“I seem to be returning to my primary focus,” Georgia Gersh told me when I visited her at Magpie last week.
“Small affordable pieces,” she explained. “Something for everyone!”
In the four short years since she opened Magpie, Georgia has found herself at the helm of one of Taos’ most eclectic and successful galleries. She features over 80 local artists and artisans in the space she occupies in the Overland Ranch Complex, next door to Jimmy Murray’s Envision Gallery.
“Most of everything I show is under $600.00,” she said. “It’s a niche I’ve carved out for myself, and the artists I represent here.”
The artists she represents span the gamut from older, well established Taos names and faces, along with younger, more cutting edge creatives like Matt Thomas, who had a solo show at Magpie last year. Matt is one of the artists featured in Taos – 1960’s – Present in NYC in April.
“Keeping the prices reasonable really helps to keep the work moving.” She said.
Georgia grew up in the Art World – her father was the late, great painter and poet, Bill Gersh (he’s on the cover of Paul O’Connor’s Award Winning book, Taos Portraits), her mother, Annie Deegan is an artist and being around art as well as making art, is second nature to her. In fact as we speak, the big round table in the back of her space, is home to several projects, the jewelry Georgia makes and sells at Magpie, not the least of them!
As she gets ready for her upcoming Season of 8 big shows (her openings have become happenings in and of themselves – Lenny Foster’s show last year was such a blowout, a whole lot of folks could not even get in the door) she plans on showing a few of her own creations this year, along with the other artists she has scheduled to hang in her gallery space from April through November.
In April, Georgia and her mom will join her boyfriend Ben, his mother Mary Shriver and her longtime partner, Jim Wagner in a little family fun.
How serendipitous as well, being that Jim is known for the magpies he depicts so deftly with his brush and pigment.
“It’s a fun a colorful, collaborative project,” she told me. “Mary and Jim are working on a few cool pieces, and Ben and I have been making paper mache bowls.” She showed me a shelf filled with the colorful bowls of all shapes and sizes.
“There’ll be some jewelry too.” She pointed at the findings on the table, “but really it’s just a light-hearted, Spring show that will be a nice, familial start to the Season.”
In May, things get serious again, with masterful painter Peter Parks on the walls. Nora Anthony whom I’ll be featuring here on the blog, closer to the date, will show at Magpie in June.
July would have been Bill Gersh’s birthday month, so in his honor, Georgia will show some never before seen here in Taos, works by Bill.
“I’ve been in discussions with a couple of collectors of my father’s work, who have a few rare pieces,” she said. “It’s quite exciting and should make for a great show.”
Dwarka Bonner will show at Magpie in August and in September another talented artist from Lama, Nat Wilson will hang his work at Magpie.
In October, Claire Haye will have a retrospective of her whimsical ceramics here, and in November John Brandi closes Magpie’s Season.
With all this going on, along with running the day-to-day nuts and bolts of her business, it’s hard to imagine that Georgia has any time left over for her kids let alone her own projects, But that’s clearly not the case, as the bits and bobs spread out on the aforementioned table, indicate.
“The kids are always my priority,” she said. Georgia is the mother of two. “But “I’ve always got to be making something.” She exclaimed. “I grew up around people making things, being creative, using their hands.”
“This is what we do.” She smiled as the door opened and one of her artists entered with a box of ceramics ready to be unpacked. After she left, Georgia turned to me and pointed to the box.
“And this is what I love about what I am doing, “ she told me. “Artists bring their pieces to me in these boxes which they will then pick up filled with old inventory and return again with new, in that same box.”
“Because everyone is local, there are no wasteful packing materials and Magpie has a small carbon footprint.”
“It’s sustainable on a lot of levels.”
Including the fact that small works can be packed in a suitcase and don’t require shipping, although obviously, Magpie does and will ship.
Magpie is filled to the brim with treasures and trinkets. There is far more packed into this nest than first meets the eye, so do be prepared to spend a bit of time browsing, and find something, you will! I have yet to see someone leave Magpie empty handed.
For more information on Georgia’s Magpie, please visit the site linked below.
Caveat: Georgia informed me by email that magpie is ALWAYS uncapitalized.
All images thanks to Georgia Gersh and Magpie