Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"A Merry Gathering" with Michael Summers: Featured Artist Launch Party!

Artist Michael Summers with SD Bay Wine & Food Festival poster,  A Merry Gathering
On Thursday, May 19th, Exclusive Collections Gallery was proud to host the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival Featured Artist Launch Party in the Historic Gaslamp District.  EC Gallery artist Michael Summers has been carefully selected as the Poster Artist for this year's event, and consequently created an original work of art to represent the Festival.

True to his "American Surrealist" style, Michael Summers's acrylic painting entitled A Merry Gathering transports the viewer to the fun and excitement that has been a part of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, and will be for the eighth year this November, 2011.  The painting depicts San Diego's iconic Coronado bridge cutting through the clear blue Southern California skyline above a blissful outdoor feast.  Guests at EC Gallery enjoyed the classic elegance of food, wine, and great company that Michael Summers has depicted in A Merry Gathering.

In an unique combination of art collectors, wine lovers, bloggers, and foodies, gallery visitors came together for one night to celebrate Michael Summers's great achievement as the Festival's Featured Artist.  Guests enjoyed complementary tastings by Ahnfeldt Wines and Carpathian Wines, both participants in the Festival as well.  Michael spoke about the creation of the Festival poster's original, and unveiled the final painting! 

The Festival's poster art has been just the beginning of Michael Summers's recent artistic successes.  All party attendees were entered into a drawing to win Michael Summers's new Fine Art Limited Edition entitled, Seeking Balance.  Known primarily for his original acrylic paintings on board, Michael Summers's Seeking Balance was chosen to be printed in a limited edition of fifty paintings.  Because collectors have found Seeking Balance so highly desirable, it seems only fair to allow the painting to be shared in this way.  There was only one condition requested by the artist:
"I would only agree to selling fine art limited editions if I could personally hand-embellish each and every one of them," said Michael Summers.

It is his personal attention and dedication to each of his creative paintings that attracts collectors to his work.  His hand-embellished details in acrylic provide texture and vivacity to the customized painting.  In this way, each edition of "Seeking Balance" is unique.
Seeking Balance by Michael Summers

Congratulations to John, the winner of the Featured Artist Launch Party drawing!  We at EC Galleries hope that you enjoy Seeking Balance!

As the Featured Artist at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, Michael Summers will attend the Reserve & New Release Tasting and Grand Tasting Event.  The poster will be available for sale and Summers will be present to sign copies and present his most recent works of art.  At the Celebrity Chef Luncheon & AIWF Big Bottle Live Auction on Sunday, November 20, Michael Summers will preside as emcee.  For those interested in acquiring the original painting of A Merry Gathering that was unveiled at the Launch Party this May, the painting will be auctioned there as well.

To see a selection of Michael Summers's available paintings, visit Exclusive Collections Galleries or go to www.ecgallery.com.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Passion of Life: Master Royo Returns to San Diego!

At Exclusive Collections Galleries, May means International Artist's Month!

Royo, one of EC Galleries' most distinguished artists, joined us from Valencia, Spain for a three-day show at Exclusive Collections Gallery in Fashion Valley Shopping Center May 13-15.

"Royo is discussed in the finest art galleries in the world as one of the greatest figurative painters of all time.  His international gallery presence can be found from Geneva to London, Tokyo to San Diego, New York and Chicago, along with Mexico.  Royo's collectors hail his genius as paintings are rare, demand is high, and the sales of his art are swift" (Off the Easel Magazine).

Royo exhibited his most recent collection of original oil paintings for his beloved collectors, signed copies of his book Utopia, and personally dedicated his paintings to their new owners.

Royo, preparing to write a personal dedication to a collector
Royo's publisher of sixteen years, Greg Bloch, said of the artist, "Unlike any other painter that I have seen, Pepe dedicates his attention to one painting at a time, from start to finish.  He gets up every day with the intention of doing his very best work."  As an inspiration to us all, Royo's beautiful Impressionist oil paintings remind us to live our lives with the intention of doing better, working harder, each and every day.

