American Art Awards Names Best Gallery In California, 2022: Exclusive Collections Galleries

Thom Bierdz
7 min readMay 28, 2022

Each year the American Art Awards selects the 20 Best Galleries And Museums In America; only one museum or gallery per state per year. Among other criteria, selections are based on years established, industry reputation, online buzz, location, size, socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists as well as artist, client and visitor references.

American Art Awards: “We considered thousands of the most established art venues from Hawaii to Maine. This year we chose five museums, one with an impeccable reputation for 125 years, one 80, one 50, one 40, and one fairly new. We selected a Mid-West art center doing important community work for 44 years, and a lively Southern gallery linked to a 5 day festival. Most the galleries we selected are heralded longtime landmarks with expansive interiors perfect for exhibiting today’s contemporary masters. Many have several locations and cater specifically to regional collectors with regional artwork, but just as many represent all genres of work from all levels of national and international artisans.

“Exclusive Collections Gallery’s rich history of six galleries between California and Nevada honed expertise to assist highly significant collections of fine art for very well-known collectors both nationally and abroad. Collectors range from A-list celebrities to U.S. presidents to pop stars. Their red-carpet events showcase the most celebrated contemporary artists — from young emerging masters to established international masters.

“Their 3,500 sf Solana Beach gallery offers unlimited space expertly showcasing the many mediums of extraordinary artwork. The sunny look and feel of this location offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. American Art Awards selects Exclusive Collections Gallery, backed with decades of experience in the fine art industry, as our Best Gallery in California, 2022 and one of our 20 Best Galleries or Museums in America, 2022.”

Owner Ruth-Ann Thorn: “At EC Galleries, we believe that art is a necessity in our lives and that each art collection and the pleasure enjoyed from owning fine art presents a remarkable opportunity to pass on your legacy for many generations to come. As art collectors ourselves, we believe that a work of art that truly reflects the collector’s unique personality will provide a lifetime of pleasure.”


Asencio is collected by: Ice-T (Entertainer) Coco Austin (Model) Robert Sullivan (Principal of Outback Steak Houses) Peter Sanchez (C.O.O. of Taylor Made Golf) Pino (Famous Figurative Artist) Anne Heche (Actress) Glenn Close (Actress) Viola Davis (Actress) Rooney Mara (Actress) Michelle Williams (Actress) Demian Bichir (Actor) George Clooney (Actor) Gary Oldman (Actor) Brad Pitt (Actor) Berenice Bejo (Actress) Jessica Chastain (Actress) Melissa McCarthy (Actress) Janet McTeer (Actress) Kenneth Branagh (Actor) Jonah Hill (Actor) Nick Nolte (Actor) Max von Sydow (Actor) Alexander Payne (Director) Martin Scorsese (Director) Woody Allen (Director) Terrence Malick (Director) Billy Crystal (Actor)

Steve Barton is collected by: Oscar de la Hoya (Boxer) George Forman (Olympic Gold Medalist) Casey Mears (NASCAR Driver) David Binn (Chargers NFL Player)

David Bruce is collected by: David and Claudia Pearlman (Former Senior Vice President/Co-C.O.O. of Infinity/CBS Radio)

Christopher M. is collected by: Chef Thomas Keller (America’s most celebrated chef) Chef William Bradley (Addison Restaurant) Chef Kevin Rathbun (Iron Chef winner) Chef Ludo Lefebvre (LudoBites) Chef Emeril Lagasse (Celebrity Chef) Chef Charlie Trotter (Celebrity Chef) Chef Francois Payard (Top Pastry Chef in America) Chef Gavin Kaysen (Cafe Bouloud NYC) Crocker & Starr Estate Winery Heidi Barrett (#1 Female Winemaker, Screaming Eagle) Randall Johnson (Hess Collection Winemaker) Hill Family Estates

Michael Flohr is collected by: Alex Smith (Pro Football Player) Cher (Entertainer) LaDainian Tomlinson (Pro Football Player) Southern Power Corporation Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Pete Sanchez (C.E.O. of Taylor Made Golf) Jeff Foxworthy (Comedian) Jennifer Aniston (Actress) Jack Black (Comedian, Actor) Michael Douglas (Actor) Robert Downey Jr. (Actor) Robert Downey Sr. (Actor, Film Maker) Jon Favreau (Actor) Jodie Foster (Actress) Jamie Foxx (Actor, Musician) Mel Gibson (Actor, Director, Producer) Jared Harris (Actor) Guy Ritchie (Film Maker, Screenwriter) Garry Shandling (Comedian, Actor, Writer) Joel Silver (Film Producer) Sean Penn (Actor) Anthony Michael Hall (Actor, Producer, Director)

