The walls have been rebuilt. The old plywood flooring has been stripped and replaced with hardwood. The art gallery that was once a rectangle has been turned into a cozy L-shape with two new walls for displaying art.
After four months of renovations at Proximity on East 40th Street, there is not only more real estate for artwork, but also a new studio for owners Alex Kelly and Beth Whalley.
"The idea wasn't to sacrifice anything from the gallery for our own need," says Kelly, who lives behind Proximity with Whalley, his girlfriend.
Artists themselves, the two simply wanted to expand the personal art studio in their home while giving the gallery a more dynamic space. The upgrades actually downgraded Proximity from 1,000 to 750 square feet, but provide a more conducive design for showing paintings, photographs, sculptures and other works.
The gallery reopens July 6 with an exhibit by abstract artist and Ohio native Paul Yanko. Tectonics, which will feature 20 to 25 pieces including Blue Fin Angle, runs through Sept. 1.
"When you look at these paintings from the side," Kelly says of Yanko's work, "it's got this sort of geological look to it — shifting planes."