The art life’s a bitch. Just ask Andreana Donahue, owner/director/curator of Main Gallery, who celebrated the new year by perusing the classifieds. Not for a job, mind you; she has one of those, has ever since opening her gallery on Main Street in 2007. Business has been good; in fact, Donahue is booked until 2010.
No, Donahue is frantically looking for a new space. On January 1, she was notified by her landlords that they’re moving and want to unload the building she occupies (she’s only using 750 square feet of a much larger space). Since her lease is up March 1, that presents her with the prototypical double-whammy: Not only is she spending more time looking for space than tending to her gallery, but she also can’t even use it for a show after the current one closes on February 13—you know, moving boxes out, fixing pinholes in the wall, that sort of thing.
“Initially I was a little … worried,” Donahue says. “But then I sat down and thought about it. I’m actually kind of looking forward to doing something in a new space.”
She’s already looked at several spaces Downtown, but is having difficulty finding the right-sized space. Whatever happens, Donahue remains optimistic about not only her future, but also that of the arts community in Las Vegas, which is falling on hard times along with every other economic sector.
“It’s hard obviously all across the country, and it seems like things that aren’t necessities are getting cut, which most of the time is the arts,” she says. “Still, instead of giving up, you find new solutions. I think people who live here who are really dedicated to making great artwork and showing it here will stick with it.”
Donahue has been committed to strengthening Vegas’ arts scene since moving here in 2003. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Donahue is an artist herself, and has had her drawings and other works on paper displayed at several local galleries. “I moved here because of family, but when I got here I became really excited with the arts scene, because it wasn’t really established yet. I wanted to get in on the ground floor and be part of the foundation,” she says.
Wherever she lands, Donahue will continue to show all different media, everything from paintings and drawings to sculpture, primarily more emerging artists and contemporary art. As for her future digs, she notes that to Downtown’s credit—and also its detriment—there really are no rules; her space’s previous tenant was a bail bondsman.