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Meet Jason Gould of VISUAL urban contemporary art

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Gould.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jason. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Finished graduate school at Cal. State Fullerton receiving my M.F.A. and moved to San Diego to work at the San Diego Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art. Began teaching as an adjunct professor and taught at various schools and workshops. I then opened my business in October 2009. I felt that there was a void and a lack of resources in the low brow/underground art scene and so I opened an art supply shop which also doubled as an art gallery. As our art shows began to grow in size and attendance I began to notice a shift in the art scene and I began to refine my niche.

I moved my original shop from Normal Heights and re-opened in North Park 4 years ago with a new vision to offer core art supplies, solo art exhibitions and to begin offering art advisory and art project design consultation. I started to work with neighborhood associations and founded the Visual Public Art Project. This project is focused on painting utility boxes and murals throughout central San Diego. The artists that work on these projects alongside me are also artists which we exhibit in our gallery space throughout the year. As the Visual Public Art Project has grown so has our list of other clients which we design art projects for. VISUAL also create live art events and host art exhibitions at other off-site venues.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not always been a smooth road. My experience with brick and mortar retail is that it can be very up and down, especially in a high niche market such as art. People love to come in and look and ask questions and compare the style of our business to others they have experienced in San Francisco, New York or cities in Europe but getting the needed support for the arts is very much a challenge.

Artists themselves are usually broke and others love to shop online, which in my mind is counterproductive and the anti-thesis to supporting small business in general, especially if they “love ” what you are doing so much. Getting support for art from the community is also challenging. Everyone has an opinion and those with influence tend to play it safe and would rather opt for no public art versus taking a risk to help create a positive and colorful experience for the community, basically there tends to be tons of red tape for public art and getting approval can be painstaking.

We are able to sustain because we work every day in this business and we take it seriously but we also have learned how to have fun during the process, essentially we get to create everyday, sometimes its a physical work of art other times we are designing on the computer or writing proposals, all in all, its a great life for me. A labor of love.

VISUAL urban contemporary art – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
we are a core art supply shop, art gallery, art advisory, independent curators and artists specializing in the urban contemporary art movement which includes graffiti, street art, muralism and fine art. This business is a resource for high-quality street art supplies, we host monthly art exhibitions with relevant and emerging artists, we offer professional art advisory consultations to private clients and commercial clients. We design custom art, murals, events and exhibitions throughout central San Diego.

We are known for representing Urban Contemporary Art and Design, We are known for the VISUAL Public Art Project, We are known for hosting the Live Art Block at the festival of the Arts in North Park, we are known for hosting the largest urban contemporary art exhibitions at San Diego City College Art Gallery, Contribution I was in November 2016 and Contribution II opened February 2, 2018, and runs until March 9, 2018.

I am most proud that we have been able to survive for 8 years and went from no reputation as a business in this field to the leader in the urban contemporary art movement in San Diego. What sets us apart is our knowledge of the subjects that we are involved with and the multitude of experience that we have in working with artists, designers, business owners, commercial clients and private collectors.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Being mentioned in the New York Times last year was a big surprise and very cool.

Creating, organizing and curating both “Contribution I and II” has been a huge success and has allowed me to use all of my creativity, curating and organizing skills from designing the layout to choosing the artists and then orchestrating the entire event and opening night. Being able to reach so many people and expose them to opportunities and new art has been a great rush.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 3776 30th Street San Diego CA. 92104
  • Website: www.visualshopsd.com
  • Phone: 619 501 5585
  • Email: jason@visualshopsd.com
  • Instagram: visual_shop
  • Facebook: VisualSD

Image Credit:
Frieda Gould

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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