500X Gallery has been a mainstay in Exposition Park since 1978, but it’ll close permanently on April 13.
The gallery said in a statement that it received a notice to vacate the space on 500 Exposition Avenue from its landlord in early February.
Gallery president Ashley Whitt says ongoing tension between 500X and the Gibson Company, the building’s owner, came to a head in December due to a controversial exhibition.
“Queer Me Now” featured works from LGBTQIA+ artists, including graphic depictions of naked men and gay sex.
“The following week after the opening reception, we received an email from our leasing agent saying that if we did not remove the works by the end of the day, they’d remove them for us,” Whitt said.
The notice to vacate came a few days after the gallery announced a follow-up group show, also with LGBTQIA+ artists, in response to the dispute. The property owner could not be immediately reached for comment.
500X is not the first art space to suddenly leave Expo Park. UT Dallas’ artist residency program — CentralTrak — and another space Beefhaus have both shut down in the last three years.
“It’s becoming a pattern, and that area is going to be drained of its artistic vibrance if we don’t make a change,” Whitt said.
The gallery is looking for a new space, but it will host one final show called 500Xit before closing.
“That’ll be a great time for us to celebrate the legacy of 500X and say farewell to 500 Exposition Avenue,” Whitt said. “But, we’re looking forward to the future and thinking about what that will look like.”
“500Xit” will run from March 14 to April 4.