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Claassen moves ... across the street

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Wondering why the onetime site of the Claassen Gallery is now home to a waxing parlor? The art shop/gallery space has moved to a new upstairs location directly across the street: 774 Marsh St., suite D.

DRIFTER :  Artist and gallery owner Jeff Claassen (his work is pictured) recently moved his operation across the street, to 774 Marsh St., suite D. New hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. Get more Jeff at jeffclaassen.com. - ARTWORK BY JEFF CLAASSEN
  • ARTWORK BY JEFF CLAASSEN
  • DRIFTER : Artist and gallery owner Jeff Claassen (his work is pictured) recently moved his operation across the street, to 774 Marsh St., suite D. New hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. Get more Jeff at jeffclaassen.com.

For owner Jeff Claassen, the move is a positive one. The birth of his son Eliott coincided nicely with the expiration of his old lease, giving the artist a chance to rearrange his priorities. Shorter hours (noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday) mean more family time, and with a more discreet location, Claassen intends to cultivate a more serious clientele.

“Now I can focus my energy on the customers I already have,” he said. “I’ve totally eliminated people asking for money for the meter, or to put a poster in the window.”

The artist and art supply retailer has literally been around the block, having tried, as he puts it, “everything shy of selling my stuff out of an ice cream truck.”

The ever-charming Claassen Gallery began in another upstairs location, where Court Street is today. Eight years, several moves, and one baby later, Claassen’s style is instantly recognizable: His inky black lines are thick and determined; his faces, a ghostly purple or green, threaten to float off into space, their sad eyes observing the world from behind majestic droopy lids.

Bigger group shows like last year’s hugely popular “Pascal’s Peeps” animal-themed exhibit will be sorely missed. But the tucked-away intimacy of the new setting—if you can find it, haha!—is nothing short of precious.

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