Santos achieves personal milestone with new La Jolla gallery

By Jared Whitlock.

Santos Orellana can cross off a big item on his bucket list: having a gallery in La Jolla.

Santos for years had longed to open a gallery there, and in 2013, he aimed to move into the very same spot. But in the end, the economics didn’t pencil out.

“From a business and artistic standpoint, I realize now that I wasn’t ready for it,” Santos said.

That was then. In three years, his ambition and standing in the arts community have grown by leaps and bounds. Take Santos’ Lost and Found exhibit in 2014 in a 25,000-square-foot Carlsbad warehouse. With a gargantuan mural, massive sculptures, installations and hundreds of original paintings, it was potentially the largest solo art show San Diego County has ever seen.

A few months back, Santos was in La Jolla, so he strolled by the gallery space he had wanted in the past. He was in luck — it was vacant. He signed the lease not long after.

To Santos, downtown La Jolla is the capital of the San Diego County art market. And he’s excited to bring his style — a mixture of urban and Mesoamerican influences — to the area.

“I don’t think La Jolla has seen something like this before,” Santos said.

Besides the gallery, Santos is in the middle of a new collection and finishing up his debut documentary “Catracholandia,” which follows him across his native country of Honduras as he paints murals for orphanages.

While perpetually looking forward, Santos said he’s taking a brief moment to celebrate the achievement.

“I’ve been really busy, but it’s finally soaking in,” he said.

The gallery is located in La Jolla, California at 7946 Ivanhoe and its Grand Opening celebration is slated for Saturday, April 23rd from 6 – 10 p.m.


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