[image-1]This morning The Southern Gallery owners, Erin and Justin Nathanson, announced that they will be vacating 2 Carlson Court where their brick-and-mortar contemporary art gallery was located for two years. In a statement The Southern owners say:
After two and half years, we decided to leave 2 Carlson Court. The Southern will continue representing artists and presenting thoughtful and current exhibitions, but we will be without a brick and mortar until we find a comparable space. The decision to leave 2 Carlson Court is an extremely hard and disappointing one due to the amount of blood, sweat, and financial commitment that has gone into the remodeling and sustaining of the space. The building is uninhabitable because the Landlord/Owner lacked a water and sewer easement for delivery of essential services and accessibility has changed significantly over the past two years due to construction on three sides of the building.
In the statement the Nathansons allege that issues with the building, including those created by construction on three sides of the gallery, led to the decision to close the gallery’s brick and mortar space.
In the two and a half years since opening, The Southern has hosted a number of exhibits featuring contemporary local and regional artists, small works shows, and live music and fashion shows. Last year the Nathansons also started a conversation about the way artists are treated, with a manifesto that called, well, bullshit, on 100 percent artwork donations for charity auctions.
We covered the manifesto, and other artists’ thoughts on the topic in our cover story The Exposure Myth, in which Erin told City Paper, “Artists have zero guarantees, especially visual artists. … We need to break away from that idea that visual art is free.”
In 2016 Nathanson talked to City Paper about the opening of the gallery, saying, “There needs to be a commercial space that can support contemporary works that want to talk about things.” In addition to the importance of a physical space, Erin also talked about the general need for a “web” of creatives in the Lowcountry, “And that’s something we want to do, to create a web of curators and gallerists across the southeast who all have the same vision, as well as the knowledge that there are some great things being created in the south.”