Gloria Lee is collected by: Geena Davis (Actress) Jerry Lewis (Comedian) Paris Hilton (Actress) Drew Barrymore (Actress) Denise Richards (Actress) Kate Beckinsale (Actress) Kristen Bell (Actress) Miley Cyrus (Musician / Actress) Fergie (Musician) Kathy Griffin (Actress) Chelsea Handler (Comedian) Katherine Heigl (Actress) Blake Lively (Actress) Mario Lopez (Actor) Kellan Lutz (Actor) Katharine McPhee (Musician) Cesar Millan Kelly Osbourne Rachael Ray (Celebrity Chef) Jai Rodriguez (Actor) Alicia Silverstone (Actress) Tori Spelling (Actress) Charlize Theron (Actress) Justin Timberlake (Musician / Actor) Betty White (Actress) Olivia Wilde (Actress) Oprah Winfrey

Daniel Merriam is collected by: The Manhattan Club McCarter Theatre Merrill Lynch, Hisashi

Otsuka is collected by: Sophia Loren (Actress) Brooke Shields (Actress, Model) Dolly Parton (Singer, Actress) Tina Turner (Singer)

Steven Quartly is collected by: Tenley Molzahn (“The Bachelor” ) Wolfgang Puck (Celebrity Chef) Arthur R. Barron (retired chairman of Time Warner International) Esteban Toledo (PGA Tour Player) John Dyer (Cox Enterprises Executive Vice President)

Joseph Quillan is collected by: Lisa Marie Presley James Doohan (Actor) Nicholas Cage (Actor) Mark Wahlberg (Actor) Phil Spector (Music Producer) Valerie Harper (Actress) Wyland (Environmental Artist) Robert Lyn Nelson (Environmental Artist) Christian Lassen (Environmental Artist) Ratief Goosen (Pro Golfer) Ed Begley, Jr (Environmentalist) Vic Edelbrock (Automobile Hall of Fame) Joyce Brothers (Psychologist, Television Personality and Advice Columnist) Jack Canfield (Author of “Chicken Soup” books) Steve Irwin (“The Crocodile Hunter) Joel Wachs (President of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, NYC) Hayden Pannettiere (Actress) Scotty McKnight (NFL Player) Jared Leto (Musician) Emma Ludbrook Larry King Bo Derek Maggie Q (Actress) John Corbett (Actor/Musician) Luis Ruiz (Musician) Tara Novick (Musician) Jim Clark (Producer) Kristy Hinze (Supermodel/Actress)

Royo is collected by: Commissioned portraits of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia Judges of the High Magistrature and the Court of Justice

Daniel Ryan is collected by: Jeremy Piven Tom Hanks Bill Maher Adrian Grenier Kate Bosworth Pink Leonardo DiCaprio Dave Matthews Rosario Dawson Woody Harrelson Julia Louis-Dreyfus Daryl Hannah Drew Barrymore Ellen DeGeneres Orlando Bloom Jake Gyllenhaal Josh Hartnett Sting Barbra Streisand Alicia Silverstone Courteney Cox Cameron Diaz KT Tunstall Mark Ruffalo Edward Norton

Michael Summers is collected by: Hilary Duff Rebecca Gayheart Keri Russell Beyonce Kourtney Kardashian Lindsay Price Maggie Gyllenhaal Jessica Alba Uma Thurman Alyson Hannigan Molly Sims Sienna Miller Kristin Cavallari Jessica Simpson Bryce Dallas Howard Evangeline Lilly Jennifer Garner Marley Shelton Sarah Polley Amanda Anka (Mrs. Jason Bateman) Emma Heming (Mrs. Bruce Willis) Susan Downey Jr. Lisa Loeb Kayte Walsh (Mrs. Kelsey Grammar) Jessica Capshaw, Holly Madison

Tuan is collected by: Commissions: Vietnam War Memorial (Westminster, CA) Kuhn Corporation’s Plaza (Orlando, FL) Trinidad, Heisler Park (Laguna Beach, CA) “The Little Flower” (Mobile, AL), memorial bust for Nicole Brown Simpson Charitable Foundation (1997)

Loet Vanderveen is collected by: Wally Schira (Astronaut) David Packard (Hewlitt-Packard Co-Founder) Bill Cosby (Actor, Comedian) Senator Barry Goldwater H.M. Queen Elizabeth The King of Tonga President Ronald Reagan President Bill Clinton President Gerald Ford Nathaniel Owings (Architect) King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia A.J. Foyt (Car Racer) Barry Manilow (Singer) Elizabeth Taylor (Actress) President Suharto of Indonesia Burt Reynolds (Actor) Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Sheikh Yamani (OPEC) Martina Navratilova (Tennis Player) Wilt Chamberlain (Pro NBA Basketball Player) Prince Bandar Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia Jacques Cousteau Society The Royal Belgium Zoological Society Mary Tyler Moore (Actress) Federal Government of Switzerland Sultan of Oman


Cedros Design District / 212 S Cedros Avenue #104 / Solana Beach, CA 92075


Hours of Operation: Sun-Thu 10am-11pm Fri-Sat 10am-12am

WEB SITE: annually awards 20 museums and galleries in spring, and with their critique in autumn, awards 300+ artists (painters, photographers, sculptors and digital artists).



Thom Bierdz

One of Medium’s TOP ART CONTRIBUTORS, award-winning author, actor, film-maker, painter. 12 books: 6 on art. President of WAA & AAA & ACCA.