Despite the pandemic which was well underway at the time, Magdalena’s Ginny Galer opened 802 Artworks-Gifts in the fall of 2020, starting out as a fun hobby, open only two days a week.
The gallery, located at 802 First Street, was unique in that it offered a wide range of local, regional and international items, including jewelry, leather pieces, tapestries, paintings, metal sculptures and in wood, carpets and Talavera.
“We’ve had a great first full year of 2021, thanks to curiosity, interest and support from locals and friends,” Galer said. “As well as people passing through Magdalena on Highway 60.”
Just after Christmas, Galer closed shop for the winter but reopened, just in time for the village-wide ART Magdalena Galley weekend and Studio Tour.
“It’s pretty slow around here in the winter months. That’s why we decided to take a break,” she said. “But more importantly, I wanted to completely change the store so that customers would see a new look and new and expanded merchandise. I really wanted to represent more local artists and artisans.
She and her husband Joe Stanley spent the winter months scouring New Mexico and Texas looking for new things to sell.
“Most of our items are one-of-a-kind, so it’s a constant and fun challenge to keep merchandise interesting and unusual, as well as priced right,” she said. “They give the whole place a facelift.”
As part of the facelift, Galer said she incorporated the back patio space into a third exhibition arena for court art.
“Space for Mexican planters, birdhouses, fun metal animal sculptures and wind chimes,” she said. “I wanted unusual things, a happy place with fun things to see.”
The company now employs two part-time staff and is open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., “or whenever you see the red truck ahead.”