Business Spotlight: The La Jolla Gallery offers fresh perspectives for refined collectors



Elisabeth King, co-owner of The La Jolla Gallery, said she wants to shake things up on the La Jolla art scene. “I’m trying to set a new trend by bringing La Jolla art collectors here to discuss being intrigued by art and loving it, and understanding it without having a curator or staff member on hand to tell you why you should like it,” she said. “If you’re going to hang something in your home, I want you to be just as excited about it every day as you were when you first saw it in the gallery.”

King said she grew up in an artistic family of seven where everyone was involved in the arts, including her mother who owned galleries. Her own talent, she said, was learning how to explain art — not make it, so she can describe each piece in her gallery to visitors without any pressure on them to buy something.

King attended UC Santa Barbara, where she earned a degree in the history of art and architecture. After graduation, she worked in galleries as an art consultant representing their artists. She became friends with one of the gallery clients, La Jollan Jack McGrory, who is now her gallery co-owner. She also worked as a corporate art consultant.

“I traveled a lot when I worked and that exposed me to the world of art at large,” King said. “I was constantly aware of the need to collect art that was not only beautiful, but art I was continuing to see at art fairs and galleries,” she said, adding she was drawn to high-profile art that she never saw in San Diego, but in San Francisco and New York City.

“There’s a void of that kind of work in La Jolla, and I want to fill that void. I feel like it’s my job to bring it here,” King said.

While The La Jolla Gallery’s art is very unconventional mixed media, all of the artists shown are classically trained. They are using new techniques that are exciting for collectors.

“As an example,” King said, “We’ve invited the artist Jerome Lucani from the East Coast for a special collector’s dinner and an exhibition of his work, mid-September. He creates large-scale photo mosaics of icons like Audrey Hepburn. Each mosaic is comprised of about 500 pieces of small photos.”

— For the biographies and views of other artists represented, visit or stop by The La Jolla Gallery, 1274 Prospect St. in La Jolla. Hours: noon to 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday. (858) 263-4715.

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