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Poor Sales Cited : Third San Diego Gallery Closing; Another Shifts To 'Popular' Art

August 27, 1987|HILLIARD HARPER | San Diego County Arts Writer

SAN DIEGO — A lack of sales will cause the downtown Natalie Bush Gallery to close in October and La Jolla's Gwidion Gallery to change its focus to "more popular" artworks, the directors of both galleries said this week.

Natalie Bush will be the third gallery in San Diego to succumb this summer because of continuing slow sales. Last month the Patty Aande and Mark Quint galleries, two top San Diego sites featuring works by emerging artists, announced plans to fold their operations. Those galleries are now closed.

Gallery director Natalie Bush will close her gallery at the end of October after an exhibit of works by San Diego artist Daniel Britten. Bush opened the gallery in 1985 after moving here from Santa Barbara, where she had shown art privately.

Here, she exhibited works by Southern California artists such as Diane Gamboa and Daniel Martinez of Los Angeles and Robert Sanchez of San Diego. She plans to retain the gallery space at 908 E St. for private art sales.

Faced with disappointing sales, owners of the Gwidion Gallery, formerly the Paris Green Gallery, will begin to show art that appeals to a broader audience next week, a year after it opened in the new Merrill Lynch Building in La Jolla.

In April, the gallery changed owners and names but continued to show emerging artists, especially local artists.

"I had a little time to stretch and put on some good shows," Gwidion director Cora Boyd said, adding that the exhibits received "great reviews" from critics but had few sales.

Boyd, who was signed by the previous owner as director in December, said, "(The owners) would prefer a more popular direction for the gallery, and so I decided that my job had been completed."

Rebecca Cabo, who begins as the Gwidion Gallery director Tuesday, said she plans to exhibit works by painters and sculptors from Colombia as well as works by San Diego, Los Angeles and Arizona artists.

"I want to have a variety so that there's something there for everybody," Cabo said. "I don't want to get too L.A.-abstract because people here don't understand that. You pretty much have to guess people's taste, what they like and don't like. Maybe if I can work with some decorators, that helps too."

Amid the news of art gallery closings, one positive note has been sounded. A new gallery will open in the spaces being vacated by the Mark Quint Gallery. Painter Rick Jenny confirmed Tuesday that he plans to buck the trend of gallery closings. He will open the Dietrich Jenny Gallery in October in the 9-G Arts Complex at 9th Avenue and G Street.

"I have a tendency to bet on long shots," Jenny said. "San Diego has a lot of culture, the theater's well," and it's growing. "Now it's on an upswing. I think (the gallery closings) are a hesitation, not a collapse of culture here at all."

Leah Goldman contributed to this story.

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