Courtyard Gallery co-op in limbo

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Trish Tuley, one of several co-op members, is leaving the Courtyard Gallery this month. Evan Mills is seeking a gallery manager. Photo by Peter Szabadi

According to an email from Evan Mills, owner of the building in which the Courtyard Gallery is housed, the longstanding gallery co-op is in limbo pending new artist management.

“Our parents, Carol and Roy Mills were part of the team that designed and built the Courtyard Building in the center of Idyllwild circa 1980,” wrote Mills. “Carol founded the Courtyard Gallery in one of the units, where she showed her own work and brought together scores of other artists over the years to share the exhibition space.

“For many years, our family made the gallery space available to the artists rent-free, gradually increasing it to one-quarter of market rents. We have always paid all gallery utilities and insurance.

“My sister, Robin, and I happily continued this tradition since we began operating the building for the family in 2010, and continued to do so after our parents’ passing. Providing an affordable, high-quality place for artists to show their work has always been a central goal. 

“We believe the Courtyard Gallery is currently the longest continually-operating gallery on The Hill.

“In December we were informed that all but one existing Courtyard Gallery co-op member [was] taking permanent/indefinite leave as of January 1, which stood to dramatically change the complexion of the gallery. ”

Currently, according to Mills, there is no person who has agreed to be artist manager of the co-op. “The future of the Courtyard Gallery is particularly important to us, as Idyllwild — famous as an arts destination — has seen many galleries close down in recent years,” said Mills. “Anyone interested in taking on this challenge is strongly encouraged to contact us.”

Contact Mills at evanmills1@gmail.com.

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