Expo 216 in downtown Wilmington is expected to close by the end of October, and the space is for lease.
Linda Look and partner, Wade Hughes, opened the nonprofit, specialty museum -- a 5,000-square-foot space on two floors aimed at showcasing "art, fasion and social action" -- in 2016 at 216 N. Front St.
Hughes said Monday in an email, “We have loved every minute of our seven years in Wilmington but will be retiring to Mexico. We hope to get a chance to see every one of the many friends we have made by the end of the year."
Look and Hughes have purchased a home in a small village in Mexico, and while they are aiming for an Oct. 31 closing date, that date is not fixed, they said in a recent "Message from the Owners" email to Expo 216 fans.
The current exhibit at the gallery, "Death & Dying," will remain open through October, with one or two new artists coming in to add small segments to the display, Hughes said. The gallery's first exhibit, "Ocean Plastics," explored the environmental impact of plastic debris on ocean waters and shores.
The bottom and second floors of 216 N. Front St. are available for lease as of Nov. 1, with 3,000 square feet on the first floor listed for $6,000 a month and about 1,100 square feet (with the option of an additional 400 square feet of adjoining space) for an office on the second floor for $2,200 a month, according to sales flyers posted at the building. The apartment on the third floor, which is 3,100 square feet and has two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, is also listed for rent on Zillow for $6,000 a month.
"We are making every effort to continue the 1st floor as an arts-related space, and we welcome interest from every quarter," Look and Hughes said in their email.
Look and Hughes commissioned extensive renovations, designed by Wilmington architect Clark Hipp, before opening Expo 216.
"We put a lot of work into that building," Hughes said.
Editor's note: This version has been updated with additional information from Expo 216's owners.