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GALLERY REMODEL

Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot 

Quorum Art Gallery celebrates anniversary in its new-look home

 Kathleen Luppi Contact Reporter

After running out of wall space, the artists at Quorum Art Gallery in Laguna Beach decided it was time for their growing collection to have an upgraded home.
So they embarked on a space-altering redo of the North Pacific Coast Highway site and are now ready to celebrate this new chapter in the gallery’s long history.
To mark its 53rd anniversary in the Laguna Beach art scene, Quorum’s 11 artists and one guest artist will celebrate the recent reopening on Thursday.
“We needed a new look to continue our legacy,” said artist Tim Genet, whose paintings of expressive figures adorn the white walls. “It’s a much better presentation.”

Quorum Art, which claims to be the longest established member-owned gallery in Laguna Beach, has been housed in north Laguna’s historic gallery row for 30 years.
When the gallery took over the store — which was originally a home built about 90 years ago, Genet said — a Z-shaped wall interrupted the flow. Viewers had to maneuver around the obstacle. So the collective agreed to get rid of the clunky Z wall and redo the rest of the space. The shop was closed for construction over Valentine’s Day weekend, and it reopened the first week of March. The refurbished space looks like it somehow doubled in size, Genet said during a tour in early April.
A large window raises the gallery’s visibility. The vibrant colors of the paintings on display stand out against white walls. The hanging system unifies paintings so the display appears more cohesive. And now there is no coveted spot for presenting artwork since all walls are the same size and can hold the same number of canvases.
Art is rotated every two months, and the renovated space allows for the artists to paint on-site, if they wish to do so.
Laguna Beach resident Gail Poltorak has exhibited her oil paintings depicting the beach and nature at Quorum for a year. Having been a guest artist there for six months, Poltorak said she was interested in becoming a member artist because she appreciated the gallery’s camaraderie.

Photographer and digital artist Lu Ross of Laguna Niguel became one of the Quorum’s 11 artists nearly five years ago. She said she preferred working with fellow artists in running the gallery and sharing the expenses, while also interacting with customers interested in a variety of art mediums. Ross’ photography covers culture and nature all over the world, from Laguna Beach landscapes to locations in Yosemite, Jackson Hole, Wyo., Venice, Italy, and many others.

Genet, a Fountain Valley resident who has shown his work at Laguna’s Art-A-Fair festival for 16 years, has been at Quorum for nearly a decade. He has painted landscapes and figures for 43 years and became a plein air painter in 1988.
Tourists typically want to purchase a seascape, Genet said, but there is a piece for everyone since the gallery carries portraits, florals, still lifes, abstracts, and photography, among other mediums.

The artists said they are excited to share the co-operative’s new look with the community during Art Walk when artists share the stories behind their work over wine and appetizers.

“It’s like a family here,” Poltorak said. “We all love Laguna and encourage everyone to support the arts.”

What: Quorum Art Gallery’s grand re-opening
When: 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday
Where: Quorum Art Gallery, 374 N. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach
Information: Call (949) 494-4422 or visit quorumgallery.com

Kathleen Luppi, kathleen.luppi@latimes.com
Twitter: @KathleenLuppi
Copyright © 2016, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot

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