[Say hi to Matt Stangel! He'll be contributing visual arts coverage to both Blogtown and the print version of the paper—eds]

The final show at the Mark Woolley Gallery, I Coulda' Been a Collecta', opens tonight.

The Woolley Gallery opened in 1993, and quickly established itself as a cornerstone for experimental and contemporary art, aiding many Northwestern artists in launching and growing their careers (such as Edward C.H. King, Walt Curtis, Jo Ann Mace and many others).

After changing locations, and later failing to find a partner to help shoulder the financial and operational weight of his gallery, Woolley will close shop at the end of the month. Recession-time art sales are a factor in the closing, though in an interview with some rag, Woolley cited other contributing factors, such a desire to travel and explore various personal interests. We'll hang our flags low today, commemorating the Woolley Gallery's fifteen years.

Hit the jump for more details, and a list of artists participating in Collecta.

The reception is going down from 6-10 pm, with DJs and the unique opportunity to buy art right off the walls—no waiting for the show to end, just pay and pull.

As a mournful buzz follows the closing of the gallery, things aren't all bad. Woolley has announced future plans via press release, "which will include stand alone Mark Woolley gallery shows and working collaboratively with Heidi McBride of Heidi McBride Gallery and Art Consultancy."

Here's the laundry list of artists participating in this massive group show:

"Bobbi Ambrosini, Diane Avio-Augee, Debra Beers, Michael Brieger, Stuart Cornell, Walt Curtis, Rachel Denny, Tim Diggles, Brigitte Dortmund, Tamara English, Eleanor H. Erskine, Jaik Faulk, Lynda Frese, Jo Ann Gilles, Miles Cleveland Goodwin, Trish Grantham, Anne Grgich, Bernard O. Gross, Evan B. Harris, Michael T Hensley, Emery Hinkley, Thomas Paul Kiefer, Edward C.H. King, Jo Ann Mace, Jennifer Mercede, Lance Morrison, Ann Marie Nafziger, Dan Ness, Alison O'Donoghue, Arnold Pander, Jacob Pander, William Park, David Reager, Ralph Rosenborg, Maggie Rudy, Amy Ruppel, Sandy Sampson, Sara Siestreem, Stephen Scott Smith, David Stein, Kathleen Stephenson, Julia Stoops, Melinda Thorsnes, Cara Tomlinson, Jill Torberson, Phyllis Trowbridge, Angelina Woolley"
"I Coulda' Been a Collecta'" runs through May 30th.

For more info, check www.markwoolley.com.