Local Business Spotlight: Ginko Gallery & Studio

Ginko picIt was a rainy and somewhat cold Friday morning as I waited outside the door for Liz Burgess to open the door to begin our interview.  As any normal business owner is, she approached the door looking as though she had something on her mind but as soon as she saw my face she began to smile.  She quickly started her computer and turned on music on low as it to set the atmosphere for the day before we sat down in front of the glass case that she recycled from possibly another store that operated in Oberlin.

Liz Burgess is the Owner/Manager of the Ginko Gallery & Studio.  Ginko Gallery & Studio specializes in art made by individual from smaller studios.    Most of the art are considered contemporary crafts with an emphasis at times on local resources, which may be wood, glass, trash metals, etc.  None of the artists are from big companies or studios.  Ginko Gallery also has artist studios and has a large variety of art supplies. The items in her store range from 50 cents to $2,500.  For the most part the artists try to keep some items at $20 or under, keeping in mind that people desiring to find affordable gifts.

I asked Liz why she opened her business in Oberlin.  She said she lived in Oberlin and admired the local artists in the area.  Liz had a career in healthcare before starting Ginko Gallery and she started to create artwork in her spare time.  She also noticed that people in the Oberlin area appreciated locally made art and this is the reason why she decided to open up Ginko Gallery & Studio.

What makes Ginko Gallery special is that 80% of the items in her store are made by local individuals.  Also the store items are constantly changing because artists do not make the same item over and over again.  The artists are the ones that set the price and they are very mindful of trying to make their items affordable to the general public. 

People may not realize that Ginko Gallery also has a significant art supply sections.  Art students, art teachers and members of FAVA receive a 20% discount off these supplies everyday.  This was news to me so I plan to shop her store for items the Oberlin Project can us for their booth at the Oberlin Community Block party event on Saturday, August 29th in Tappan Square.

Liz said it is a myth that stores in downtown Oberlin are closed on Sundays. Ginko Gallery, along with several other stores, are open from Noon to 5 pm each Sunday. She is closed on Mondays but willing to open up for special events or people if she has enough notice.  This is one of the great things about being a local shop owner who also lives within the community.

Liz said that she recycles a lot!  Many of the display fixtures were from other stores or were built but local people.  In fact, she has not had to purchase any packing items for 12 years.  She takes all sorts of packing material, with the exception of packing peanuts.  She said people should taking packing peanuts to the UPS Store in Oberlin.  However, if people have bubble wrap or boxes, even the styrofoam boxes, she will take those too! Also if anyone has any left over art supplies, she encourages people to bring those to her and she will make sure they get donated to the local schools because they are in need of art supplies.

Last but not least I asked Liz where she likes to shop and eat in Oberlin.  She said she loves to eat at Black River Café because it’s next door but there are many other local places she eats at as well.  She shops all the time at Ben Franklin but also The Carlyle Shop, Watson’s Hardware, Ade’s Place and Oberlin IGA.

The interview ended with Liz allowing me to explore as she eagerly showed me around her store and told me where all the various items came from.  I planned for a 15 – 20 minute interview but was drawn in to enthusiasm for the artists and the work she has put into creating a landmark business in Oberlin.

(Above photo from Ginko Gallery & Studio Facebook page)

Ginko Gallery & Studio
19 South Main Street
Oberlin, Ohio  44074
Phone:  440-774-3117
Website: www.GinkoGallery.net
E-mail: GinkoGallery@Oberlin.net 
Regular Hours:   Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays, 12 noon to 4 p.m

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Sharon Pearson is the Program Coordinator for the Oberlin Project and liaison to the Transportation Working Group. Sharon will complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Green and Sustainable Enterprise Management by the end of 2013. She was born and raised in Oberlin and worked for Oberlin City Hall for 25 years. Currently she and her fiancé are moving back to Oberlin so they can take advantage of the various low-carbon transportation methods available including walking, biking, car-sharing, ridesharing while actively being involved in the Oberlin community.

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Guest March 15, 2017

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Sharon Pearson
Sharon Pearson is the Program Coordinator for the Oberlin Project and liaison to
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