings, wonderful light and sweeping views of the Cascades and Snohomish River.

Anslow said she has loved the space.

“There was nothing but positive support from the neighborhood and it was a fantastic place to be,” Anslow said. “We had a great mutual relationship with the city and with their support we were able to grow and I’m so grateful for the experience.”

Lowell Art Works developed into an artist collective with artists in a variety of genres renting space.

The gallery held monthly group shows and etched out a fearless reputation for pushing the art envelope with such shows as “The Breasts of the Northwest,” and the science-fiction-inspired “It Came From Outer-Lowell!”

The gallery on South Second Street called itself “The Swingin’est Spot in SoLo.”

Anslow, named 2010 Snohomish County Artist of the Year by the Schack Art Center, is president and co-founder of the Lowell Arts Works. Anslow’s three-dimensional, pop-cartoon art style can’t be missed either at Lowell Art Works, where one of her giant cut-out signs is adhered to the outside of the building.

“The building lent itself to the gallery space,” Anslow said. “If only I had a spare million, but I’ve checked my pockets.”

Rick Lapinski bought the Lowell building from Plumbers &Steamfitters UA Local 26 in August 2006 for $900,000.

Anslow, who rents studio space at the gallery, said she and other artists have at least 30 days to pack up. The gallery’s current group show, “Readymade,” is up through July 25.

The business Tattoo Garden will remain at the building.

Neighborhood advocate and longtime Lowell resident Gail Chism said the gallery “fit our quirky neighborhood and was not like any other.”

“It’s a sad day for all of us,” Chism said. “We celebrate our artists and people of talent and this was one way to showcase them.

“We were thrilled when it opened because we had Cheri O’Brien and Jules Anslow in there, two Snohomish County Artists of the Year, two big names, and it gave Lowell, artistically, credibility.”

Anslow said there may be a closing party for Lowell Art Works but said the news of the closure was too fresh to set a date.

Anslow was optimistic about the future.

“I don’t rule anything out. It could be wonderful,” Anslow said.

In her email about the gallery’s closure, Anslow wrote that “as for the future … who knows where Lowell Art Works II may pop up?!.”

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.

Art show

“ReadyMade” is the current group show at Lowell Art Works, 5205 S Second Ave., Everett. The art show is based on the concept of elevating ordinary objects to the status of art.

For more information, call 425-923-3635 or go to www.lowellartworks.com.

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