The Modbo and SPQR plan to go in different directions


Modbo and SPQR's joint Small Works exhibit will still take place as planned next year. - FILE PHOTO
  • File Photo
  • Modbo and SPQR's joint Small Works exhibit will still take place as planned next year.

Big changes are in store for The Modbo and SPQR, two well-loved local art galleries that, historically, have functioned almost as one.

Modbo/SPQR co-owner Lauren Ciborowski announced this morning that, moving forward, the businesses are going to go in separate directions. Not to worry, though, the split is amicable, and it’s exciting news for our local arts community.

“We just felt we had plateaued,” Ciborowski says, “things were good, but they weren’t growing.” She says they had lost their “novelty edge” and considered ways to get it back. Since The Modbo’s lease was about to expire, co-owner Brett Andrus suggested Ciborowski take The Modbo space and “run with it.”

Ciborowski sees it as an exciting opportunity make a career in the arts, something she has wanted to do for a long time. She plans to turn The Modbo into a more self-sustaining, profitable business — a functioning commercial gallery that takes advantage of its unique space and downtown location.

She’s thinking of making the space available for rent (for small business get-togethers and parties), as well as hosting more performances. There’s even talk of a potential “Shakespeare in the Alleyway” production this summer, which is still in its planning stages.

Meanwhile, Andrus will keep the reins of SPQR and concentrate on his artistic career. The part of the business Andrus has always enjoyed most has been nurturing the next generation of artists through classes and mentorship programs, which he will still run out of the SPQR space. He will also use the gallery to exhibit his own work as well as occasional guest artists.

The business may be split, but Ciborowski assures us that The Modbo and SPQR will still collaborate on occasion, at the very least for their annual Small Works show, which is a local favorite.

See The Modbo’s full Facebook post with more details about the split below:

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