By Diane Y. Welch
Art lovers, sports enthusiasts and ambassadors for the Challenged Athletes Foundation will gather at the opening of Colosseum Fine Arts, 7946 Ivanhoe in La Jolla, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 23.
The evening will include a visit by NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton, and an exhibition of artist Danny Day’s work — capturing classic sporting greats. According to gallery vice-president Richard Sertucha, some proceeds will benefit CFA, an organization that provides limb prostheses, opportunities, and support to those with physical disabilities.
Sertucha, an avid basketball player, said he’s known Day for two decades. “When I first saw his hyper-realistic paintings of sports figures, I had the idea to showcase them at the gym I attended. Soon the lobby was filled with his work,” Sertucha said. The two became friends, and the exposure soon brought in celebrity clients like Mohammed Ali, Wayne Gretsky, Joe DiMaggio and Michael Jordan. “These pieces are of them and signed by them, so they have tremendous value,” Sertucha pointed out.
A prior exhibition of Day's work in La Jolla included a painting of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who commented, “This looks more like me than me!” recalled Sertucha who was formerly director of Contemporary Fine Arts, and Simic Gallery, resulting in two decades with La Jolla's gallery scene.
Sertucha's collaboration with Day has resulted in some prior creative show receptions. When Day created “Eyes of Africa,” a series of wildlife paintings, celebrity zoologist Joan Embery attended with a live, six-foot cheetah and an aardvark. Another show brought in famed driver Carroll Shelby and 20 Cobra racing cars parked in front of the gallery.
“So we can see that over the years, Danny's work has evolved in subject matter,” Sertucha said. Colosseum Fine Arts will spotlight Day's retrospective work and also his latest series, “Romantic Realism.”
“These are just beautiful pieces depicting mothers, and daughters and babies. Each one takes a month to paint, there's so much detail. And people often think these are photographs, the work is so fine, but these are oils on canvas,” Sertucha said.
The founder and president of Colosseum Fine Arts, Inc. is artist Floyd Elmore, 28. ”When he asked me to join his gallery, six months ago, I agreed on condition of finding suitable gallery space,” Sertucha said. The showroom opened this spring and has joined several other galleries on Ivanhoe, to rival Prospect and Girard, as the location for fine art.
Elmore has additional Colosseum Fine Arts locations in Los Angeles and downtown San Diego. His company represents celebrity artists like British actress Jane Seymour, whose art will also be on display at the opening; the work of old master artists; and the work of emerging artists. The opening reception will also show works by Vanderputten, Cortes, Roulette, Vachagan, and Simic.
Reception reservations: (619) 795-3704;