Made for More: Artists work together at unique co-op in Tehachapi

Made For More

Adventist Health and KGET want to honor those who make Kern County a better place to live. Including those who make it more beautiful through their works of art sold at a unique shop tucked away in downtown Tehachapi.

Walking through downtown Tehachapi, it would be easy to pass by the corner shop with the sign reading: Gallery ‘N’ Gifts. But if you step inside, you’ll realize, this is no average souvenir store. It’s a gift shop where your present is just as important as its past. “It started in the 70’s. It’s always been an art co-op where the artists show the art they’ve handcrafted. Everyone is local in the Tehachapi area and we all take turns working in the shop,” says Amanda Tomlinson, who makes jewelry.

From the eclectic… to the unexpected, you’ll find a little bit of everything here. “Beautiful stained glass and beautiful photography on metal that really pops out. We have five jewlers,” says Tomlinson. “Eerything from ceramics, oil, watercolor, photography, hand sewn dolls, Tehachapi Candle Company…” says Kris Gruben, who dabbles in several different mediums. The shop up front, filled with gift baskets, toys, hand-knit blankets and ornate cutting boards, gives way to the gallery in the back where pottery and paintings adorn the walls. The store features a different artist every month, alongside their regulars.

Both Tomlinson and Gruben applied after moving to town a few years back and discovering the unique store. Altogether there are 30 artists who feature their work at the shop. There are newer faces like Gruben and Tomlinson, and some who have been there since the beginning. All drawing inspiration from the small mountain town and the surrounding scenery. Showing off its beauty as the land of four seasons, and apparently, many unique talents.

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