To celebrate the 25th anniversary of La Luz de Jesus gallery, mastermind Billy Shire has organized a monumental group show featuring around 300 artists, each of whom have contributed one new piece and a written anecdote about their experience with the gallery. In 25 years of groundbreaking exhibitions, this is La Luz's first published survey, featuring three generations of the most important artists working today. The book, a companion to the show, chronicles the rich legacy of La Luz de Jesus and the thriving art movement it helped launch. The talent involved with the La Luz de Jesus 25th Anniversary project reads like a veritable who's-who of art, including Robert Williams, Joe Coleman, Gelnn Barr, Elizabeth McGrath, the Clayton Brothers, Gary Panter, Mark Mothersbaugh, Lou Beach, Hudson Marquez, Aaron Smith, Owen Smith, Frank Kozik, Manuel Ocampo, Don Ed Hardy, Jeff Soto, Dave Cooper, Daniel Martin Diaz, Scott Musgrove, Bari Kumar, Tim Biskup, Joe Sorren, Chris Mars, Jessica Joslin, The Pizz, Coop, shag, Gary Baseman, Bob Dob, and many more.
Billy Shire is best known as the prodigious owner of The Soap Plant, Wacko and the La Luz de Jesus gallery, all in Los Angeles. A couple of years after graduating from Belmont High, Shire opened The Soap Plant where he sold hand-crafted soaps, unusual trinkets, and imported figurines from Mexico, thereby popularizing the art and culture of that country's Day of the Dead festivals. Shire gained notoriety in 1973 when he won a design competition sponsored by Levi Strauss & Company. Shire's gallery La Luz de Jesus, is one of the most important ground-breaking galleries in Los Angeles and has garnered a considerable reputation with collectors, galleries, and artists around the world.