Fall in love and feather your nest!
The stuff dreams are made of, specially during February when things of the heart seem to matter more than any other time.
Well the falling in love bit is up to Fate alone, but feathering one’s nest is not hard to do at Magpie!
Georgia Gersh’s Gallery and mini Emporium has everything from art to hearts… With cards, jewelry and much more besides, that will make perfect gifts for your loved ones and yourself. Because loving oneself is paramount.
Georgia is so much more than a Gallerist – she’s an artist in her own right, born to artist parents, who grew up on Lama Mountain (where she still lives) in a freewheeling, Bohemian, culturally rich atmosphere which continues to inform both her gallery and her life. She carries on a long tradition of remarkable Taos women who are avid supporters and patrons of the Arts.
With her Seasonal schedule coming up fast, I sent off a few questions to Georgia, and asked her to wear red for a photo shoot with Bill Curry.
“Georgia looked beautiful in red,” Bill informed me afterwards.
Who says red heads can’t wear red? The Queen of Hearts can!
1) They say Love makes the world go ’round. How do you feel about that?
Sigh…It seems that we’re at a place in our society and global community where it is easy to get distracted from that notion, but I’m a firm believer, even if I forget sometimes. When I think about “the world” and all of the suffering, I get very downhearted. I wish so much that there was more love, more tolerance, more celebration of diversity, more holding one another up and less breaking each other down. In my personal life, I feel very blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who love deeply. So in some ways I take it for granted, but I know not everyone has that and I so wish they did. I often close my eyes and take a big breath and send love out into the world.
2) With Valentine’s Day just a week away, I am sure you have some sweet offerings in the way of cards and jewelry at magpie. Of course Art is always an option when you are buying a gift for a loved one. What would your dream V Day gift be?
I have the sweetest little “I Love You” paintings from Mel Scully that just warm my heart. A great selection of gorgeous, richly painted wooden hearts from Ben Shriver. A beautiful range of locally made jewelry including my own creations and a great selection of Rebecca Dennis’ ornate beaded pieces with huge Swarovski crystals. Incredibly special hand carved, painted pottery from several of our most talented potters including pink coffee mugs from Jud Tanja and salmon colored sake sets from Sarah Newberry. The store is full of miniature paintings, wooden bowls, scented soaps and lotions, and many other treasures, all of them wonderful gifts for your special someone. And yes, tons of cards from local artists, many specific to the holiday, but all of them blank and ready to inscribe for any occasion.
My dream Valentine’s gift from magpie would be an original pastel miniature from Margaret Nes, an oil painting from Ivan Locke or a set of Abby Salsbury plates. I’d honestly be thrilled with anything in the store. I don’t think you can go wrong shopping here.
3) While we are riffing on the theme of Love, you clearly love what you do at magpie – showcasing many of Taos’ most talented artists and artisans all year long, with featured shows from March through October? It looks easy but clearly it’s a ton of work! What motivates you (aside from the Love part?)
March through November actually! I host nine consecutive shows, each with a wonderful reception. In addition, I have at least three artists come in each week with new pieces for the store. It really is a lot of work, but I enjoy it more than anything else I’ve done so far. Like most of us, I’ve had many jobs and pursued many different paths, almost all of them creative and/or hospitality oriented. While I genuinely miss restaurant management and running children’s theater programs sometimes, I’ve taken a lot of what I’ve learned and been able to incorporate into this vision that is magpie.
My favorite part of this job is cleaning, organizing, re-hanging and changing the space regularly, creating vignettes of beautiful pottery and paintings and altar boxes. Recently I’ve done a lot more work with Art acquisitions and installations, helping private clients and corporations with selecting, purchasing, framing and hanging art in their homes or businesses. In the past few years I’ve done everything from helping people set up a new home start to finish, to simply rearranging to open up space, hanging the one final wall that a client couldn’t quite get figured out and hanging entire collections. Last year I worked with the Edelweiss at Taos Ski Valley to get their elevator lobby Art acquisition project started. While several pieces selected were large Margaret Nes archival prints (from master printer Barry Norris), I also worked closely with an artist that I don’t represent to print images selected by the board members at the Edelweiss. I facilitated each step: selection, ordering prints, framing and hanging. I’d like to continue to grow this aspect of the business and work with more hotels and restaurants. Money spent at magpie goes right back into the community, to artists, printers and framers. It feels like the right way to do business.
While I really love what I’m doing at magpie, part of what motivates me is that I don’t have a backup plan. I’m pouring my heart and soul into this and I feel like it has to work. I’m looking into growing the business in new directions this spring, so stay tuned!
4) May we please have a sneak peek at your upcoming season?
2019 Show schedule:
March Noël Anderson, April Seamus Berkeley, May Shera Maher, June William Davis, July Bill Gersh, August Todd Christensen, September Norlynne Coar, October Paco Parado, November Larry Herrera.
Georgia’s openings at Magpie (in the Overland Ranch Complex), are already legendary, hearkening back to the “old days” in Taos, when Art Openings were parties!
I’ll have more on these shows and incredible artists as we get closer to the opening dates, but for more on Georgia I’ve included a link to her Pecha Kucha presentation at the TCA last year.
You can also visit Magpie online or connect with Georgia on Facebook, both linked below.
Caveat: As far as Georgia is concerned, Magpie is written all lowercase, but in the interests of continuity, I capitalize it. However in my questions to Georgia, out of respect, I dd not.
Photographed by Bill Curry