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Water damage closes Carmel art gallery

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The Evan Lurie Gallery in Carmel is recovering from water damage that will leave it closed for at least another week.

Owner Evan Lurie said he's not sure of the cause, but it may have originated with the sprinkler system on the second floor of the building at 30 W. Main St. The 5,000-square-foot gallery occupies the first floor, while the Carmel Redevelopment Commission offices are on the second floor.

"We were very, very fortunate," Lurie said. Two pieces of art were damaged, but one of those will be repaired, he said. Others that got wet were shipped back to the artists. The rest are in storage while crews replace drywall and make other repairs.

Lurie said he hopes to reopen by Feb. 22. That means the expansive space will be closed Saturday for the Arts and Design District's monthly gallery walk. Eight other galleries will be open for the Valentine's Day-themed event.

Lurie does not yet have a damage estimate from the leak, which sprung up around midnight on Jan. 18.

The gallery was an early focal point of the district, which is gaining steam with a performing arts center, residences, shops and restaurants. The city of Carmel financed construction of the four-story Lurie building in a public-private partnership with Stenz Corp.

Lurie later bought the first two floors from Carmel Arts LLC for about $1.6 million and opened the gallery in September 2007. He estimates that he invested about $2 million in opening the business.

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