“Highest quality is the most important,” said Portico Gallery Fine Art owner Jordan Pope. With clients ranging from weekend tourists to longtime residents, Pope keeps her five-year-old Montecito gallery stocked with original works from nationally known, living artists, taking great care to select artwork from the most premiere shows around the country. Five of the featured artists — John Budicin, Jacobus, J. Le Grue, Michael Obermeyer, and Pope, herself a painter — submitted work to the juried show Oil Painters of America, which only includes 2,000 artists in the entire United States. Five from one gallery is rare.
Highlighting familiar landscapes such as Butterfly Beach, the Mission, and the foothills, the gallery’s showcased works include plein air California panoramas, figuratives, and still-life scenes. Styles range from Dirk Foslien’s Old World master technique with precise realism to Budicin’s loose but detailed canvases. Pope also favors Russian-trained Vadim, a transplant to California who has taken full advantage of the warm climate. Pope’s personal artwork falls between plein air and studio painting, a loose, romantic brushstroke focusing on the effects of light.
A veteran gallery owner, Pope managed her Seattle gallery for eight years before moving to Montecito in 2001. With her blonde hair and pleasant personality, Pope easily suits the Golden State landscapes hanging below a white-columned arcade along the wall. Although narrow in theme, Portico’s artwork maintains a professional excellence and stylistic variety sure to fit your fancy. Portico is located at 1235 Coast Village Road. Call 695-8850 or visit porticofineart.com.