Despite the pandemic that was well underway at the time, Ginny Galer of Magdalena opened 802 Artworks-Gifts in the fall of 2020, starting out as a fun hobby, open only two days a week.
The gallery, at 802 First Street, was unique in that it offered a broad cross-section of local, regional and international items, including jewelry, leather pieces, tapestries, paintings, metal and wood sculptures, rugs, and Talavera.
“We had an excellent first full year of 2021, thanks to the curiosity, interest, and support of locals and friends,” Galer said. “As well as the people passing through Magdalena on Highway 60.”
Right after Christmas, Galer closed up shop for the winter but has re-opened, just in time for the village-wide ART Magdalena Galley and Studio Tour weekend.
“It’s pretty slow around here in the winter months. That’s why we decided to take a break,” she said. “But, most importantly, I wanted to totally change the shop up 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 traveling around New Mexico and Texas seeking out 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 to have a good price point,” she said. “They give a facelift to the whole place.”
As part of the facelift, Galer said she has incorporated the rear patio space into a third showing arena for yard art.
“Space for some Mexican planters, birdhouses, fun metal animal sculptures and wind chimes,” she said. “I wanted unusual things, a happy spot with some fun things to see.”
The business now employs two part-timers and is open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., “or anytime you see the red truck out front.”