There is no denying that the Short North has grown significantly over the last few decades. What started as a popular art mecca, is now morphing into a district full of all different kinds of entertainment. 

With that growth comes rising rent and competition. Smaller businesses are faced with decisions. After 38 years in business, it is the end of an era for a local art gallery. One of the first art galleries to open in the Short North, The PM Gallery is set to close in a few months. 

As the owner plans to retire, she reflected on the good times, the evolving neighborhood, and the bitter sweet new canvas that awaits her.

“They always say location, location, location.  Well, this is a busy street,” said Maria Galloway.

Across from the Garden Theater, sits the PM Gallery with a window full of glass ornaments and the store dog, Sisco. They’ve been at this location for six years and this summer they will close their doors for good.

“Our customers are fantastic. I know they are going to miss being able to come in and look around and wait for something to speak to them.”

The end of an era has a way of reminding us of the beginning. In 1980, just blocks away at North High and Buttles, the PM Gallery was born. It was a time when the Short North wasn’t somewhere that people typically chose to hang out.

“It was perceived as dangerous but it really wasn’t. It was just neglected,” Galloway said.

Where others saw poverty, Galloway saw a diamond in the rough.

“It was a perfect storm here of people who were willing to take a chance.”

With the right infrastructure and tax abatement’s the Short North became the perfect canvas for the starving artist.

“Artists come for cheap rent. That is what they can afford. A scary neighborhood is an opportunity not a detriment.”

With only one other gallery in the area, the beginning was not easy. The popular Gallery Hops people enjoy today didn’t exist.

“We had tried to do a galley hop (we didn’t call it that back then) and it didn’t work.”

They tried again every first Saturday of each month and eventually people started to come.

“We went from having 300 people to having 3 thousand people and our business tripled in one year.”

Since then, the art is history and the PM Gallery has been a Short North mainstay.

“Galleries tend to be named after their owners. I did that but I didn’t. PM is my initials and my last name is Galloway… Gallery,” she said jokingly. 

The PM Gallery features artists from near and far with paintings, pottery, glass, and one of their best sellers — marbles.

“Some of them are simple and some of them are incredibly elaborate. Little planets inside this sphere of glass. You can collect one for 15 bucks or for 15 hundred.”


As the neighborhood changes, so has the number of art galleries.

“All of the galleries that were here when we opened are long gone.”

The cost of rent and doing business has gone up. “I have said for years that when our youngest son was out of high school then we were probably going to retire. He is in his first year at CCAD and it’s time. It’s time. I’m not up to re-upping our lease for the next three years.”

Through it all, it has not just been her customers but the neighborhood that fed her passion.

“The Short North is a special place. Columbus is a special place. This is one of those cities where you can come to, and you don’t say I wish someone would do this, you say I’m going to do this and then you make it happen.”

As one chapter ends, another one begins for her and her husband in Florida.

“I’m hoping to do something a little different. Have an art car maybe rattle some pages with that. You know have them wonder about the hippies on the hill,” she said laughing.

She hopes to find the same support down south has she has here for the last 38 years.

“This is a little bit of a bubble. We’ve gotten spoiled by the support that creatives get here and I’m going to miss that more than everything.”

Even after the brick and mortar store closes you will be able to shop the PM Gallery online at www.pmgallery.com