By Kevin Collison
The Weinberger Fine Art gallery is closing at the end of this month, ending more than a dozen years of proprietor Kim Weinberger being an important fixture in the Crossroads art gallery scene.
Weinberger plans to continue representing her artists online, but said dwindling sales at the gallery at 114 Southwest Blvd. after the Covid pandemic prompted her to close her doors. Eighty percent of her sales now are online, she said.
“It’s been a great run, I’m not complaining,” she said. “It’s just been the realization of how the art world is changing in the whole world. Lots of galleries have closed and gone online.”
Weinberger opened her current gallery location more than eight years ago after operating previously at 18th and Baltimore. She’s been in the Crossroads art business for almost 13 years overall.
“Rest assured, our commitment to our represented artists remains steadfast, as we work on expanding our art consultation and advisory services in tandem,” she said in a Facebook statement announcing the closing.
“Our passion for connecting collectors with distinctive original artworks remains unwavering. We’re dedicated to nurturing both residential and commercial collections.”
Weinberger said her business managed to make it through the Covid pandemic because many patrons were staying inside and redecorating their homes.
But after the pandemic ended, that pattern went away.
“We started looking at the numbers and noticed our sales had gone down quite a bit from the four years prior to Covid,” she said. “People were getting out of the house and traveling, it was a different feeling.”
Foot traffic dropped to the point she felt fortunate to have 10 people visit the gallery during a typical week. In the meantime, the online side of her business was doing well.
“We’re reallocating the funds from the overhead of operating a brick-and-mortar business to pumping up our online presence,” she said.
When asked about her favorite exhibition, Weinberger said it was showing works by nationally-known artist Hunt Slonem at an opening at her Baltimore gallery.
Weinberger said she and her partner, Madeline Brice, also plan to take their gallery on the road to art fairs in places like Miami, Los Angeles and New York to reach a larger audience of potential buyers.
She plans to continue doing occasional pop-up shows locally and will continue to represent the artists currently at the gallery as well as new clients nationally and internationally.
“I want to travel,” Weinberger said. “So much of our business can be done remotely now and we’re excited to make changes. This will give us more freedom.”
She praised her landlord Jeff Owens for the good relationship they had while she was in her space. Owens said he’s working with a new tenant who plans to open a women’s clothing shop and art gallery at the address.
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