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One Of Last Black-Owned Art Galleries In Old City Closes Its Doors

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- One of the last African-American-owned art galleries in Old City Philadelphia is closing its doors.

For the past seven years, Vivant Art Gallery has been a regular on the first Friday's art stroll.

Frequented by the who's who of Philadelphia, patrons like the city's first lady Lisa Nutter and members of City Council and non-profit leaders were all patrons of the small, but colorful Vivant Art Gallery on Second Street near Arch Street.

"The secret and the strength of my business has been collaboration," says owner Florcy Morisset.

Morisset opened the gallery seven years ago. Originally from Haiti, she says her goal was to support artists from her home country. She purchased hundreds of pieces to resell in America -- then her vision got bigger.

"There are so many other countries that have brilliant colors," she says, "brilliant stories, brilliant history."

Art from Haiti, Tanzania, Mexico, Nigeria, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela and more hung on the walls -- but now Vivant is closing -- so Morissett can pursue an even bigger vision -- higher education at Johns Hopkins University.

"Although it's closing, the art will continue to be made," she says, "the art will continue to be celebrated."

Morisett will continue to sell her art online.

Closing celebrations, including a reception and an auction, kick off on October 1st. Click here for more details. 

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