For three months, the town of Alderson has revolved around flood clean up. Mayor Travis Copenhaver says the whole town has pulled together to bounce back. While a lot of work still has to be done to homes, streets, and infrastructure, Copenhaver is taking a moment to look at the silver lining- that some businesses are reopening left and right.
“In a weeks time, businesses that were affected were fully operational,” he says.
But not every business was that lucky. The nonprofit Alderson Artisans Gallery was one of those places. Their permanent gallery was completely destroyed. “It is a total wreck. The whole downstairs is destroyed. We will have to gut the building,” says gallery manager Jo Perez.
Perez stressed that they worked quickly to save all of the art inside saying, “People came in and they started grabbing things. I said put things in boxes, we put things up as high as we could.”
So they took that merchandise and opened a smaller, temporary store in the Alderson Visitors Center just down the street. While there is still a lot of work to be done, Perez says it was important to remain open- at least to some degree. “There’s a lot of love here in Alderson for this town, and a lot of really good energy here. I think that the message we’ve been getting is that people want us back. So we’re working hard to do that.”
Since they are a nonprofit, run by volunteers, the Alderson Artisans Gallery is looking for donations to help in their rebuilding process. You can find the link to donate at www.aldersongallery.com.