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Painting a Bright Future for Hurley

Spotlight on JW Art Gallery, plus the new Silver Health CARE and what's up at Mesilla Valley Mall.

Welcome to Business Exposure, a new column that will focus on local business from all angles. Each issue will spotlight a featured Southwest New Mexico business, take a shorter look at some others, and update ongoing business items of interest. Feel free to suggest business topics for the column, and certainly let us know about your own business' changes and newsworthy events.


Spotlight on. . .

JW Art Gallery, located in the historic Kennecott/Phelps Dodge 100-year-old company store, is the newest art venue in the quiet little town of Hurley. New owners Karin and Joseph W. Wade, Jr., hope their gallery heralds a cresting wave of art activity into the old mining town.

With an almost "let me show you pictures of my kids" kind of excitement, the Wades eagerly show off before and after shots of the space, talk about the building's history, and lead a tour through the rustic nooks and crannies of their new baby. The cavernous space has been artfully renovated, and now houses a fine art gallery, a gift shop and local history museum, a custom framing business and workshop space for lessons in printmaking.

JW Art Gallery proprietors
Karin and Joseph W. Wade, Jr.

The couple moved to Hurley from Phoenix, she originally from Wisconsin and with a background in publishing, he an artist from Florida. They first visited Hurley in July 2005, then bought the Old Company Store in September.

The gallery opened in April with a Western-themed show, including Shannon Stirnweis' painting "The Birth of Geronimo," which Joseph points out. Sensing an interest in western- and southwestern-themed art, and finding a lack of it displayed in local galleries, he says he plans to make it one staple at JW Art. Including some of his own work, the gallery's current exhibit includes works in oil, watercolor and acrylic, and bronze sculptures. High ceilings and windows add drama and flood the space with afternoon light, the newly installed track lighting spotlighting the works on freshly painted walls.

Both a painter and printmaker, Joseph has won juried shows in Phoenix. He works with a custom-made printing press he designed and built, and will offer classes in the art of printmaking at the gallery. He pulls a lever to demonstrate the technique he uses to print with the huge machine.

On the back wall, a large selection of art frame samples hangs in neat rows. JW Art also offers custom art framing, a business that has already taken off with the locals, he says.

At the front of the building, the gift shop greets visitors with another offering of local "flavor" in the form of specialty foods, including honeys, salsas and chile pepper mixes. An assortment of humorous postcards, western-themed gag gifts and souvenirs, southwest cookbooks and collectibles are among the items the Wades hope visitors will latch onto. Joseph says handcrafted pens made from local wood by an artisan in Santa Clara will soon be added to the assortment of gift items.

Also at the building's entrance is the local history museum. A genuine mining employee notice board, unearthed from some dark corner of the building during the renovation, gives a feeling of the place's history. Old black and white photos show scenes of the company store, the mining operations in full swing, and everyday life in 1912 Hurley.

Honoring and celebrating the mining town's past and the special history of his building, Joseph Wade says he looks forward to ushering in Hurley's future as an arts town.

"It's affordable, it's quiet, it's just a perfect place for artists," he says. "We think we're just ahead of the curve and that Hurley has a wonderful arts-culture future."

Visit the JW Art Gallery at the The Old Hurley Store, 99 Cortez Ave., Hurley. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, see www.thetown.com or call 537-0300.


On the move. . .

WNG, the Las Cruces-based agency serving developmentally disabled adults, has moved its Silver City office from its West 13th Street location near Wells Fargo Bank to the space (formerly a landscape business) next to Real West Cinema on Hwy. 180. Coordinator Anissa Salas says the move gives the community-based program more space. The Silver City satellite office employs 30 full- and part-time staff, and serves 19 clients ranging in age from 19 to 54 years.

EDG, formerly known as Grant County Excavation, has moved its Silver City office to larger quarters at 4007 Hwy. 90 South, just up the street from its old location. The move was prompted by the need for more space, according to a company spokesperson. The company also operates an office in California.

HMS, Hidalgo Medical Services, has moved its main office to a recently vacated storefront on Bullard Street. (See below.) The new office was necessitated by the organization's growth, and offers additional administrative office space, according to Patrick Lyford, administrator at the agency's Med Square office. HMS is a non-profit health care company providing medical, dental and behavioral health services for uninsured and underinsured residents in Grant and Hildalgo counties, through a sliding scale system, according to chief operating officer Leroy Goats. HMS employs more than 130 people.


And more medical news. . .

Silver Health CARE is the new name for Silver Internal Medicine, which is expanding its medical services with the merger of The Family Clinic on 32nd Street in Silver City, the addition of an Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic at the Silver City Silver Health CARE location at 1600 32nd St., the expansion into a new multi-specialty facility in Deming, and the addition of new medical practitioners to its roster. The organization will operate three facilities: its multi-specialty facility on 32nd Street in Silver City, The Family Clinic, and the multi-specialty facility on 8th Street in Deming. In September, the current Deming location will relocate to its new building on Florida Street, according to chief operations officer Ginger Grissom. Both multi-specialty facilities currently offer internal medicine, pediatrics, podiatry (foot and ankle surgery) and neurology. "These changes will allow us to offer better support and expanded medical care to Southwest New Mexico," Grissom says. "That's important for people
looking to move here, to stay here and to live out their lives here." In addition to the practice's Silver City doctors who currently rotate shifts in Deming, Tom-Oliver Klein, MD, will begin his practice July 10 and will serve full-time in the Deming office.


At the mall. . .

Claire's, a girls and teens clothing and accessories store, has opened in Las Cruces' Mesilla Valley Mall across from Barnes & Noble, adding to the mall's hip clothing options. Aeropostal recently opened its new store near the mall's center court.

Chico's, a company selling private-label women's clothing and accessories, will increase the mall's upscale offerings, opening a storefront in October. Construction for that store is slated for late July.

Zales jewelry store has moved back into its newly remodeled spot in the mall, giving jewelry shoppers more glittering options. Kay Jewelers opened in March in the mall's Center Court.

A Verizon corporate store is set to open mid-summer. The store will sell phones and service plans and will be set up to receive customers' payments, similar to the Verizon outlet on Lohmann Avenue in Las Cruces, according to Mesilla Valley Mall spokesperson Susan Palmer. Construction for the office will begin in July. Verizon Communications Inc., a Dow 30 company, delivers broadband and other wireline and wireless communications to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless serves 53 million customers nationwide. Based in New York, Verizon employs 250,000 people and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.


Going, going, gone. . .

Silver City Allstate Insurance clients looking to drop off their insurance payments at their local office were surprised to find a locked door and bare windows at Levi Leyba's Bullard Street office in early June. After trying for a year to negotiate the sale of his "book of business" to another Allstate owner/representative, Simon G. Ortiz, Leyba abruptly left the area, for personal family reasons, and bought a home near Santa Fe. "There were difficulties with the transaction through the corporate office. Unfortunately, Levi simply departed the business," Ortiz says. Ortiz' office will provide local service to Leyba's customers. Eventually, he says, his agency will likely absorb the customer load officially. Customers may also go to Ortiz' office and ask him to submit a change request, making Ortiz' office their official servicing agency. "In the meantime," Ortiz says, "don't worry about the name on the top of the bill (being Leyba Allstate) and know that I can serve you. Our doors are open to all these customers." Simon G. Ortiz Allstate Insurance and Financial Services is located at 1015 Hudson St. in Silver City, and can be reached at 538-3744.

Ken's Pizza has left its Hwy. 180 location in Silver City, leaving local sports fans with one less option for tomato pie take-out.

Send your business news and topics to Donna Lawder
at donna@desertexposure.com.


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