Monday Commentary
2:30 pm
Mon March 5, 2007

Southport Gallery Trying to Elevate the Arts - Literally

Southport's art patrons are finding their fundraising for an elevator at the arts center an uphill climb.

Wilmington, NC – The historic courthouse that's home to the Associated Artists of Southport has galleries and classrooms, but no elevator, making the building's second floor off-limits to some patrons and members.

The group wants to add an elevator to the Franklin Square Gallery, to open up access to its second floor. As founding member Ortrud Tyler describes it, the climb is a problem for Southport's older art lovers.

"It's a pretty beautiful staircase," she says, "One of those grand central entries. It's beautiful to look at, and if you're in really good shape, it's easy to maneuver. But [for] some of us, it's getting a little bit harder."

After months of work on the project, Tyler says the plans are drawn up and waiting to go, but the group is only a little more than halfway to its $80,000 fundraising goal.

She says the fundraising is harder than we anticipated, "and everybody wishes us very well, but it has not been as successful as we had hoped for."

The group's next attempt will be an art auction at Southport's Community Center later this month. Tyler says, if all goes as planned, her group hopes to build the elevator against the outside of its century-old gallery later this summer.
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For more information about the Franklin Square Gallery's upcoming auction, click here.