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Village Gallery Is Closing Dec 24
Gallery Founder Judy Wayland Writes In
December 1, 2023

ince 2009 the key place to see art in Oriental has been Village Gallery, located just a few steps from the harbor.

That will come to end on December 24th, a huge loss for Oriental.

Gallery Owner Judy Wayland writes in, both about the gallery, and its potential future:

The Village Gallery Over The Years – Our Honored Goodbye to 300 Hodges Street

In April of 2009 the Village Gallery (VG) was opened in the old building at 300 Hodges St in Oriental. Over the last 14 years it has served as one of the main venues for local artists to display and sell their artwork as well as a place for visiting artists from around Eastern NC to exhibit their award-winning creations. The quaint covered front porch has served as a community gathering place not only throughout the year, but during all town events.

During our time in business, we (the resident artists and myself) have supported and initiated numerous community endeavors to raise funds for various non-profit causes. In addition, the VG has consistently provided cash donations to support many local causes.

The VG has always functioned as a non-profit in the sense that it financially has attempted to just break even and support the community at the same time. Its corporate mission was/has been to bring the benefit of the arts to the unique town of Oriental and contribute to local town needs.

Sadly, as with many other businesses, circumstances over the last few years have financially taken its toll on the VG. The covid years hit us hard, but thankfully, somehow, we still managed to survive and fulfill our mission. Unfortunately, after covid, the economy continued to take a dive and forced many small businesses to shut down. In October 2022 the owners of the building at 300 Hodges St decided to sell the building, at which time an owner from out of town purchased the building. The new owner, in order to keep their business financially afloat, needed to substantially raise the VG monthly rent. The VG, continued on, paying the increased rent, fully knowing our time at 300 Hodges St was nearing an end.

The timing and the closing of the VG at 300 Hodges St, was nothing more than a business decision between 2 parties who needed to do what was best for them. No one is to blame…it’s just business.

Moving on, that being said, the artists and I have searched high and low for another venue in town yet so far to no avail. There is nothing suitable in space, layout or location for a gallery.

However, be assured that I and the VG artists will stay together and in the interim (until a suitable venue or option becomes available) will work to provide the community with frequent art exhibits at various local venues (indoor and outside).

I thank the residents of the town of Oriental for their support over the years.

Judy Wayland, Owner of The Village Gallery

Posted Friday December 1, 2023 by Keith N. Smith

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