by Timothy Rutt
Ben McGinty’s back.
Not that he ever went away. But after closing his legendary gallery/performance space/hangout on Lake Avenue, the Gallery at the End of the World, in 2010, McGinty has kept a lower profile. He always made his nut dealing in antiques and vintage goods -- the Gallery never turned a profit nor provided him a living, he said at the time -- and he developed a good business running estate sales.
But now he’s back with Gallery McGinty at 869 E. Mariposa Street, around the corner from his old digs. “I missed having a shop, I like having a shop,” McGinty said. “I’m a shopkeeper.”
When McGinty decided to get back in the art gallery game, he said he really wanted to do what he did before -- run a gallery in his hometown. He took over the former Mary’s Misc. space in February, and opened the doors this month.
Unlike his earlier, more freewheeling gallery, Gallery McGinty focuses on vintage antique pieces as well as contemporary art. The gallery currently features items from his personal collection and pieces from his roster of resident artists. The plan is for regular openings with new artists in the main part of the gallery, and continual new works from the resident artists.
The roster of resident artists includes local favorites Ashoka, Brian Dario, Eve Kessler, Evan Chambers, Kathy Swaydan, Ngene Mwaura, and Paulo of Fiesole.
McGinty is planning a big holiday reception and opening on Friday, Dec. 20, from 6-10 PM. The opening is a benefit for the Art AIDS Art Project, an Altadena-based group that educates the public about South African culture and the HIV/AIDS crisis there, as well as stimulating opportunity for South African artist collectives.
Gallery McGinty, 869 E. Mariposa Street, is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 AM-5 PM, and Thursday evenings from 7-9 PM.