Feast for the eyes at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters ‘gallery’ in La Jolla


The October 2018 artists featured at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, 5627 La Jolla Blvd., provide a feast for the eyes along the café “gallery” walls. The collection of mediums and styles includes a captivating six-panel exhibit by Ross McDowell, innovative deconstruction abstracts by Aaron Garretson, and the latest abstract beach scenes by Mayra Navarro, plus whimsical originals by Deb Winger.

Ross McDowell comes from a long line of artists as stated in his bio at “I was born on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. I lived a mile down a dirt road in a rural town called Chilmark with amazing, organic stonewalls, sprawling sheep farms and a picturesque fishing village. That’s where I was raised, a wild island child — fishing, swimming, surfing and living life to its fullest!

“At 18, I moved to the island of Oahu in search of perfect waves and a change from the harsh Northeast winter. After slacking off at Hawaii Pacific University for the year, I headed to San Diego to pursue a career in art and I’ve been here ever since.

“My father is a coppersmith and jeweler, and my grandparents were painters, sculptors and folk artists. I strive to be original and to follow my heart when creating a project. Over the years I’ve developed a style that I feel is truly unique to me and I’m very proud of that.”

Aaron Garretson blends his science background with his fine art degree to create an innovative unique style all his own. His bio at explains: “I grew up in San Diego, attending public schools and surfing the breaks between Swami’s and Sunset Cliffs. I studied biochemistry and cell biology at UC San Diego, and then earned an MFA at Columbia University in New York. My early art focused on portraiture and figurative pieces painted with oil pastels.

“Recently, I’ve drifted toward abstract themes, using assemblage and the deconstruction (destruction?) of traditional canvases in an effort to open up space and create new lines.

My art has appeared in the 2016 Southern California/Baja Biennial at the San Diego Art Institute, at the 2017 Juried Biennial at the William D. Cannon Art Gallery in Carlsbad, the 2017 group show Diverge/Convene at the San Diego Art Institute, the Black and White Juried Show at the La Jolla Art Association, and the BasileIE gallery in Barrio Logan.”

Mayra Navarro has been creating and fine tuning her craft year after year. This excerpt from her bio at provides a glimpse into her creative world: “As an internationally-recognized fine artist based in San Diego, I create abstract beach scenes of the contemporary world that allow me to constantly discover attractive and brilliant visuals, inviting the viewer to see the mediums in diverse ways.

“I participate in San Diego’s vibrant Gaslamp Quarter at Sparks Gallery, (housed in the historic Sterling Hardware Building), exhibit solo, and collaborate in the annual A Step Beyond Silent Auction to help expand children’s art education under OBR Architecture, a firm in North Park. I have a BA in Arts and Sciences from San Diego State University in San Diego.”