Master Royo with his interpreter, Mireya, and his US agent, Greg Bloch
On Friday and Saturday evenings, Royo's devoted collectors enjoyed Spanish tapas and the Flamenco guitar of Anthony Garcia and Juan Moro.  Of the show, Royo expressed his delight and gratitude to everyone who appreciates his talent.  Royo took time out of the busy evening to thank his collectors and share with them the love that he has for his vocation.  Through his interpreter, Mireya, he said,

"To be an artist is a privilege.  They used to say in ancient Greece, 'When the gods gave you talent, they also gave you a whip!'  Privilege comes together with sacrifice.  It is a privilege to be a painter, but [I have] the obligation to do better every day.  Talent is not free.  You have to work at it every day."

Flamenco guitarist Anthony Garcia with Master Royo
On Sunday evening, Royo's collectors joined the artist in an exclusive dinner and musical accompaniment at Trattoria La Bocca in San Diego's Downtown Gaslamp District.

Master Royo, with his wife, Margarita, and art consultants Sarah and Keegan

It is a great honor to have Master Royo visit Exclusive Collections Gallery, and we look forward to seeing him again in another two years.

Thank you, Master Royo!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

ARTWALK with EC Galleries!

San Diego could not have asked for better weather for the 27th Annual Mission Federal Artwalk in Little Italy last weekend!

Exclusive Collections Gallery joined the many talented local artists in a celebration and support of the arts, featuring live painting demonstrations by Gloria Lee, Michael Summers, Michael Flohr, Daniel Ryan, and Christopher M.

Gallery patrons and new fans alike came out to Little Italy to see the latest and greatest in the art world.  With a great family-friendly, pet-friendly venue, everyone came out to enjoy the sunshine, delicious food, music, and beautiful art.

Gloria Lee's Pop Dogs were a huge hit with  the dog lovers!

"Painter of Chefs" Christopher M., paints a new original kitchen scene for all of the Little Italy foodies!

Artist Daniel Ryan personally dedicates the painting, "Northern Spirit", to his collectors.

Artist Michael Summers, recently named Official Poster Artist for the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, finds a home for his new original painting as well.
As always, EC Galleries feel lucky to be "America's Finest Galleries" here in "America's Finest City".  Hope to see you next year at Artwalk!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today's Top Artists At Addison Restaurant

Thursday, March 31 was a night to remember!

Recently named "Today's Top Artists" by Art Business News Magazine, Asencio, Michael Flohr, and Christopher M. invited their favorite collectors at Exclusive Collections Gallery to celebrate with them in an unbelievable culinary adventure at The Grand Del Mar's Addison Restaurant.

- Today's nationally ranked artists Asencio, Flohr, and Christopher M.
- Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef William Bradley
- Wine director Jesse Rodriguez, former head sommelier of French Laundry
- 10 opulent courses and hand-selected wine pairings
- 5 Stars
- 5 Diamonds
- 24 never-before-seen original oil paintings

Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Enjoy at your leisure.

Christopher M. - newly added to the short list of artists to achieve this honorable recognition of "Today's Top Artist"- unveiled several original oil paintings inspired by Bradley, Rodriguez, and Addison's culinary team.  His fine art originals such as "Chef Bradley's Creation", "Masters in Harmony", and "Five Star" were the result of a personal tour of Addison's kitchen and a behind-the-scenes view of the five-star culinary discipline.

New achievements were not reserved just for the artists.

William Bradley, Executive Chef of Addison, is proud to be named one of Relais & Chateaux's Grand Chefs, joining the ranks of Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and many others throughout the world.  Of his work, Bradley says, “I’m driven not by trends, but by purity of flavor. I’m very rooted in tradition and have a huge respect for the past and Mother Nature” (Off the Easel Magazine).

Will Costello, Addison Restaurant's General Manager and gracious host for the evening stated, “It was a pleasure to showcase Addison’s cuisine and service in a masterfully designed Gallery setting. This would be an event I would love to see happen more often.”

