{ ART & CULTURE }

A VILLAGE OF GALLERIES

Celebrating La Jolla’s promoters of fine art

Stand on the corner of Girard and Prospect Avenue and start walking. No matter which direction you choose, you’re in for a treat. La Jolla is a treasure trove for art, with more than a dozen art galleries and exhibit spaces displaying fine, fun, and cutting edge works of hundreds of artists from San Diego and every part of the world.

“Art galleries are a main attraction in La Jolla, which draws art connoisseurs and buyers from all around the world,” says Morten Gallery Director Joanna Failla. “There is a diverse group of artists and a large variety of artwork here to meet any art lover’s needs.” Morten Gallery is the forum for the work of  Norman Muller. The gallery brings an international flair to La Jolla Village with its stunning collection of Norman’s oversized oil paintings. He has developed a following with clients who are drawn to the abstract design and amazingly rich colors, as well as the renowned contemporary sculptures of the widely known sculptor, Miki.

Martin Lawrence Gallery has become a flagship La Jolla gallery. It carries the works of modern masters and contemporary artists and is one of nine Martin Lawrence installations nationwide. “We have been here for more than 40 years,” says Gallery Director Brenda Klippel-Stores. “Our clients are interested in historical favorites like Picasso, Chagall, and Miro as well as contemporary artists like Bertho, Kondakova, and Murakami. We specialize in Pop Art by artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. We have the best collection of Keith Haring and Mark Kostabi artworks from the 1980s.”

Although many artists show their work in exhibits and online, the value of a gallery showing is tremendous. TWA, Twenty Women Artists, is a group of local independent artists who have joined together for support and creative inspiration. The women meet monthly at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library to encourage each other and explore joint opportunities. It was at a meeting in early 2019 when they decided to approach Deborah Williams, who had recently opened Fresh Paint Gallery, to see if she might be interested in sponsoring a group show of their works. Deborah was enthused and, together, they planned 20/20: Twenty Women of Vision, which runs through May 3.

“It’s energizing to be in this community of amazing galleries,” Deborah reports. “Some of my neighbors are known internationally and feature the works of extremely famous artists, while others focus on a type of art. I could see that there was a niche for me as a promoter of lesser known artists and works that are kind of edgy and affordable. The other galleries have been wonderful, and I feel very welcome here.”

Norman Muller painting at Morten Gallery
Norman Muller painting at Morten Gallery
A Miki sculpture and a Norman Muller painting at Morten Gallery
A Miki sculpture and a Norman Muller painting at Morten Gallery

Deborah says a healthy mix of locals and out-of-towners come into her gallery and many are repeat visitors. She changes her shows frequently, so there’s always something new to discover.

Diana Carey, one of the TWAs, feels gallery representation is quite important. “It’s where I make most of my sales,” the painter says. “Without sales, I wouldn’t be able to produce art. In the right gallery, my work will be represented well. The gallerist will know about my style, technique, my history, and the selling history of the work and will be able to validate the art and its purchase price.”

Marc Chagall’s The Bay of Angels painting at Martin Lawrence Gallery
Marc Chagall’s The Bay of Angels painting at Martin Lawrence Gallery
Julia C R Gray’s Touch/Don’t Touch Me sculpture at Fresh Paint
Gallery
Julia C R Gray’s Touch/Don’t Touch Me sculpture at Fresh Paint Gallery
Philippe Bertho’s POP 2017 archival pigment print at Martin Lawrence Gallery
Philippe Bertho’s POP 2017 archival pigment print at Martin Lawrence Gallery