Legacy Gallery shut its doors last week, ending its 28-year tenure on Town Square.
Jinger Richardson, who owns the gallery with her husband Brad, said the decision to shut down was “purely financial.”
She cited a variety of factors that led to the closure, including the town’s shifting art market and changing clientele. The final straw, however, was when their landlord decided to raise the rent at the end of the lease.
“He raised the rent so much it just didn’t make sense to stay open in Jackson,” Richardson said.
The Richardsons will be keeping Legacy’s second location open in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Many galleries in Jackson have sister locations in Scottsdale. While the two art markets are linked, Richardson said Legacy’s Arizona location produces a much higher yield.
“The Jackson gallery was about 40% of [our] workload and only about 10% of our income,” Richardson said. “This wasn’t always the case. It used to be about 50-50 Jackson Hole to Scottsdale, but the [Jackson Hole] market has gotten a little more contemporary, and the people walking in the door are just not the same.”
Richardson expressed some frustration with Wyoming tourism officials, saying their efforts to bring in tourists have negative effects on some types of small businesses, like high-end galleries.
“The Wyoming tourism office is not spending their money wisely,” she said. “It’s going to hurt Jackson Hole.”
By Sept. 27, Legacy’s old gallery space on the Northwest corner of Town Square was entirely empty.
All summer, Richardson had been working on finding homes for mountain-town-specific artwork, like wildlife and landscapes. Almost all of the gallery’s artists have found places in other Jackson galleries.
“We found homes for almost everybody,” Richardson said.
Richardson said the highlights of her time in Jackson have been the clients who turned into friends and the relationships the gallery built between clients and artists. Investing in artwork is no small purchase and involves building relationships and trust.
“We’ll miss visiting with the friends and clients that would come to see us every year,” she said.
Legacy Gallery will be replaced with a Five and Dime General Store that is set to open this winter. The store’s parent company, UTBW. owns similar outfits in eight other cities.
It sells merchandise like T-shirts, hats and sundries. ￼