Gallery owner quits Lake Worth

The Palm Beach Post - - CLASSIFIED -

Rolando Chang Bar­rero is a re­al­ist when it comes to busi­ness. If a com­pany isn’t mak­ing enough money, you close it. That’s ex­actly what Bar­rero, 54, chose to do with his 2-year-old gallery on Lucerne Av­enue. The doors will of­fi­cially shut Oct. 31. His works will be moved to the Box Gallery, a 4,000-square-foot space Bar­rero re­cently opened on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach.

Bar­rero spent a lit­tle time with The Palm Beach Post to dis­cuss the move — and Lake Worth’s art scene.

Why are you clos­ing your Lake Worth gallery?

I re­ally can’t han­dle three gal­leries (Lake Worth, Boyn- Kevin D. Thomp­son ton Beach and West Palm Beach). I’m a sin­gle per­son and I’ve been bounc­ing back and forth be­tween the gal­leries, and quite frankly, the Lake Worth gallery, with all the sup­port I get ... it’s still a very sea­sonal busi­ness. The first year we did re­ally well (about $90,000) and last year, we did half that. That was a big drop. It didn’t make sense to stay open any­more.

What’s the toughest part about leav­ing Lake Worth?

My prox­im­ity to Com­pass Com­mu­nity Cen­ter (on North Dixie High­way). I love ev­ery­thing they do. I’ve held a lot of fundrais­ers there, and I used to get a lot of busi­ness from them. Be­ing next door to Bruce Web­ber’s gallery was a re­ally good as­set for me. We were work­ing as a team. It’s go­ing to be dif­fer­ent. Not nec­es­sar­ily bet­ter or worse.

How much did pay­ing rent fac­tor in your move?

Not much. The gallery cov­ers its costs ev­ery month. But the profit mar­gin that is part of the busi­ness plan was not there. If the busi­ness is not prof­it­ing, you close it. You don’t hold on to dead weight un­til you drown.

How do the art scenes in Lake Worth, West Palm and Boyn­ton Beach dif­fer?

I deal with young emerg­ing artists in Boyn­ton Beach, any­where from Drey­foos stu­dents to those on the uni­ver­sity level. It’s a jump­ing-off place for young peo­ple. Lake Worth is mu­sic and booze. The art scene is more arts and crafts, and that’s what gives Lake Worth its charm. It’s rec­og­nized as a hippie en­clave. As for fine art gal­leries, I don’t think most peo­ple think of Lake Worth as where to go to buy fine art. West Palm Beach is at the tipping point. It’s blow­ing up. There’s a lot of in­vest­ment go­ing on there.

Bar­rero

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