500X Gallery at 500 Exposition Ave. near Fair Park

500X Gallery has lost its lease after announcing a second LGBTQ-themed exhibit after being forced to close an earlier LGBTQ- themed exhibit, according to the art-related website Glasstire.

The gallery, on Exposition Avenue a block from Fair Park, has occupied the space since 1978. The space was a co-op that 500X shared with other artists and galleries. The gallery released a timeline of events leading up to its landlord, the Gibson Company, canceling its lease.

According to its timeline, the gallery announced an “LGBTQIA+ show” on Feb. 8. Two days later, it announced a call for entries. Then on Feb. 13, 500X received a “notice to vacate” pending a meeting with landlord at 1 p.m. on Feb. 17. At 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 17, the meeting was canceled.

“We have decided to move forward with the cancellation of the lease. We do not need to hold a meeting with you or any of the members today,” the landlord said, according to the timeline on 500X’s website.

Glasstire reported in December about the strained relationship between landlord and tenant over “mature content” in the gallery’s exhibitions. The Gibson Company ordered an exhibit entitled “Queer Me Now” shut down in December.

The gallery will close on April 13. The board of the non-profit organization that runs the gallery cooperative is looking for new space. Glasstire suggests the new space may be at The Cedars where The MAC, which used to be on McKinney Avenue in the Uptown section of Oak Lawn, now resides.

One anonymous homophobic rant on the story in Glasstire claims the narrative that the Gibson Company “didn’t support LGBT artwork” isn’t true. The post claims “the show that essentially closed 500X was highly pornographic with extreme vulgarity and simply grotesque imagery and illustration.” The problem wasn’t that the work was LGBT, the writer claims, but that it was offensive.

Fair enough, but then the rant continues: “The looney left will seemingly never learn that the public, and especially those with power, connections, and financial backing always have another alternative,” the poster claims.

Well, isn’t art supposed to push the envelope? And is anyone ever forced to enter a gallery to see art they don’t want to see? And weren’t the titles of the exhibits clear enough to warn anyone who doesn’t want to see an LGBT-themed exhibit?

— David Taffet