It came as a surprise yesterday when we logged onto Facebook and saw a post from North Charleston’s newest gallery owner Patrick Harris announcing his departure and the closure of pH Gallery (1056 E. Montague St.). Just two weeks after we ran a story (“Patrick Harris enters the Charleston art scene with contemporary gallery in Park Circle” by Erin Ziegler) announcing the latest art space in Park Circle, Harris has decided to close down his short lived venture due to his mother’s failing health.

In a Facebook message to us, he writes, “My Mom’s been in bad health for years. She only has an eighth of her heart working plus Type 1 Diabetes, and now issues with kidneys and other issues.” Harris has been driving up nearly every weekend to assist his sister, who has been caring for their mom. “Meanwhile, I’m putting money into the gallery and while I’m getting good press and a good reception from the town, I’m not making any sales and I didn’t want to keep putting money and effort into it without making money back especially when my family could use me at home,” he says.

The pH Gallery officially closed on Tuesday. And while Harris is disappointed with the outcome, he’s staying positive. “I took my shot at it and it didn’t work out,” he writes. “But I always feel like things are going to work out like they should.” Harris has recently received invitations to do some group and solo shows, which he’ll pursue once he’s back in North Carolina.

As for Park Circle, it’s up to the next enterprising artist to carry the torch. Here’s hoping another contemporary art gallery opens in the neighborhood soon.