, a community staple on Detroit Avenue, is closing its doors at the end of the month.
Friends, customers and artists stopped by the gallery on Wednesday, saddened to hear the news. Owner Linda Goik confirmed that the business would shutter at the end of the month.
With tears welling in her eyes, she said the recession has been tough on the business.
Customers aren’t spending as much as they used to — meaning artists, also hit by the recession, are also struggling to make ends meet.
“I believe that art is therapeutic, but we’ve got bills that need to get paid,” said Goik, who opened Local Girl Gallery eight years ago. “Outside of being a really nice art gallery, this was really a nice part of the community.
“We were really the little engine that tried.”
Joan Heinrich, a Lakewood resident and artist, said that local artists often struggle to find a place to sell their work.
Local Girl Gallery filled that void.
Heinrich began selling her work at the gallery eight years ago, soon after it opened.
“Linda has been so supportive,” she said, also holding back tears. “I hadn’t been in retail before. She was so encouraging.
“This place has good karma — and I am not into mystical stuff. But this is a good space.”
Goik said she’s already begun to look for full-time work, noting that her part-time hours at Home Depot aren’t cutting it.
On her Facebook wall Goik wrote: “I have loved owning the gallery and representing the many wonderful and talented artists, young and old whom have walked through it's doors.”
A bevy of supportive comments followed.
Throughout the years, the gallery has hosted parties, showings and fundraisers, frequently giving back to the community through countless volunteer efforts.
The gallery’s final show, "Domesticated," to benefit the Animal Protective League, is still scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 15.
“Everything must go,” Goik said.