After 26 years the Gallery on the Bay is closing, ending a long run as a stylish, inviting place to experience art, music, book launches, and talks.
Anchoring a prominent site at the corner of Bay Street North and Barton Street West, Marlaise and David Dawson took a chance on the gallery at a time when the North End and the James Street North arts district were not well known destinations.
In an old brick building, which was once the head office for the CUPE local, they reimagined the interior space. The Gallery area featured high ceilings, vintage wood floors, and abundant natural light. It proved to be an excellent space for viewing art, and attending opening night parties. The parties always featured good live music, and food, drinks, with artists talks following after opening night.
Over time, Gallery on the Bay drew in a talented roster of local artist including Jody Joseph, Iris McDermott, Marla Panko, Barry Hodgson, Catherine Gibbon, Barry Coombs and Maggie Shepherd, among others. Often the apartment above the gallery was occupied by an artist, where an additional studio space allowed true work from home opportunity.
In a press release today, Marlaise Dawson said that the “gallery will not be open in its usual form this spring. Retirement has been hovering on the horizon for both of us for some time but the pandemic simply accelerated our schedule.”
They hope to hold one or two more events if Covid restrictions allow gatherings to take place.
It’s another loss for the Hamilton arts scene, recently David Brace closed his gallery on Barton Street West.