A Hard Time For Deer: Bambi’s Mom Shot By Hunter, Gallery Closes

photo courtesy of K-Fai Steele

Did you cry when Bambi’s mother was shot dead by the hunter in Disney’s famous animated forest tale? Well, we didn’t because us foxes are raised in the woods and the woods are tough. We did shed a tear, however, when Bambi Gallery—-the artist consignment shop created by Candace Karch—-closed its doors this month. Although it would be too easy to equate Tower Investments with the hunter in this story (there is, of course, a bit of truth to it) there is more to Bambi’s tale as well.

Bambi Gallery is moving on from its home of two years at 1001-13 N.Second Street in Bart Blatstein’s Piazza because, “it was not the right fit,” Karch points out. When the Piazza was first unveiled it had a great energy, but as time wore on, the giddy and creative atmosphere of shops and tenants that was originally fostered by the Piazza’s leasing office fell by the wayside according to Karch. She felt that Bambi Gallery and other tenants were becoming “disillusioned” by the rising rents and the lack of foot traffic that waned with the decrease in the number of events hosted by Tower. “It was hard to be open 40 hours a week with no one stopping by,” says Karch. The final straw for Bambi’s owner came in January when a faulty sprinkler system errantly went off twice in her gallery destroying artwork and merchandise (including the Dominic Episcopo‘s “Meat America” event we missed). “That really sealed the deal for me not to resign the lease.”

But things aren’t all sad for Bambi and its mother. “On the bright side of things, Bambi is still alive,” Karch explains. “We’re just taking a breather and regrouping.” Karch tells us she is planning a series of pop-up shows and lining up artists for exhibits later on this year for events in Fishtown. “When I started Bambi it was just me,” says Karch. “It’s such a big scene now and I will be happy to go back to my roots and not have so much overhead.”