Today’s news:

McCaig Welles gallery closes its doors

McCaig-Welles, the playful Williamsburg gallery (129 Roebling Street) that has been on the scene since 2000, is closing its doors for good later this summer.

In a letter e-mailed togallery supporters on July 17, owner Melissa McCaig-Welles thanked her friends and a cadre of artists for helping contribute to the gallery’s exhibitions and placing the neighborhood on the contemporary art scene.

“I have always put innovation and talent at the forefront of our programs, presenting artists recognized as pioneers of the new contemporary art movements, from surrealism to urban contemporary. It was this steadfast support of a powerful and undeniable movement that contributed to our incredible success over the years,” said McCaig-Welles in the e-mail.

Though the gallery faced a difficult economic climate along with many of their neighbors in the Williamsburg Gallery Association, McCaig-Welles said she chose to close the gallery following the June 7 birth of her son, Oliver Wilder Welles.

“Straddling the gallery on both coasts, with dwindling resources and circumstances out of my control, my ability to direct the future of the gallery were all at once at uncertain,” said McCaig-Welles. “The only certainty I knew was that I would be having another child. It is with this epiphany that I realized there is hope; through recession comes rebirth.”

The gallery is the latest Williamsburg-based art space to cease operation. Last week, Pocket Utopia (1037 Flushing Avenue), ended a two-year run. Two galleries – 33Grand, which moved to Chelsea, and Glowlab, which moved to the Lower East Side – have also closed within the past two years due to poor sales.

Like The Spice’s Marisa Sage, who owns and manages her gallery on 224 Roebling Street and sits on the board of the Williamsburg Gallery Association, said she was saddened by McCaig-Welles’ decision and wished her and her family luck on their move to California. Sage pointed out that the move was an independent one, and there have been many new galleries opening in Williamsburg to satisfy art patrons.

“For all the galleries that have moved or closed, ten more have opened,” said Sage. “We’re a really lucky area. Rents are still affordable here and we haven’t had high overhead.”

The gallery’s current exhibit, “Little Creatures,” curated by Megan Hays and featuring work by Alessandro Ayuso, Gina Beavers, Deedee Cheriel, Molly Crabapple, Valerie Crosswhite, Sara Hubbs, Kazuko Minokami, Aurora Robson and Chris Uphues, will be on display until August 2. McCaig-Welles is planning on continuing projects with artists she has represented on the West Coast and plans on announcing their details later this summer or in early fall.

McCaig-Welles Gallery is located at 129 Roebling Street in Williamsburg and is open this summer by appointment only. For more information, visit http://www.mccaigwelles.com, email info@mccaigwelles.com, or call 718-384 8729.

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