Monday, December 20, 2010

Hisashi Otsuka Returns to San Diego in 2011

EC Gallery has been proud to host many artist appearances and shows this year in 2010.  It is only fitting, therefore, that 2011 may begin with one of the most talented and revered artists of our time: Hisashi Otsuka.

Hisashi Otsuka’s artistic reputation precedes him, for no one else renders their artwork with quite as much fastidious attention to detail. Born in Japan and trained under the Kimono designer Taeko Jo, Otsuka moved to Hawaii to become a professional artist, and now lives in Paris many years later with an established career as one of the finest painters of our time.

Otsuka’s traditional paintings focus upon Japanese bride kimono design, decorative fan design, and historically themed images from Kabuki theatre. Paintings such as 47 Ronin - The Ultimate Vision depict an ancient revenge story. Although Otsuka’s paintings need no supplement, you can find Donald Keene’s translation of of the story, ChÅ«shingura (The treasury of Loyal Retainers) available to preview on Google Books:

It may be easy to consider Otsuka’s art as strictly Japanese, but his vision expands beyond the horizon of traditional styles to include his broader life experiences. Hisashi Otsuka explores various genres, styles, and media, from the traditional Kabuki figures, to modernist Art Deco themes, to landscapes in minute detail. In doing so, he merely proves his fundamental artistic and social sensibility. Like many Americans, Otsuka’s influences are derived from a variety of scenes, an accumulation of images of both Eastern and Western cultures. He depicts what he finds to be beautiful, and in doing so, appeals to those who share his vision. What sets him apart in this aspect, however, is the undeniable discipline of his former training with which he executes his talented paintings. In his newest collection of works, his crisp landscapes convey his appreciation for travel, nature, and observation.

Otsuka holds a special relationship with Exclusive Collections Gallery as the one artist with whom the gallery has worked the longest. It is truly an honor to welcome him back to San Diego and learn from him as he unveils his latest body of work. Experience his legendary paintings at Fashion Valley Gallery, January 1st from 6-9pm and January 2nd from 12-5pm. RSVP at or call (800) 599-7111.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Metaphorical Journey with Vladimir Kush

What if God was... a flower? Maybe you never imagined Jesus as a sunflower before, but when Vladimir Kush reinvents da Vinci’s Last Supper, it starts to make sense.

When you see Vladimir Kush’s artwork, you know that there is much more to a painting than meets the eye. That is why visitors at Exclusive Collections Gallery in Fashion Valley were so honored to meet Vladimir Kush in person on October 8th and 9th and listen to his unique explications of his work.
On Friday and Saturday night, art collectors and their families had the chance to meet the artist, and even buy signed copies of his books and his calendar. Vladimir Kush, wearing a self-designed pendant and accompanied by his poet father, took the time to present his famous prints and groundbreaking originals. The evening’s gathering granted the perfect opportunity to divulge upon themes of balance, discovery, and the individual journey.
Vladimir Kush, described as a “true prodigy”, defines the artistic genre of “metaphorical realism” through his paintings such as Orchid Family Rollercoaster and Daisy Games. His vision draws from the mythology, customs, and traditions of various countries and cultures, identifying with the human ability to project significance onto an image through metaphor and symbol. The paintings allow for a great deal of interpretation, appealing to the imagination and sense of wonder.
EC Galleries hopes that you enjoyed Kush’s show, and hope to see you out at our Fashion Valley location again in the first week of November for the 4th Annual Miniature Show, Nov. 5, 6, and 7. For updates on this event and those in the future, visit or

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dale TerBush as "The Artist of Light"

Some people are just born with talent. Dale TerBush is one of those people, and he demonstrated that talent through his art show at Exclusive Collections Gallery.

The intimate show took place on the Saturday evening of September eighteenth at Exclusive Collections Gallery in Fashion Valley. A gargantuan canvas dominated the room, in front of which sat Dale TerBush, self-taught painter of fifty-six years. Painting nonstop, he shared his experiences as an artist, discussing his preference for acrylics, his beginning at the age of five, and his passion for writing and the arts. Guests enjoyed the opportunity to converse one-on-one with the painter, ask him questions, and take pictures.

