Big changes–Spector moves on

Shelley, my camera strap and some guy
Shelley, Libby’s camera strap and some guy

We’ve known for several days that Shelley Spector was going to shut her gallery, one of our favorite spots for viewing hot new talent in the city. But for us it’s also the loss of a place where we liked to go to just hang out. Because, like all the other people in her circle, Shelley made us her friend. Ooops. Too maudlin. Sooooo—-

On the up side, however, she’s still our friend. And Shelley is a risk taker–a calculated risk taker–an entrepreneur who will find new ways of making things work with community, art, everything she touches. We love her energy, and we love the things she values. Maybe it’s because those values and goals look a lot like our own.


We’re looking forward to Shelley’s new era and what it will bring. Here’s the text of the email she sent to one and all, once she had made personal calls to everyone affected by her decision (she’s a class act):

About two years ago, when my gallery SPECTOR was five years old, I began to notice that all of the work I do in the gallery, the community and in my studio is interrelated. All of the hats I wear are just the garb of various projects that make up one career. Whether I curate a show, create a website, work on a sculpture in my wood shop, or teach classes my interests are to find places where people can relate to me and each other, to create new ways of doing things and always to make Philly shine.

SPECTOR the gallery has been a seven-year project. Its mission has always been to draw attention to the enormous young talent in Philadelphia, to create a new generation of collectors and to be a liaison between those two communities in a way that is both assessable and engaging. The opening of the gallery was also a direct response to an era of art that burst from the city unlike anything I had ever seen in my lifetime here.


Over the years SPECTOR is the first commercial gallery to give solo shows to Jim Houser, Ben Woodward, Randall Sellers, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Thom Lessner, CW Wells, Adam Wallacavage, Rebecca Westcott and others. In these solo exhibits and in group shows like Philly: People Places and Things, The Great (re)Masters and Red Dot, Art Under $100, SPECTOR has presented the works of more than one hundred Philadelphia area artists. Many have moved on to prestigious galleries and museums and their works have been acquisitioned into local, national and international collections. The gallery has been a stomping ground for the local community; it has been embraced by the art world at large and has been my love.

The work that I have done in the gallery is now complete. The gallery space will close and in the future I will be working under SPECTOR Projects. I will work closely with some of the artists but will curate and do projects outside the Bainbridge Street space. My new website will expand. I will lecture and teach at University of the Arts and Maryland Institute College of Art and will continue to make my own work.

For the summer we will present a window installation by Bill Lohre. Beyond that there will be no more exhibits on Bainbridge Street but there will of course be a celebration in true SPECTOR style in September or October (more on that later). In the meantime, I can still be contacted for purchases, commissions or other inquires. I’ll send out emails with updates.


I am sending out a huge thank you to all of you who have over the years visited, supported, inspired, bought art, made art, hung art, worked with me, peered through the window, interned, sang or danced in the alley and drank my wine. You made this all happen and I sincerely thank you for that.

If you have any additional questions or need more information please feel free to contact me.

Shelley Spector