By the end of this month, Quint Gallery at 7547 Girard Ave. will close its 3,000 square-foot space for good. Departing the Village after five years, owner Mark Quint will focus on a new project space in the Bay Ho area of San Diego (east of La Jolla), called Quint Projects, at 5171 Santa Fe St.
“(The new location) is a storage space I’ve had for the last four months that I also use to stage large installations where artist come and do big pieces that aren’t for sale. It’s about three times the size of this space, and will allow me to do more of the larger pieces I want to do,” he said.
The first installation was an immersive sound piece by Finnbogi Pétursson. Currently on display is a floor-to-ceiling painting by Jean Lowe and Kim MacConnel called “The Museum of Metropolitan Art,” which will remain on display until Sept. 24. The installation makes the wall of the new facility look like the wall of a museum with slightly blurred paintings.
But other reasons for the move, he said, include the high cost of rent in the Village and changes in management.
“I had a gallery director who was with me for 12 years, but was recently hired by a gallery in New York. While he was running things, I had been pulling back a little — not coming into the gallery as much, working on other projects, collecting art — and letting him run things, but with him gone, it’s pulled me back in,” he explained.
Again in charge, Quint said, “I want to do this right. I want to do more installation art, larger-scale pieces and residencies for artists, which is easier in the new space.”
Joking that moving around “is not a new thing” for him, Quint said he has moved the gallery several times in the last 36 years. “I started the gallery in 1981 in a small space on La Jolla Boulevard and have had 10 or 12 locations across San Diego since then,” he said.
And while the La Jolla location was great for exposure, Quint said there isn’t a prevalent walk-in clientele, “People come here because they know there is a piece of art they want to see or an artist they want to see. And they have already been coming to the new show space.”
A La Jolla resident, Quint said he will remain active in Village, and contribute to a show at the Athenaeum Music & Arts library in November.
Still, Athenaeum executive director Erika Torri said she was “shocked” by the closure and with it “an era comes to an end,” she said.
Torri said she has known Quint for more than 30 years. “Mark has a great eye and he gathered an excellent group of local and national, as well as international gallery artists around him. He introduced us to the best. He supported local artists; he brought them to the forefront and made them known nationally; he set the standard for art made in San Diego and continuously improved it,” she said. “He is a friend, a colleague and a mentor and the idea of not having a Quint Gallery around is a tremendous loss for me and I am sure for all other collectors who had the pleasure to work with him.”