EC Gallery heartily agrees; indeed, every beautiful evening should combine the finest in food, wine, and fine art.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Try Your Luck at EC Gallery!

Happy Fat Tuesday!

We hope everyone is having a fun and safe Mardi Gras! Not to gloss over Mardi Gras but St. Patrick's Day is coming up and we have a giveaway for our readers! We are giving away a fine art limited edition print by Michael Flohr entitled "Luck of the Irish."

All you have to do is stop by one of our galleries and mention our Facebook promotion. You will be entered into a drawing to win this amazing prize! This unframed fine art limited edition is valued at $1600, so drop by the galleries often, as you can enter multiple times. The winner will be chosen on March 17th!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to See the World Like Michael Summers

Michael Summers’s recent appearances at EC Gallery's Historic Gaslamp locale was, for many, illuminating.  Patrons of the gallery filtered in throughout the evenings of February 4th and 5th to catch a glimpse of the 36 year old artist at work.  Summers, always engaging and in high spirits, spoke with many in regards to his technique, unique vision and skillful execution.

Typically, Summers creates the scene he intends to paint by grabbing a handful of toys (some of which he's constructed on his own) and placing them in unique juxtapositions....call it 'Summers-Vision'.   While his work can, in a general way, be placed into a pop-surrealist genre, it is inspired from the child within.  Unlike many of the newer artists working within the parameters of those movements, Summers' unique vision is in no way derivative of other artists' works falling within those aforementioned genres.
Summers then photographs the toys and creates for them a backdrop / setting which lends itself to his vision.  Once the photo is complete, Summers then creates a rough sketch on paper.  Michael adds to that sketch, painting sometimes with watercolor and other times using liquid acrylic as his medium.  When he is happy with the preliminary work, he creates a larger piece based on the former.  Recently, Summers has been constructing his pieces on wood, oftentimes incorporating the texture and wood grains into the actual composition of the piece, blending the natural world's aesthetic with his own whimsy.  
The buzz and corresponding demand for his work has grown tremendously.  See for your own eyes the wonder of Michael Summers’s artistic creations by stopping by Exclusive Collections Gallery and/or viewing them on our website at www.ecgallery.com.

Friday, February 4, 2011


It all begins with a stolen glance. A moment shared or a moment felt between two people resonates for sculptor Kira. These “stolen glances” are the emotion behind Kira’s work and what inspires her beautiful bronze pieces. 

Kira sculpted a new clay piece entitled "Precipice" at EC Galleries in Fashion Valley on Saturday, January 29th. As the artist worked, her passion for the piece poured through. This new figure will eventually become a bronze sculpture and is one of her rare works depicting both male and female subjects together. The delicate balance of male and female in the sculpture symbolizes the dichotomy between the two genders and most importantly, the love shared between two people.

Kira is experimenting with new elements in this new piece such as the circle detail which symbolizes faith and eternity, and the integration of other elements such as the sea shells in the base of the sculpture that she collected herself. Every detail in Kira’s work is carefully thought out and every movement she makes while sculpting her pieces shows the effort and perfection that she values in the creative process.

All of Kira’s figures are conceived from her imagination. After working for four years as a professional artist, Kira’s imagination runs wild with this latest piece. It will be available as a limited edition of 25 when completed and with the beauty and emotion already seen in the early stages, it will undoubtedly inspire audiences and fly from the gallery’s shelves.

Kira is a self-taught artist and has had only one teacher, Richard McDonald, who she credits as her main influence. Another influences that Kira credits for inspiring her creativity is the time she spent in Italy where she was honored in Rome as the World’s Premiere Emerging Contemporary Bronze Sculptor. When speaking with Kira and asking what is next for this incredible artist, she pauses, smiles, and whispers “wherever my heart takes me”.

"Precipice" is already in high demand and Kira is taking orders for her upcoming bronze editions. For more information about Kira's artwork, visit EC Gallery at www.ecgallery.com. You are always welcome to view her work in person at Exclusive Collections Gallery in Fashion Valley.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thank you for painting, Michael Flohr!