The six-by-ten foot canvas mesmerized the onlookers with its painstaking detail and its representation of light and depth. Observing his work, I immediately recalled Edmund Burke’s On the Sublime and the Beautiful: “Mere light is too common a thing to make a strong impression on the mind, and without a strong impression nothing can be sublime. But such a light as that of the sun, immediately exerted on the eye, as it overpowers the sense, is a very great idea. It is with this strong impression that the viewer is spellbound, as Dale Terbush constructs a scene harvested from the sun’s outstretched rays. His images are like a dream, in that they seem so convincingly real, yet like nothing seen before.

TerBush’s landscapes appeal to the imagination with their inception in the mind of the artist. Upon seeing the amount of detail granted to each square inch of that impressive canvas, it becomes difficult to believe that the landscape does not exactly imitate some real location abroad. The artist explained how many people claim that they know where one of his mountains exists, but he always denies that possibility. He rationalizes that upon looking at one of his paintings, their emotions draw them back to a memory of some similar place. After all, with an image so lifelike, it is easy to be drawn in to Dale TerBush’s creative mindset.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Asencio's "Allegro"

"It's about the essence," explained Henry Asencio of his newly unveiled production entitled "Mistral". Indeed, the painting captures the ephemeral quality of a fleeting moment in time, as the guests at his show, "Allegro", witnessed firsthand.

The night of August twenty-seventh at Fashion Valley’s Exclusive Collections Gallery featured the performing talents of painter Henry Asencio with flamenco guitarist David Maldonado. Widely known for his contemporary figures, the guests meandered through the gallery to enjoy his works on display and meet the artist in person. The festivities spilled outside into the warm summer evening for the live event, and in three captivating fifteen-minute intervals, Asencio brought a new work of art into the world.

The artist’s brushstrokes rose and fell with the rhythmic dexterity of a flamenco dancer. I could not help but imagine myself in his place: staring at a blank canvas in the middle of an expectant crowd, hoping to pull a white rabbit out of a black top hat, or at least that artistic equivalent. Surely, so many people are only a distraction to creating fine art.

However, as time went on and the form of a beautiful girl began to materialize next to its living counterpart, I began to sense a connection between the artist and his enraptured audience. Henry Asencio drew encouragement from his onlookers and thrived on their hushed murmurs. We all felt invested in his work, and took the moment to heart. I had a poignant realization that this painting was a direct product of not only the model, but all of its surroundings. A collective gasp from the surrounding onlookers confirmed my feeling as an unruly gust of summer wind attempted to send the canvas to the floor and add its own touch to the newly finished painting. Luckily, the gallery co-owner, Ruth-Ann Thorn, leaped upon the stage to intervene.

Interludes between these performing sessions found Asencio deep in conversation with his guests. He would stand next to a piece, paint still smudged on his hands, and point out the greater intricacies of his work. He invited everyone to stand as close as possible, to really examine their details. I listened as he pointed to the background of a painting, comparing the color to that of a plum; not just the purplish mauve of a plum, but its covering of dust that must be wiped off, the shiny skin underneath, and that juicy first bite. He stepped back and said, “And so I was inspired by a plum,” then he laughed as he focused on the figure in the foreground, “and a woman.”

Henry Asencio’s show that night made me reexamine my relationship to art. It reminded me that fine art does not begin as an antique, its artist honored in posthumous fame. For those who proudly walked away with a new painting from the “Allegro” show also walked away with a story, a memory of their night, and a personal relationship with the artist. Asencio’s paintings capture the dynamic, fleeting quality of time. In this way, he reminds us that we must actively capture our own moments, and take pleasure in the present. Feeling truly privileged to have witnesses the creation of a painting in front of my very eyes, I can say that I have done just that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Michael Flohr named "Best Local Artist"!

