TAG plans move to Courthouse Square

WARREN – Trumbull Art Gallery is moving to a new location that puts it right on Courthouse Square.

The nonprofit gallery signed a 10-year lease with a 10-year option this week at 156-160 N. Park Ave., the former location of Richard’s Shoes.

TAG director Pat Galgozy said the gallery must vacate its current space at 196-198 E. Market St. by Sept. 1.

”We worked for a long time on renewing the lease here, but we couldn’t reach an agreement with the landlord,” Galgozy said.

TAG, which started as the Trumbull Art Guild in 1957, moved from the Gillmer House on Mahoning Avenue N.W. to its current location in 2003. While TAG’s board wasn’t looking to leave its current home, Galgozy said there are several benefits to the new location.

”We’ll be right on the Square,” she said. ”It gives us more access to the public, more access for the type of events we can have and more potential to promote the arts for the entire community.”

It also provides more space. TAG currently has about 4,000 square feet, including the second-floor loft space it uses for offices. The new location is 4,500 square feet, all on one level, with another 4,500 square feet in the basement, which can be used for art classes and other things.

The new location will allow the board to more than double the size of the current gift shop, which gives exposure to local artists and provides a revenue stream for the gallery. Galgozy said they should able to sell more paintings in the new gift shop along with the jewelry and smaller decorative arts currently offered.

But plenty of work will have to be done before the new location opens. Bright pink walls and a pink feathery border decorate the space where the gift shop will be. Other parts of the space show significant signs of wear and tear.

Plans are to strip down the walls to the original brick wherever possible and restore the molded tile ceiling that is visible in some places and covered in others. Galgozy said TAG board member Paul Clouser will be taking the lead on some of the renovations, which he has experience with both professionally (he owns National Fire & Water Repair) and personally (he and his wife renovated the floors above his business and live downtown).

Galgozy said there is no set cost for the needed renovations because TAG will be relying on donated items and volunteer labor wherever possible. However, a fundraiser still in the planning stages will be held to help cover those expenses.

No set timetable is in place, but Galgozy said they hope the new space will be ready to open in about three months.

Rather than the delay the opening of the juried TAG Annual, the gallery’s largest and most popular exhibition, the show will serve as a farewell event at the current location and will have an abbreviated run. The 49th TAG Annual will open Aug. 3 and run through Aug. 23 (instead of Sept. 27).