On Sept. 15, 2001, Jennifer Rowland and Michael Gullberg opened Gallery Figueroa in an “up-and-coming” neighborhood in Los Angeles. The space previously belonged to an exterminating company, and in the DIY spirit, Jennifer and Michael recruited friends to strip everything, put up new drywall, install lighting, and transform the 800-foot space into a salon for local artists.
Neither had ever owned a gallery. They both maintained full-time jobs. But they were passionate about art. On opening day – four days after the Twin Towers bombing – they realized what art could do. Hundreds of friends and neighbors, many of whom hadn’t left the house or turned off CNN in days, attended. At a time of national mourning, Gallery Figueroa offered respite and community.
In the back room of the gallery, Jennifer maintained a “gift shop” with vintage clothing and jewelry. It was the sales from those pieces that often paid the rent.
Flash forward to Summer 2014. The couple had moved to New Mexico two years earlier with a dream of doing something different with their lives. They loved owning a gallery, but knew selling art was a challenge. Thus, they decided to turn the Gallery Figueroa model around. Jennifer, who had consigned her clothing for years, was confident that putting a consignment clothing store in front and maintaining a gallery in the back would be a more fiscally stable model. Michael agreed. With paintbrushes and sandpaper in hand, they created a light, loft-like setting at 930 Baca Street and curated it with beautiful clothing, accessories, and jewelry.
Community-building and support continue to be a priority. Through programs like Clothes for a Cause, special shopping days to benefit Santa Fe’s women’s shelters, and donations of clothing and funds, Art.i.fact is committed to the people and organizations in Santa Fe.
Jennifer and Michael opened Art.i.fact with two goals in mind: First, to offer a highly curated, stylish selection of consigned clothing, shoes, and accessories. Second, to be more than a store. Art.i.fact serves as a community hub, where old friends meet and new friendships take root.
Art.i.fact offers a variety of community programs and events, including art openings, block parties, and intimate after-hours shopping nights. Art openings take place in the ART.i.factory, a dedicated gallery within the store that is curated by Niomi Fawn of Show Pony Gallery.
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