On April 20, Michael Flohr was honored by Ranch & Coast Magazine as “Best Local Artist” in San Diego! The evening event took place at The Grand Del Mar, which provided an elegant and luxurious setting for this special occasion, offering stunning views of the resort’s Aria Lawn and Golf Course. Amazing signature cocktails and a decadent selection of hors d’oeuvres, cheeses and culinary treats were served! Mia Stefanko, R&C’s editor, did a fabulous job planning this lavish event!

Michael was joined by dozens of other honorees, each being recognized as the “Best” within their respective categories which included Home & Garden, Fashion, Dining, Health & Beauty, Family, Education, Pets, Travel, Transportation, Events & Entertaining, People and Guest Favorites. Thanks San Diego (and Ranch & Coast readers in particular) for voting Michael as your favorite local artist and for awarding him this exciting honor! Get ready for “Off to the Races” – Michael’s new series of original paintings, which will be revealed at his upcoming show this JUNE. Stay tuned for details!

ArtWalk 2010!

Exclusive Collections Galleries had the pleasure of exhibiting at the 2010 San Diego Mission Federal ArtWalk! The gallery has been an active participant and sponsor since its inception over 10 years ago. Gallery Owner James Thorn states, "I remember our first year with ArtWalk, we met some of our best collectors at that show!"

This year's ArtWalk was very exciting for Exclusive Collections Galleries because we had 5 artists in attendance, and 3 of those artists performing live paintings demonstrations! Our newest artist, Daniel Ryan, made his debut at ArtWalk this year, and received a tremendous amount of response! "Painter of Chefs" Christopher M. was featured on Fox News, and artist-in residence Michael Summers experienced a very large amount of interest.

The most endearing works of art were found at the very end of the booth by artist Gloria Lee, known mainly for her Pop Dogs art line. This year Lee introduced a new line entitled "Bella Hearts". They are created as a team by Gloria, her daughter Ruth-Ann, and 3 year-old granddaughter Isabella. The collaboration of the three generations of artists brought many oohs and aahs.

Exclusive Collections Galleries plans to be back at ArtWalk in September at the ArtWalk on the Bay!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Daniel Merriam Has Done It Again!

The Daniel Merriam Show at Exclusive Collections Fashion Valley Gallery was a marvelous success! Daniel and his beautiful wife Yulia are truly as lovely and intriguing as Daniel's original paintings. If you were unable to make it to the show, some of Daniel’s new originals from the series are still available online for viewing!
Daniel is currently hard at work on another sculpture to compliment his first piece entitled, "Little Bastadius” and he is just beginning to cast the first of the new series. Daniel is wonderful about spending time with his returning collectors, as well as excited to meet new visitors as well. He is always happy to take the time to write a special dedication for any of his collectors, whether it be signing one of his books, or the back of an original painting. It’s evident that Daniel is grateful for all of his collectors and their incredible support. Keep your eyes open for Daniel's new paintings, as they make their way around each of our exciting gallery locations! If you have any questions please feel free to contact us, and we'll be happy to assist any way we can!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Guests got "Lost in Venice" with Steven Quartly

Steven Quartly charmed our collectors with his most recent series of paintings, entitled “Lost in Venice”. In what may very well have been some his best work to date, the evening commenced as Venetian opera masks were handed out upon entering the show. The Italian themed food and Chianti were displayed with a dramatic old-world backdrop, and two Italian opera singers performed live to heighten the overall experience. Steven Quartly was in the center of the gallery and painted a stunning and quite large Venetian scene as guests watched on. As we witnessed him place the color on canvas with effortless ease, he spoke about the composition and the importance of light. He also shared with us his remembrance of traveling to Venice and how much joy it brought him to capture it again through that particular piece of work. Not surprisingly, it was sold almost immediately!

All who were there to experience this special show at EC Gallery had the rare opportunity to become lost themselves… lost in the beauty of the canvases, lost in the surrounding voices of Italian opera singers, and finally, lost in the overall emotion of the weekend.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Successful Pairing of Art & Food

February ended on a delicious high note for EC Gallery and lovers of the culinary arts. Christopher M., "The Painter of Chefs", unveiled several brand new originalsit was a smashing success!

