The Coast News Group
Zagö Art Gallery Director Ethan Wayne sitting at his desk on Nov. 27 in the Solana Beach Design District. Photo by Bethany Nash
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Zagö Studio welcomes new art director

SOLANA BEACH — Named after the son of American actor John Wayne, Ethan Wayne, is now the art director of Zagö Studio Gallery in Solana Beach.

Growing up in a small farm town in Peotone, Illinois, with a population of around 3,500, he spent his days wandering through the cornfields and off-roading. Wayne is the son of school teachers George and Lynn, both of whom were of artistic minds. Wayne also has two brothers, Adam and Luke.

His father, George, owned the world’s largest erector collection set. An erector set is a model medal construction building set. Eventually, two of his father’s collections were sold to museums. Wayne’s mother, Lynn, spent 35 years running a wedding videography business and still to this day teaches piano lessons.

During Wayne’s senior year of high school, he was enrolled in three art classes and his art teacher began to encourage him to dig in and explore his individual creativity.

Later, Wayne became a landscape contractor for 10 years with his brand The Garden of Ethan. Wayne continues to help with design and selecting clients today.

Olivet Nazarene University, located in Bourbonnais, Illinois, submitted its testimonial, which is posted on his website that states, “We were deciding between three different designs/contractors to install our big patio for our coffee shop and went with Ethan’s design because it incorporated more exciting elements than the other two. The brick patio/stage was so exciting that we booked a photoshoot for The Chicago Bears football team … ”

Eventually, Wayne moved to San Diego and discovered a new passion for motorcycles and cosmetology.

“I fell in love with motorcycles and did several cross-country trips on a Harley at the same time cutting people’s hair to pay for my travels,” Wayne said.

Wayne got together with his friends/ co-creators who filmed a documentary entitled, “Cut and Ride.” This resulted in Wayne meeting Kris Ziakas, who assisted with the videography of documentary and has since remained friends over the last seven years. Ziakas stated that his first impression of Wayne was his smile that drew one into desiring to just sit down and have a conversation with him.

“His connection to art is very unique … his is a connection that is difficult to put into words. It is a very spiritual, very feel-based connection,” Ziakas said.

The documentary led to Wayne achieving his cosmetology license in 2014. Today, he still has many mobile hair clients including his doctor, his accountant and his girlfriend.

While attending cosmetology school, Wayne began to pick up the paintbrush and paint animals such as elephants and hummingbirds in the spare time he was not at school.

“I find everyday inspiration being in nature, whether it’s at the beach surfing, hiking Torrey Pines, Elfin Forest, Batiquitos Lagoon, fishing, etc.,” Wayne said. “If I’m outdoors, I’m having a good time.”

A while later, Wayne tore the meniscus cartilage in his knee, disabling him from being able to stand and cut hair for long periods of time. He began to spend more time focusing on his art.

Life took a brand new direction for Wayne when he decided to start posting his art online. People began asking if they could buy his paintings. He did an entire collection of his elephants for a yoga studio, and people gave his creations high praises.

“People love my paintings of hummingbirds and elephants shooting smileys (smiley faces) out of their trunks,” Wayne said.

With always having the desire to find a way to work in the art field, Wayne began to browse online around four weeks ago discovering an opening at Zagö Studio Gallery on He sent artist and gallery owner Adriana Zagorsky his resume.

Zagorsky was unable to be reached; however, Wayne said that he feels that he got the job due to his experience in both the arts and business.

Wayne’s goal for the gallery is to create a larger marketing medium through social media and achieve a double-digit growth every six months.

“(I want to) maintain a very comfortable and relaxed environment for customers to fall in love with art, nurture strong relationships with the current artists we represent while simultaneously hunting for new brilliant artists to serve,” he said.

1 comment

Bonnie December 7, 2019 at 4:39 pm

This is a great read and wish I could go to the gallery but live too far away

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