Sales are brisk during gallery grand opening

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Local artists and merchants of collectibles showed their wares at the grand opening of The Alamo Mercantile & Gallery.

The opening was held Saturday, Nov. 14, where a sizable crowd perused art and enjoyed music from local musicians. Sales were brisk.

The day before the grand opening, Leon Miler — who helps his wife, Joyann run the store — explained the purpose and mission of the gallery.

 

 

“The idea is to sell arts, and crafts made for collectible resale,” he said. “About three-quarters of the artists are local. “So far, we have decent variety of artists.”

Currently, there are 27 artists showing their work at the gallery.

Miler said the store has been open for two weeks, four days a week, and that sales were picking up.

Although the building is owned by the Alamo Navajo Nation, the Socorro County Arts group is managing the gallery. There is still a large space allotted for Alamo artists.

Miler explained that the Socorro arts group used to have another gallery space in the rear of Finley Gym, but it was too far away from traffic to generate any sales.

“Because it was so isolated, it was a waste of time,” he said. “We sold more in the first week than the whole rest of the time we were there (at Finley Gym).”

The busy location of the Alamo gallery is a different story.

Miler said a lot of people traveling on Interstate 25 visit the gallery after stopping to eat at a local restaurant, or staying overnight at a motel. He said recently one couple came in late to browse the store, stayed overnight at a motel, and then bought something the next day before hitting the road.

The gallery rents booth space to artists or crafters who sell their items in the gallery.

The largest booths rent for $80 a month, and are often split between two or more artists. Smaller booths are also available for $65 a month. All of the booths are currently rented.

There are also cases available for smaller displays, or small items of value that need to be kept secure. These rent for $20 or $30 a month.

On the back wall of the gallery, space has been reserved for student artists, who are allowed to sell their work without any fee or commission going to the gallery. Miler said the gallery is working with high school art teacher Laurie Hinds to get more young artists to show their work.

Currently, the works shown at the gallery are not juried — reviewed by an expert panel for skill and creativity — prior to display . But Miler said there is a plan to create a jury in the near future, to make sure all works shown in the gallery “fit our mission.”