Ready for a change, Balboa Island resident leaves corporate life, opens eclectic gallery
Instead of jumping on the freeway every morning, Balboa Island resident Kim Rossall now drives her golf cart to work on Agate Avenue in her hometown.
Rossall decided it was time to step back from her high pressure career in the corporate world when she began the process of opening her Balboa Island Gallery a few months ago.
She had left her job in 2020 after working in the pharmaceutical industry as the senior director of Global Life Science.
“It was a numbers and precise exact business, no room for error,” said Rossall, who moved to Balboa Island in 1986. “I was ready for a change to less structured, more creative, not black and white.”
The gallery has taken on a unique style; you won’t find traditional oil or water color paintings, but instead an eclectic collection of paintings, collages, textile art, stained glass and jewelry.
Among the pieces from exhibiting artist-designer, Dyan Rogers of Carlsbad is her one-of-a-kind jewelry created from gemstones, silver, semi-precious stones and earth elements like feathers.
Rogers’ biggest seller though, is her textile art of a woven piece called her “heart of hope” scarf.
“It looks like a lariat,” said Rogers. “I rip the silk fabric and cut into 4 or 5 inch long pieces and tie onto a cotton cord, which forms a scarf.” Ten percent of her profits are donated to Sheepfold Domestic Violence Shelter for women who are coming out of desperate situations and are taught skills in order to transition into safe and independent living.
“I use a non-mistakes loom called Saori Loom that has a motto, ‘everything has it’s own beauty’ which suits my style because I’m intuitive and don’t like following patterns.”
Being local, Kathy Kehoe Bambeck thought the Balboa Island Gallery would provide a natural setting for her work. Bambeck, who works from her home studio on the Balboa Peninsula, is also endearingly referred to as the “puzzler” by Rossall.
“I’ve been doing art since I was 5 years old,” said Bambeck. “It’s all I ever wanted to do.” She explained that because she has always been detailed oriented and focused, her parents had wanted her to become a brain surgeon.
About six years ago, Bambeck discovered licensing, which led her to rent her images for products to be used commercially. She has contracted with Bits & Pieces, a huge online jigsaw puzzling company.
“Because jigsaw puzzles became so popular I couldn’t paint fast enough,” said Bambeck. ”Images do well on products and a big side of art is the jigsaw puzzle business, which exploded during the pandemic.”
Since people are often fascinated where those products — or in this case, jigsaw puzzle images — come from, Bambeck thought it would be good to exhibit her original artwork, which is something she has never done before.
Kathleen Carrillo, who earned a terminal master’s degree in painting and printmaking from the University of Oklahoma, has been painting for decades and divides her time between Carlsbad and Puerto Vallarta, which she describes as a bohemian lifestyle on her website.
“I’m very excited to be a part of a new endeavor,” said Carrillo. “The fine art gallery is part of a lovely community and will serve a need for fine art and prints for homes.”
Rossall is hosting an open house Jan. 15 and 16, where Bambeck and Carrillo will be available to meet attendees and provide demonstrations.
Rossall is all about freedom of expression, saying “I’m enjoying the creativity and ability to reinvent the space every week, adding new artists and new product.”
During the open house, Carrillo will lecture and demonstrate her approach to figurative abstract and collage as well as explain availability for her work and the process of ordering commissioned pieces.
Bambeck in turn will do a demonstration and talk about the medium she uses in her original painting consisting of acrylic, wash and ink.
Balboa Island Gallery is located at 121 Agate Ave. For more information about the gallery or the upcoming open house, call (714) 404-7604 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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