It is always so much fun when Michael Flohr comes to paint and hang out at Exclusive Collections Gallery!  

On Saturday night, January 15th, Michael was able to finish an original that he had been working on, entitled "Tribute to Bravery."  This painting actually started out as a contest.  Michael did not know what he should paint, so he asked his collectors to choose a subject.  The topic of the Twin Towers came about and was chosen!  The collector who suggested the idea is an airline pilot who flies out of JFK in New York.  Everyday he would drive accross the Verrizanno Bridge on his way to the airport and would see the World Trade Centers, towering over the city.  After 9-11, there was a void in the city that many people could feel in thier own lives.  Our collector wanted this painting as a remembrance.  It was Michael's first piece depicting the World Trade Centers, which reminded us all how the strength of the American people still stands almost ten years later.

On Wednesday night, January 19th, Michael came to the EC Gallery in Gaslamp again for the Gaslamp Quarter Locals and Lifestyle Tour.

He started a new mini original of the Museum of Man and tower at Balboa Park.  When he started, his canvas was completely red!  He then uses many layers in his technique, but will scratch out certain areas where he wants that bright red to show through.  It was so amazing!  That original is not yet finished, but it already looks wonderful!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bella Hearts

Valentine’s Day.... a holiday that usually gets a bad rap as the “commercial holiday” where candy and card companies make millions marketing to the love between couples.

Often times we forget that Valentine’s Day is supposed to be filled with love and appreciation for all the people in our lives and is a time to celebrate these meaningful relationships.  These people can include your friends, family, often times a significant other, or even your loveable house pet.  The Bella Hearts collection is made by three generations of beautiful artists; daughter, mother, and grandmother, and symbolizes the original sentiments of Valentine’s Day. 

The three generations of women, grandmother Gloria Lee, daughter Ruth-Ann Thorn, and grand-child Isabella Thorn, all contribute their artistic talents to create a truly special work. Each Bella Heart is a handmade original and made with the infused love of family. 

The various color palettes range from bold pinks to pastel greens and are the perfect way to show your love towards someone special in your life. Add a custom message to personalize your Bella Heart and surprise someone with a unique and unforgettable Valentine’s Day gift.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Come Paint With Me: Masterpiece Mondays

The New Year is bringing many exciting events to EC Gallery, and we were very happy to begin 2011 with the perfect opportunity to get to know our artists: Masterpiece Mondays. Designed as a way to extend the weekend just a little longer, Masterpiece Mondays provides the opportunity for gallery visitors to roll up their sleeves and paint with the expertise of a professional artist at hand. At our opening event this past Monday evening, January 3rd, our visitors found out what it is like to pick up a brush and got to know the minds and hearts behind the canvas.

As a group, consultants, artists, collectors, and passers-by collaborated with the hosting artist at each gallery to create an original work of art. 

EC Seaport Village Gallery with Daniel Ryan

In Seaport Village, Daniel Ryan set up a still life vase and invited others up to the Artist Stage to help him make the bright yellow sunflowers really come to life on the canvas. Visitors enjoyed appetizers and drinks throughout the night, courtesy of EC Gallery.

EC Fashion Valley Gallery with Christopher M.

Shoppers at Fashion Valley Mall on Monday were pleased to stop in at Exclusive Collections Gallery and have a hand in making a one-of-a-kind work of art in collaboration with “Painter of Chefs” artist Christopher M. He helped the gallery guests with a beautiful painting depicting wine bottles and glasses. Cheers!

EC Historic Gaslamp Gallery with Michael Summers

The bustling Gaslamp District brought shoppers, diners, and budding artists to EC Gaslamp Gallery’s inviting easel. Michael Summers showed us how to have fun and stay young with art, helping us paint a scene of elephants, dinosaurs, and pirates.

At the end of the night, everyone signed the canvas and each gallery location hosted a drawing to decide who got to take the painting home. Congratulations to the three who won this month! To participate in any future Masterpiece Mondays, visit any of our three galleries on the first day of each month from 6-8pm. Bring your friends and family!

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