Gallery M on Main Street in Greenport is closing after 20 years in business, a step the owner says is “very sad” but not the end of her road.
Myra Eisenberg of Southold, 71, decided “with mixed feelings” to shut down her business, according to a recent ad she ran in The Suffolk Times.
“It’s mostly because I’ve had a serious health issue,” she explained. “I had open heart surgery and I’m recovering, but it takes a while.”
Ms. Eisenberg was diagnosed earlier this year with a condition called congestive heart failure, which had gone undetected for some time. She underwent her surgery in March, and is still recuperating.
“I didn’t walk for a long time,” she said. “I had to get back to walking, so I’m slowly getting back to where I was … I can’t put as much time and effort and energy into the business as I did before.”
The gallery, which takes its name from Ms. Eisenberg’s first initial, opened Aug. 11, 1999, with the goal of “introducing people to well done, one-of-a-kind craft pieces,” she said. “It was more of a gallery, it wasn’t really a store, and we used to have shows where I had special people come in. I had Roberto Bessin, who did the big bird. I had some very good, top-quality craftsmen.”
A craftswoman and jeweler herself, specializing in silver and gold, Ms. Eisenberg started out as a social worker then became a weaver and later a jeweler. She loved working with crafts and collecting art, which made her think she might be able to spread that love. Being handy ran in the family and she managed to turn her passion into a lifelong pursuit.
At age 50, she decided to open Gallery M — essentially a one-woman operation. Over the years, she hand-selected the artists whose work she showcased. From her travels and experiences at different shows, she said she would choose artists that weren’t necessarily known to the community she was catering to.
That same community supported her when a flood destroyed her original location after about five years.
“We moved across the street and neighbors came out to help us move everything. It was really great,” she recalled.
From wood and ceramics to metals, precious stones and gems, fiber, jewelry and fine arts, Gallery M’s offerings have been vast.
“It’s very sad,” she said of the closing, “because I’ll miss all the fabulous people I’ve met. I was in Greenport before it got really busy … the hardest thing is to say ‘goodbye’ to some of the people that I’d see all the time.”
Ms. Eisenberg is hoping to get the gallery closed by the end of this month, as long as she is able to sell off her inventory.
Still, she said, “I’m just ready to start another facet of my life. I’m looking to do something different. I did this business when I turned 50, and now, I’m 71 and I’m ready for the next part of my life.”
She doesn’t foresee herself opening another business because, she said, life is too short. She said the community made 20 years fly by and for that, she thanks Greenport.
As for her health, “I’m better,” she said. “As long as I’m pushing the daisies up from this side, not the other, I’m fine.”
The gallery is offering a 30% off sale on its entire selection of jewelry, ceramics, woodwork, glasswork and fiber, with an additional 10% off for cash sales. It will be open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.