After 18 art shows and nearly two years at its most recent location, Compact Gallery has closed its doors.
Owned and operated by artist, Cal Poly lecturer, and furniture-maker Jeff Jamieson, Compact first opened in The Creamery in San Luis Obispo in 2003, operating for several years before relocating to 1166 Higuera St. in the summer of 2010.
Known for its clean, stripped-down feel and emphasis on challenging, contemporary art, the gallery exhibited work such as that of Marfa, Texas-based Jeff Elrod, and a collaborative, glowing installation by Los Angeles artists Kevin Hanley and Euan Macdonald—in addition to art by locals, including prints by Leslie Sutcliffe and a photography installation by Steven Boothe.
The decision to close will afford Jamieson a much-needed break, he said, and an opportunity to focus on his own art and personal projects. While he’s open to starting up a new location in a few years, he went on, affordability is key.
“It doesn’t seem to generate a lot of cash—or any,” he said with a laugh.
The gallery has always been free to the public, run with help from volunteers. And selling trinkets or prints to help cover overhead had always been out of the question.
“Not to sound elitist, but Compact was about purity and potency of experience,” Jamieson explained. “Really, the chance to view things in their essence.”