Pacific Edge Celebrates 30 Years
Back in 1987 a young art consultant looked around his adopted home of Laguna Beach and saw an opportunity. While thousands of tourists flocked to the summer art festivals to meet local artists and see their work, few of the local galleries showed these painters the rest of the year.
Three decades later, Pacific Edge Gallery is known as the home of some of Laguna’s best artists. Beginning with contemporary Impressionist Maria Bertran, then adding nationally known realist Tom Swimm, contemporary Expressionist Sandra Jones Campbell, and plein air virtuosos Jacobus Baas and Bryan Mark Taylor, the gallery now attracts collectors from around the world interested in seeing established painters who have remained true to their personal visions.
Paul Jillson was that consultant, a professional musician who had taken a day job in an art gallery in order to live in his favorite place, Laguna Beach. Finding that he had a talent for selling artwork, he opened Pacific Edge Gallery as a showcase for local artists whose work he believed in.
Inspired by Bertran’s bold version of Impressionism, he filled the gallery in the landmark Villa Building across the Main Beach with her work. It was an immediate success, and Pacific Edge soon outgrew its small space, moving to a larger showcase farther south on Pacific Coast Highway.
“The continuing success of the gallery,” Jillson explains, “relies on the loyalty and commitment of the uniquely talented painters who make Pacific Edge their home. I believe that by putting them first, the gallery is always filled with fresh paintings that will entice new collectors.”
There have been many changes over the past three decades, but the constant at Pacific Edge is the quality of the gallery’s artists and their works. Four of them still maintain studios in Laguna Beach and plan to attend and show their latest paintings at a special anniversary exhibition on Sunday, February 26, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Pacific Edge Gallery
540 Pacific Coast Highway, No. 112