Vertu fine art gallery finds home in old town

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Socorro will soon have a new fine arts gallery in the Old Town Plaza for many people to enjoy and buy artwork, sculptures and cards from various artists.

Prescott Grey and Georgette Evans-Grey are the new owners for Vertu Fine Art Gallery, located at 113 Abeyta St. W. The gallery will have a display of many local artists’ work, such as Skeeter Leard and Sharon Fullingim. Leard works in pastels and acrylics, and Fullingim is a sculptor. The gallery will also display the artwork of non locals from all over the United States, Georgette said.

According to Georgette, she and Grey owned a gallery in Massachusetts for 10 years, also called Vertu. “Vertu” means love or knowledge of or a taste for fine art, she said.

“You need to look at our motto,” Grey said. “Our motto is excellence in Southwestern fine art, and the artists here can back that up. Some of them, in fact, are still emerging artists, but some of them are nationally known, some are internationally known.”

The gallery will be a comfortable environment and will sell fine work for anyone’s home, he said.

Founders of the original gallery in the space, Fullingim, Isenhour, Leard Galleries, were Natasha Isenhour and Fullingim, and later Leard joined them. That was 13 years ago. The three established a wonderful reputation, Grey said.

Grey said he has tremendous respect for the founders and former owners of the Curious Crows Studio, Margie Lucena and Isenhour. According to Grey, Isenhour and Lucena have worked in galleries in other states such as Texas and Arizona. They are successful artists and want to focus on their artwork.

“We would not consider taking this space over if it weren’t for the history,” Grey said.

The grand opening for Vertu Fine Art Gallery will be Feb. 1 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Feb. 2, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Represented artists will make appearances throughout the weekend, Georgette said. Regular business hours will be Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 12 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Artists at the gallery include Ben Hoffacker, a jeweler from Las Cruces. Hoffacker does sculpted gold and silver jewelry, and was a jeweler at Elephant Butte for years. Artist Nancy McCloud, of Moutainair, originally from Magdalena, does leather work such as chaps, handbags, coin purses and some jewelry. Artist Robbin McMath from Massachusetts will have cards in the shop. Georgette said McMath will have whimsical images created on her computer that look like cut paper, which she hand embellishes onto cards.

“We were thrilled to come to Socorro,” Georgette said.

The gallery will be different from other galleries because Georgette will create some of her artwork in a studio in the gallery, she said. The gallery will also offer classes for students and adults.

“We are always happy to talk about art and what the creative process is,” Georgette said. “We hope to have a lot of other events. We will be doing things a little differently from the way most galleries do things.”

According to Georgette, there will be eight or nine artists represented at the gallery and she would like to attract artists from all over the state. The gallery would also like to focus on displaying artists who aren’t well known yet. Georgette would like to get their names out to attract a new audience because of that new artwork.

“We want it to be a fun, comfortable place to come and see and buy really fine Southwestern art.” Georgette said.

According to Laird, the building the gallery is in is very old. She calls it a “happy, alive and well building.”

Many people are also in love with it, she said.

Currently, the gallery is still under construction, and two of the rooms are still being finished. Everything in the gallery will be for sale. Grey hopes to bring some traffic to Socorro. People will make the gallery their destination and they will continue to maintain the history of the building and the gallery, he said.

Georgette is an artist who works with watercolors and colored pencils. She has been drawing since she was 4 years old, and started painting when she went to college for art. Georgette has collections of her artwork in Spain, England and Switzerland. When she first took art in school, Georgette became a graphic designer and really hated painting, she said. She saw the show “The Magic of Watercolor Painting” with Tom Lynch on PBS, and fell in love with water color, she said.

“Sometimes you have to give up what you thought you want to do, and let the painting do what it wants to do,” Georgette said.

There will be different rooms in the gallery, each with a name. The southwest corner will be called Praxis, which means “putting theory into practice,” and that will be the room where they will teach.

The room at the northwest will be the Baca Gallery. A little room will be called the Little Gallery, and a larger room will be the East Gallery, she said.

“This will be a friendly, happy and welcoming place to come,” Georgette said.

 

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