When Georgia Gersh opened her gallery Magpie, she had about eighteen artists showing in the small space at the Overland Sheepskin Complex.
Two and a half years later, she’s expanded, including an adjoining space, “so that I could have a proper gallery,” she told me when I visited recently.
“I now represent seventy-eight local artists and artisans.” She said smiling and shaking her head in disbelief as she surveyed the jam-packed, yet still open and inviting space that houses her very successful gallery.
“My intention was to showcase the best of local artists both known and those just starting out.” She explained. “I think I’ve succeeded in doing that.”
The beautiful and very stylish mother of two – her daughter is at UNM in Albuquerque and her son, still at home and in High School here in Taos – Georgia grew up in Lama, in a classic Bohemian Taos family. Her father was the late, great artist and poet Bill Gersh, and her mother Annie, still lives on Lama Mountain close to Georgia and her brood.
“She practically lives with us.” Her daughter informed me with a smile.
And Georgia was practically raised on Art so it’s no big surprise she’s attracted so many of our best artists to her Magpie’s nest! Her father was talented, prolific and a big personality; in a way he personified Taos during the 60’s and 70’s. His portrait graces the cover of Paul O’Connor’s award winning book, Taos Portraits.
Georgia has had a solo show of her late father’s work at Magpie, and when she has the space, she hangs his extraordinary art amongst the other talented artists whose work she represents.
“Right now I have only one of his pieces hanging,” she laughed. “There’s no room for any more!”
Magpie is a veritable jewel box of art and crafts made by some of the best artisans and fine artists working here in the High Desert. Among them April Werner, Sharon Millstein, Margaret Nes, Noel Anderson, Joan Norris, Tizia O’Connor, Ivan Locke and many, many others – too many to list here – hence the lack of space! Ceramics, jewelry, glass and metal sculptures fill shelves and share wall space with paintings and other works on paper.
There is something here for everyone at every price point.
“This has far exceeded my dreams,” Georgia told me. ” i envisioned a small space with a few local artists and room to make and show my jewelry.”
Boxes of crackers were piled up on a table together with halogen lightbulbs that needed to be tended to. Georgia was getting ready for her last “big, solo show,” of the year, the following day.
As we talked a couple of women wandered around the gallery looking at the various works on display. One bought some earrings, another bought a painting from the upcoming show. Georgia put a dot on it as she explained she couldn’t let it leave the wall just yet.
The women left smiling.
“I would say the most rewarding aspect of all of this,” she ventured as she looked around the space, “is the evolving relationship I have with all these artists.”
I left then, as Georgia got out her step-ladder to deal with the aforementioned lightbulbs. The crackers would wait for the cheese and wine to arrive the next day.
“Have you ever come to one of my openings?” She asked me as I was leaving.
“They’re madness!” She reminded me as I said goodbye. She was smiling then too as she climbed the ladder.
For much more info about Georgia’s Magpie please visit her site linked below.
All images c/o Georgia Gersh