With more than 30 years of experience between them, JAYJAY’s owners, Beth Jones and Lynda Jolley, personify a fundamental truth about art dealing. Namely, that it is first and foremost an exercise in connoisseurship: of attracting top artists and then sharing their work with others by way of passionate example.
Jones and Jolley are both “obsessive collectors,” and their ability to modulate their enthusiasm to suit the needs of their clients has enabled them to build a reputation for integrity, taste, and vision.
One measure of their vision is the company they keep. JAYJAY’s small stable of artists includes many of the region’s most respected names, about 20 in all, representing painting, sculpture, and photography. And while these artists are all quite different from each other, they do have two things in common: they are all mature artists with extensive exhibition records and they have regional or national reputations.
Another measure of JAYJAY’s vision is the role that Jones and Jolley have played in the community as tastemakers. As recently as 10 years ago, local galleries remained committed to the styles that first put Sacramento on the national art map in the 1960’s: Bay Area figuration and landscape, funk and clay sculpture. JAYJAY launched in 2000, introduced an eclectic group of artists whose ideas were fresh and new to the region. The gallery exhibits international styles ranging from the high modernism of artists like Peter Stegall, Mark Emerson, and Roger Berry to the decidedly postmodernist sensibilities of innovators like David Wetzl, Dean DeCocker, and Joan Moment. These artists – most of whom are abstractionists – appeal not only to longstanding individual and corporate buyers, but also to a burgeoning group of newcomers whose tastes (and collections) are shaped by the experience of living in other metropolitan regions.
Jones and Jolley have long had their finger on the city’s aesthetic pulse. They became partners in 1999 and opened JAYJAY the following year in a small storefront on Franklin Boulevard. Three years later, in 2002, they expanded to a 2,000 square-foot space in a newly renovated commercial building in East Sacramento. Jones trained as a painter at CSUS under Steve Kaltenbach and Carlos Villa, and got her start in the art business in the 1984 at the Jennifer Pauls Gallery. When its artist/owner, Maria Alquilar, saw her own career take off, she sold the business to Jones and co-partner, Dean Moniz, who ran it until 1994. Jones left the business in 1990, and then worked as a corporate art consultant (to Hewlett-Packard, Sprint, Kaiser Permanente, and NCG Porter Novelli) and served as president of the board of director of the Center for Contemporary Art.
Jolley studied Philosophy and Drama at Mills College in Oakland, CA and completed her BA degree in Humanities with an emphasis in Art History at CSU, Sacramento. She was owner and director of the alternative gallery Big Art (1992-2000) and joined Beth Jones as an associate in January of 2000. Her eight years of gallery management included consulting to numerous private collectors and in this regard, has lectured at the Crocker Art Museum on acquiring and maintaining a contemporary art collection. Also, Jolley served on the Board of Directors for the Center for Contemporary Art (1995-2000) and the Board of Directors for Uptown Arts (1996-1998).