Having had the chance to speak with Christopher and get his personal perspective on how he feels about his most recent body of work, it’s quite clear that he is not an artist consumed with himself. In fact, Christopher explained that he does not consider any of his paintings truly complete until they are framed and in someone's home. This is all part of his plan to accomplish "synchronicity."

He draws a parallel between wine pairing with an exquisite meal and art that compliments and enriches a person's home. He explains, "Sometimes 2+2=5. This happens when the culmination of individual parts is greater than the whole. The painting should pair with a collector's life and home just the same way that a wine would pair with a meal."

Mr. Douglas Hill, Founder and Owner of Hill Family Estates Vineyards, was also in attendance. Christopher recently embarked on a 3-day tour of the Napa Valley, meeting some of the most talented and celebrated winemaking legends of our time, including Douglas. At the show, Christopher completed a special drawing just for him and presented it as a surprise.

In early April, Christopher will be jetting off to Atlanta to work with Chef Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill (who also recently came in third on BRAVO TV’s acclaimed "Top Chef")! Keep your eyes open for more of Christopher's work to come!

It's difficult to view Christoper's work and not feel the flurry of emotions that is presented in each dramatic scene. When viewing Christopher's pieces, one is often reminded of the joyful feelings that are experienced when sitting down to a lovely meal with close friends and family. EC Gallery is thrilled to have wrapped up yet another exceptional presentation of beautiful, original works from this talented artist. Come see us again soon! We are located at Fashion Valley, the Historic Gaslamp Quarter on 5th and Market, and Seaport Village!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Group Sculpture Show at EC Seaport Village!

During the last weekend in January, EC Gallery hosted the Group Sculpture Show! David Bruce was a major highlight displaying several of his incredible frog sculptures. Having had the chance to speak with David personally about the inspiration behind his animated and enduring frog collection, he explained that he chose frogs because they represent a healthy and stable environment. All of the frogs’ poses were inspired by friends or family. He has frogs that read, dance and even meditate. Bruce practices yoga every morning, and feels it is a powerful contribution to his happiness and peace in life.
David's frogs certainly were not lonely at the show, as they were accompanied by many other beautiful sculptures as well! EC provided a garden of breathtaking Tuan sculptures, which truly must be seen in person to fully appreciate. Each one of Tuan's bronze creations is a celebration of the human spirit and life. We are at once filled with a feeling of tranquility and peace when viewing the graceful curves and impeccable composition of each of Tuan's creations. Most recently, Tuan just finished a 15-foot Vietnam War Memorial for the city of Westminister, California. His work has been exhibited throughout Southern California including the Bowers Museum, Pasadena Museum of Art, and the MOCA Museum. Additionally, Tuan’s sculptures have been slated for the permanent collection at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Staying with the sculpture theme, Loet Vanderveen had an entire table of his sleek, enchanting cats on display. A native of Holland, Vanderveen grew up very close to a zoo where he spent much of his free time and where he fell in love with the animals. It was not until much later into his adult life that he was able to attain private training in ceramics for several years, which led to his creations he makes today. His unique style is appreciated by collectors worldwide.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Started out Right!

"Happy New Year!" - words we all know and have heard repeatedly. However at EC's Seaport Village Gallery this saying has proved itself so far! The Year started out for us with Hawaaiian Seascape Realist, Walfrido Garcia, setting up his easel and canvas to demonstrate for his fans and collectors that there are no gimmicks behind his moonlit seascapes - it's all skill and talent he's perfected and mastered over the last 20 years. We at EC were honored to have Walfrido in the Gallery on January 2nd (most people would take the Holiday off, but Walfrido preferred to spend the day with his collectors). He struck up great conversations with us - it's amazing to listen to him speak and paint the most amazing waves at the same time! By days end Walfrido had produced a gorgeous painting, and true to form left a packed Gallery speechless. Make sure you come by Seaport Village and see the current display of Walfrido Garcia originals and Hand-Embellished Fine Art Limited Editions. Aloha!