It was a sad day when I heard that the John Pence gallery was closing. For years before I was involved in many of his exhibitions, I would visit the gallery, spending more time inspecting the paintings than was probably comfortable for the staff, trying to glean any bits of information that might help me be a better painter. Other than museums, I didn't know of a better place on the west coast to study original masterworks. And that's what John Pence showcased, some of the finest contemporary representational artwork available.
I was fortunate enough to have my work in the gallery for six years and had many conversations with Mr. Pence about art, business, and other interesting things. I was continually amazed at how generous he was with his time and how he genuinely seemed to care about the artists that he partnered with. He offered his expertise and guidance, built lasting relationships, and you could really see the evidence of this by the way that social media lit up with acclaim from all of the artists that he worked with upon the announcement of his retirement.
Although I loved showing my work in the gallery, what I think I'll miss most is knowing that there was such a powerhouse gallery in San Francisco where the masterful representational work would leave me and other visitors awestruck. There just aren't many galleries of that quality - in the world.
Thank you John Pence, for the help that you've given me and other artists, and for all the work that you've done to bring representational art closer to the forefront. You and your gallery will be missed!