The quaint towns of Monterey Bay and Carmel are dotted with a plethora of local artist’s galleries just waiting to be discovered and explored. No trip is complete without finding a local treasure to take home which will provide you with lasting memories of your trip. Artists and writers have always found inspiration and solace in the Peninsula’s natural beauty and remote location. In 1875, the prominent French painter Jules Tavernier immortalized Monterey in his romanticized landscapes, and by the turn of the century a steady stream of bohemian painters had established a viable art colony in the beautiful cypress-tipped haven at the edge of the Western world. While painting continued to flourish, notably in the early 20th-century work of Armin Hansen and E. Charlton Fortune, it was photography that became synonymous with the area after the 1920s. Here, Edward Weston’s beautiful nudes and landscapes defined the aspirations of photography’s Group f/64, and eventually co-founders Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham and others came to work and live in the same inspiring setting.
Carl Cherry Center for the Arts
The home of the mystic works of painter/poet Jeanne D’Orge, plus other works by emerging regional artists. Fourth and Guadalupe, Carmel. 624-7491.
Carmel Art Association
Established in 1927, Carmel’s oldest art gallery is owned and operated as a collective by leading Monterey Peninsula artists. A variety of media and styles by member artists is displayed in a historic tree-shaded building. Dolores between Fifth and Sixth, Carmel, 624-6176.
Center For Photographic Art
One of the West Coast’s leading photo galleries and arts organizations, with regular juried and group shows. Sunset Center, San Carlos and Ninth, Carmel, 625-5181.
Big Sur’s showplace for Central Coast art and American master crafts features prints and watercolors by literary legend Henry Miller. Two locations: three miles south of Nepenthe Restaurant, Highway 1, Big Sur, 667-2301; 17-Mile Drive at the Lodge, Pebble Beach, 624-2002.
This gallery specializes in fine color and black-and-white photography by local and national artists, including a permanent collection of Helmut Horn (famous for Big Sur landscapes). Dolores and Sixth, Carmel, 626-2615.
Well-known artists Frederick Hart and Roy Fairchild are featured at this gallery with its extensive selection of contemporary oils, acrylics, sculptures and limited edition serigraphs. Ocean between Dolores and San Carlos, Carmel, 625-6142.
Hauk Fine Arts
Early and contemporary California art, from artists of today such as Belle Yang and Gregory Kondos to historic painters such as Armin Hansen. 206 Fountain Ave., Pacific Grove, 373-6007.
A large collection of contemporary art in a spectacular Big Sur setting. Includes sculpture, paintings, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, wood, and metal pieces, with artwork by the multi-talented Hawthorne family as well as selected national artists. 48485 Highway 1 (across from Nepenthe), Big Sur, 667-3200.
Lisa Coscino Gallery
Blending work by locals with artists from San Francisco and Los Angeles, this gallery brings some of the cultural sophistication of a big city to our corner of the world. 216 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove, 646-1939.
Monterey Museum of Art
Rotating exhibits of contemporary and international art are exhibited alongside works from the museum’s permanent collection of California and regional artists. Photography, graphics, international folk and ethnic art are also featured. 559 Pacific St., Monterey, 372-5477; La Mirada annex, 720 Via Mirada, Monterey, 372-3689.
Outer Edge Studio
A fresh new batch of cutting edge pop artists every six weeks, plus DJs, live music, intelligent conversation and a few other surprises. 146 Bonifacio Pl., Monterey, 655-2788.
Pacific Grove Art Center
With 10 major openings a year, four spacious galleries feature sculpture, painting, photography and a variety of media, as well as a full range of art classes. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, 375-2208.
Possibilities Art Studio & Gallery
Featuring local and national artists working in a variety of mediums. Ask about private art lessons and painting parties. 311A Forest Ave., Pacific Grove, 643-9392.
PK Fine Artifacts
This expansive gallery and showroom offers a wondrous stroll through fine furnishings and artifacts from around the world. 425 Elder Ave., Sand City, 583-0800.
Richard MacDonald/Dawson Cole Fine Art
Exhibiting the finest in contemporary figurative bronze sculpture, paintings and drawings by artists Richard MacDonald, Robert Heindel, Henry Moore and Jian Wang. San Carlos between Fifth and Sixth Streets, Carmel, 800-972-5528.
Red Mill Studio and Gallery
Specializing in folk art and antique bird decoys. 170B Grand Ave., Pacific Grove, 375-1146.
Robert Lewis Gallery
This little gallery in the heart of Pacific Grove features the plain air oil landscapes of Monterey Peninsula artist Robert Lewis. 210 1/2 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove. 333-9046.
Intense colors and the mesmerizing gaze of the Blue Dog characterize the art of George Rodrigue. Sixth between Lincoln and Dolores, Carmel, 626-4444.
Simic New Renaissance Galleries
Four locations feature the works of more than 300 artists, with landscapes, seascapes, still-life and figurative paintings. San Carlos and Sixth, Carmel, 624-7522.
Paintings, mono prints and serigraphs by gallery artists from around the world. Ocean at San Carlos, Carmel, 625-4388.
Valley Art Gallery
Salinas Valley artists’ cooperative holds regular shows by members. 218 Main St., Oldtown Salinas, 422-4162.
Gallery in sunny Carmel Valley showcases oil paintings, watercolors, photography, jewelry and sculpture by local artisans. 13766 Center St., Carmel Valley, 659-2441.
Artists’ co-op gallery features works by local artists in various media. 260 Alvarado Mall, in the Portola Plaza Hotel, Monterey, 372-6279.
The country’s second-oldest photo gallery helped put the West Coast school of photography on the map. A superlative collection of definitive works by Ansel Adams, Edward, Brett and Cole Weston are on display, as well as new imagery by the next generation of photographic masters. Sixth between Dolores and Lincoln, Carmel, 624-4453.
White Oak Gallery
Seascapes and landscapes by American and European painters are showcased in this Carmel Valley gallery, which also has a variety of sculpture, jewelry and gourd art. 1 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, 659-4451.
An eclectic selection of contemporary artwork featuring regional and nationally known artists. Dolores between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel, 624-3369. 3-3775.