Page 70 - Galveston Monthly - September 2017

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really bad part of town,” Milton explains.
In the 1890s, the building was sold to German immigrant Michael W. Shaw who
owned the most extensive jewelry business in southeast Texas. His jewelry store
was located at 23
and Avenue B. Not liking the sound of “Avenue B,” he began
calling the street “Strand” after a famous street in London, hoping to lend an air of
sophistication to his shop.
Soon he had other shop owners adopting the name. Today, the Strand Historic
District is a well-loved national historic landmark.
Shaw would also ultimately influence the name of the building on 25
and Market.
Listed today on the National register of Historic Places as the “M.W. Shaw building,”
this commercial structure would go on to survive the great 1900 Storm and a full
century of change before falling into the hands of its current owner.
Like the building itself, Mr. Ausherman’s story is one of adaptability. After being a
waiter for ten years, Milton was tired of it. In the last days of 1990, he drove from
New York, where he had been a waiter at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, to
Galveston and took up residence in the building he had owned for all of those ten
years. “It was during the first Gulf War,”
he remembers, “I was listening to that on
the way down.”
Some friends of his had a wood shop
across the street and he soon found his
real passion. “I
it! They would show
up at 10, I was there every morning at
6, taking all the scrap wood and making
stuff out of it, I just thought it was so
much fun.”
When his friends quit the business he
bought all of their tools, moved them
to the bottom floor of his building, and
continued to build furniture. Luckily, he
had moved his workshop upstairs by the
time Hurricane Ike came through.
“I had my wood shop upstairs, and the
whole downstairs was rented for big
bucks!” he says with a cheeky grin. He
also started refurbishing old furniture he
found anywhere and everywhere, and
today some of those pieces, as well as his
own creations, grace the gallery floor of
Milton’s wife and co-owner of GIANT
Andrea Hunting grew up in Germany.
In college, she studied nutrition and
through her travels developed a
fascination for food. “I’ve always found it
fascinating where other cultures eat, and
how they treat food,” she confides.
She moved to New York where she
vases, and other treasures all chosen by
his wife and co-owner, Andrea Hunting.
India ink line images over acrylic
geometric blocks by artist Marion Mercer
lend a softer side to the exploration of
color interaction, and tie in with the
Japanese ukiyo-e prints, beautifully
detailed artist renderings of animals
Hunting believes could have once been
part of a child’s primer. And over it all
stands the gallery’s namesake: an eight-
foot-tall, bright red robot sculpture that
serves as guardian and mascot of this
modern art venture.
GIANT’s story begins in 1979 when
Milton Ausherman purchased a rundown
building in a neglected part of town. “All
the windows were boarded up, the floors
and roof, everything was a mess,” Milton
remembers. The two-story building had
been erected in 1878, the upper floor
operated as a brothel and the lower floor
housed a cigar shop. “This used to be a
Out & About |
gallery spotlight