Recent downtown Roanoke developments have displaced several art studios and for now taken a bite out of the monthly Art by Night lineup.
The pending sale of the Crystal Tower building at the corner of Campbell Avenue and Second Street has placed the fates of two art galleries in flux. Three more art studios at 110 Campbell Avenue Southwest are moving or weighing their options after the city condemned the building in April.
Total Action Against Poverty, which owns the Crystal Tower building, has told tenants they must leave by Thursday.
Troutville artist Claudia de Franko opened Gala Studio in Crystal Tower in 2007. GalerieFrancois II opened in the building last summer. Both have been official members of the Art by Night studio tour that happens the first Friday evening of each month.
GalerieFrancois II has already emptied the space it occupies at 133 Campbell Ave. The gallery released a statement via email that several new locations are under consideration. The owners did not return phone calls seeking further comment.
De Franko said last week that she hasn’t yet received any letter telling her she has to move. Even before the news of the building sale, she was working to refurbish and reopen her studio alongLee Highway in Troutville, so the possibility of losing her downtown gallery is not a major upset.
“TAP has been great to me,” she said. “I have lots of praise for them.”
Though she plans to have her Troutville studio open later in the year, she doesn’t yet know if she’ll pursue getting another studio downtown.