One of Akron’s most popular art venues is closing. Meg Harris of Harris-Stanton Gallery has announced that the fine-art gallery will shut its doors June 1.

“It’s been awhile coming,” Harris said. “And frankly, the business is changing so quickly, and not in the right direction as far as I’m concerned. It’s much harder to be a retail gallery these days, what with artists selling out the back door and all the nonprofits that have art organizations.

“We have tried everything we could to find ways to collaborate with different institutions and organizations and bring different people into the gallery, but it’s so much more work than it used to be.”

Harris said in an email to customers last week that “ ‘The times they are a changin’,’ and so must we … After 31 years in the gallery business, and after witnessing dramatic changes over the past few years, I have decided to close my galleries on June 1, 2019, at least in the forms and locations to which you have become accustomed.”

She plans to continue as a “virtual gallery,” including on-site consultation and installation, studio visits and private unveiling parties, in addition to providing art consultancy and curatorial expertise to corporate, institutional and residential clients.

The small but influential gallery opened its doors at Pilgrim Square, 2301 W. Market St, Akron, in 1987 as the Evelyne Shaffer Gallery, named after the owner, a French gallerist and art collector.

The gallery has brought many European artists to Akron, with an emphasis in French art. Harris purchased the gallery in 1994. She changed the name to Harris-Stanton Gallery in 1998, and in 2014 she expanded to downtown Cleveland, with a larger facility at 1370 W. Ninth St.

With a collection of work ranging from traditional to abstract and contemporary by local, regional, national and international artists, Harris-Stanton Gallery has exhibited important works by painters like Barbara Gillette, Lee Heinen, Marianne Hite, Terry Klausman, David Moskovitz and William Quinn; sculptures by La Wilson, Charlotte Lees, Mark Soppeland, John Ranally and Meaghan Reed; fine-art prints by Julian Stanczak, PJ Rogers, Abbey Blake and Marvin Jones; ceramics by Beth Lindenberger and Kristin Kowalski; and glass by Marianne Hite.

Harris said she has also been helping to choose and install artwork for Summa West Tower, the new six-story building at Summa Health System’s Akron City Hospital. You can see the results of her work during a Community Day open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 19.

“I’ve loved being a curator, and I did cry over this, particularly when I got calls from people who have worked for me,” Harris said.

“My hope is that we will have the website as a virtual gallery, and I will take my van and bring art to people’s homes and businesses.”

Harris-Stanton Gallery in Akron is open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, showing “Rhythm in Repetition: New Works by Terry Klausman and Kate Snow” through April 27.

At the Cleveland gallery, the 26th annual Art-ini Auction to benefit the Cleveland Art Association is running through Thursday, when there will be a closing martini party. More than 80 works by regional and international artists in jewelry, glass, ceramics and fine art are up for bid, starting at a discounted price.

In preparation for its closings, Harris-Stanton Gallery will have a sale of European artwork and jewelry May 23-30 at both locations. For information, see www.harrisstantongallery.com or call 330-867-7600 (Akron); 216-471-8882 (Cleveland).