New American Paintings/Blog

Northern Exposure: Seattle’s Ambach & Rice Make the Move to L.A. by openstudiospress

Installation view, Eric Yahnker: Cracks of Dawn, Ambach & Rice satellite exhibition @ Kunsthalle LA, Los Angeles.

Ambach & Rice is a Seattle-based gallery that first opened its doors back in 2003 as a modest book store/gallery. Over the past eight years, Seattle has had the unique opportunity to watch them grow into one of the city’s premier galleries. Their diverse roster blends international artists like Ron van der Ende and Karen Sargsyan, with Northwest artists like Jeffry Mitchell and Grant Barnhart. The gallery has always seemed to prefer the periphery to the limelight. When they outgrew their old space, instead of relocating to the Seattle’s traditional art district in Pioneer Square, they moved to outlying Ballard, an historic Scandinavian seafaring community which has slowly gentrified into a mix of eclectic shops, upscale restaurants and dive bars with live music.

Their tendency to stay on the edges, however, is about to change. It’s the final weekend for Ambach & Rice in Seattle, and when they re-open in Los Angeles this September, it will be in a very central location on Wilshire Boulevard. With this move, Ambach & Rice join other west coast galleries, like San Francisco’s Jancar Jones, who have opted to make L.A. their new home.

The final Ambach & Rice show in Seattle, The Strong, Star-Bright Companions by Ellen Lesperance, will close this Sunday. Before they skip town, I wanted to chat with Charlie Kitchings, co-owner, and his wife, Amanda, about their impending move to Los Angeles, their ability to adapt, and what led them to the move in the first place.  —Joey Veltkamp, Seattle contributor

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