Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild continues search for new gallery space


By Karen Billing

The Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild is focused on finding a new home. As reported recently, due to the Union Bank’s planned expansion, the Guild must be out of the “generously-donated” bank space in the RSF village that they’ve called home for the last 15 years by June 1. RSF Art Guild President Kim Doherty is now tackling the challenging task of finding a new gallery space — ideally donated space.

“The strong message is that the Guild is continuing,” Doherty said. “We’re just in a transition phase while we find a location.”

“We’re not going away,” said Cindy Klong, an artist and member of the Guild’s board of directors.

Both Doherty and Klong know and expressed gratitude about how fortunate they were to have Union Bank donate the village gallery space and support the Guild for as long as it did.

“It’s a wonderful location in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe and there have been people coming to our receptions and supporting the Guild for years,” Klong said.

Inside, artwork in ornate gold frames fills one full wall for the Guild’s latest exhibit, the colors of beach scenes, portraits and florals all warmly complementing each other. Prints and postcards are for sale as is the artisan jewelry displayed in glass cases.

Klong appears wistful when she looks out the window to the patio, where the Guild has consistently held six receptions a year.

“You couldn’t ask for more,” Klong said. “It really has been ideal and it’s heartbreaking that we have to lose our space.”

“There’s a sadness because of the history of the location but we’re very hopeful that new doors can open,” Doherty said.

They are actively seeking venues to hold upcoming artist receptions (their next shows are set for July 11, Sept. 5 and Nov. 7), and hope to find a patron of the arts to partner with on a new location, such as another local business. The Guild runs on volunteer manpower that helps manage displays that rotate several times a year.

Ideally, the Guild would like to remain a presence in the RSF village but it is open to entertaining all kinds of options. As Doherty said,“It’s a matter of looking at what’s out there and finding the best fit.”

“We feel like we can reinvent ourselves,” said Klong. “We don’t have to be exactly like this. We want to keep culture and arts alive in Rancho Santa Fe. Little by little [that’s been] lost. The charm [in the village] will go away if we don’t at least keep what we have.”

“It’s definitely a community feeling that the Ranch stands to lose without the gallery here,” Doherty said.

For ideas about potential gallery spaces for the RSF Art Guild, contact Barbara Dawson at (858) 356-7497. Kim Doherty can be contacted at