"Patio Table With Chairs," by Tucson artist Joanne Kerrihard, will be in the Davis Dominguez exhibition opening this Saturday.
Davis Dominguez, a long-running gallery of contemporary art and a respected venue that shows many local artists, will close its doors at the end of June.
After that, the gallery’s elegant warehouse space at 154 E. Sixth St. may house the popular Mexican restaurant Lerua’s, which lost its own longtime space to the Broadway widening, Lerua’s is in negotiations, says building owner Mark Berman, but no contract has been signed.
Wife and husband gallerists, Candice Davis, age 72, and Mike Dominguez, age 73, say that they had been considering closing the gallery for some time.
“Candy and I have been semi-retired for the last couple of years,” Dominguez said Wednesday afternoon, with painter Juan Enriquez(cq) running the gallery several days a week. The two owners are devoted hikers and, Davis added, “We’re in good shape. There are lots of things we can do.”
Berman said that their current lease actually ends March 1, but he’s allowing the pair to keep the gallery going until June 30, when Davis Dominquez typically ends its season.
The gallery will stage three more shows, including Pure Abstract: Paintings by Joanne Kerrihard, collage and paintings by Amy Metier and sculpture by Steve Murphy, which opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday night. (See info on all three shows below.)
It will be a scramble to clear out the gallery in the short time after the final exhibition ends June 13. Among the many tasks, the owners will have to ship years of artworks back to the artists.
“I’m nervous about getting it all done,” Davis says.
Dominguez and Davis have rented the space from Berman for some 20 years, and they say they’ve had a productive relationship.
“Mark is the finest landlord and a great supporter of the arts,” Dominguez said.
Delicious as Lerua’s famed tamales may be, the closing of the gallery is a loss to Tucson and its art scene. The demise will also deprive plenty of Tucson artists of a place to show their work. And a gallery district has grown up around Sixth and Sixth ever since Davis Dominguez vacated a Foothills location to take their chances at the edges of a downtown that was struggling.
Other galleries followed Davis Dominguez. Many did not survive, but others have: Contreras Gallery, Raices Taller, Gallery 2 Sun and Andrew Smith Gallery are all operating nearby.
The couple injected some energy into its new arts neighborhood by creating the Central Tucson Gallery Association. On three Saturday evenings each year, all the association galleries open their doors at the same time. Dominguez wrote an email on Wednesday to the other member galleries alerting them of the gallery’s closing and announcing that he would step down as the group’s manager.
“We’ve enjoyed the gallery,” Dominguez said. “We did some good. It’s been a wonderful life.”
Pure Abstract: Paintings by Joanne Kerrihard, collage and paintings by Amy Metier and sculpture by Steve Murphy. It actually opens at 11 a.m. Saturday but the free reception will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Kerrihard is a Tucson artist, while Metier is based in Colorado and Murphy in Texas. It runs through Feb. 22.
Pure Abstract will give way to Of the Flesh, running March 3 to April 25. The figure exhibition will highlight renowned Tucson painter Bailey Doogan, Rancho Linda Vista sculptor Judith Stewart and painter Jan Olsson, a Tucson native who’s long since decamped to Paris.
The popular annual small works show, Small Things Considered, has been cancelled. Instead the final show, from May 1 to June 13, will feature two Arizona heavyweights: abstract painter Josh Goldberg of Tucson and Rancho Linda Vista sculptor Joy Fox.
Davis Dominguez Gallery is at 154 E. Sixth St. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 629-9759; davisdominguez.com. Opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m., this Saturday, Jan. 11.
This article originally reported that Lerua's has finalized plans to move into the building. Lease negotiations are ongoing.