Best of Monterey Bay Visitor Guide 2011 - Arts & Culture
Getting in touch with the finer things.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Not content to live on the legends of the past, from Ansel Adams and Edward Weston to John Steinbeck and Robinson Jeffers, the local visual and literary scene is constantly unfolding, whether it’s at the wonderfully reinvented Museum of Monterey, the nationally renowned Monterey Museum of Art, the plethora of galleries in Carmel or hipper hotspots like the Alternative Café in Seaside. And great sounds abound, from the annual rebirth of the cool at the Monterey Jazz Festival to the folkies at Fernwood or the stringed delights of the Carmel Bach Fest. Theatrical delights await at PacRep or the Forest Theater, which is already into its second century of drama. It’s hard to compete with the sheer physical beauty of the local landscape, but not for lack of trying from the many artists, musicians and writers who choose to make this their home, and find a way to celebrate its uniqueness.
The county’s century-long legacy of attracting artists and dreamers lives on in more than 100 art galleries; for more, see www.montereycountyweekly.com/arts.
Galleries | Art Museums
Alternative Café | Every six weeks, this gallery/café/toy store unleashes new waves of urban and underground art from local and big-city artists. It’s also headquarters for creative endeavors like films and a printing business. 1230 Fremont Blvd., Seaside, 583-0913.
California Views Photo Archives | Local historian Pat Hathaway’s treasure trove contains the “single largest collection of historic Monterey photographs anywhere.” 469 Pacific St., Monterey, 373-3811.
Carl Cherry Center for the Arts | Since 1948, the galleries, theater and gardens of this storied Carmel nonprofit arts salon have showcased a dizzying palette of drama, poetry, films, music and art. Fourth and Guadalupe, Carmel, 624-7491.
Carmel Art Association | Established in 1927, Carmel’s oldest gallery is owned and operated as a collective by leading local artists who show diverse works in their 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.
Dawson Cole Fine Art | Contemporary figurative bronze sculpture, paintings and drawings by artists Richard MacDonald, Robert Heindel, Henry Moore and Jian Wang. San Carlos between Fifth and Sixth, Carmel, 800-972-5528.
Exposed Gallery | This newer, smartly curated spot has featured exhibitions by Kim Weston, among others. San Carlos and Seventh, Carmel, 917-3450.
Gallery North | The 15 member artists at this sleek Carmel gallery collaborate on shows, tend to the store and produce distinctive works. NW corner of Dolores and Sixth, Carmel, 620-1987.
Hauk Fine Arts | Modern California art from today’s artists, such as Belle Yang and Gregory Kondos, to historic painters such as Armin Hansen. 206 Fountain Ave., Pacific Grove, 373-6007.
Haute Enchilada Café/Gallery | The two galleries and one café of this Moss Landing haven of culture pulls in an overwhelming amount of art in one cool location. 7902 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing. 633-5843, 633-3743.
Johnny Apodaca Gallery | This celebrated local artist has evolved from the plein air tradition of artists like Armin Hansen into an abstract expressionist mode. Dolores between Fifth and Sixth, Carmel, 250-7031, 625-5686.
Monterey Museum of Art | Monterey’s two keystone museums feature rotating exhibitions of contemporary and international art, and a permanent collection of California and regional paintings, photographs, graphics, folk and ethnic art. 559 Pacific St., Monterey, 372-5477; La Mirada, 720 Via Mirada, Monterey, 372-3689.
Museum of Monterey | The MoM, formerly the Monterey Maritime and History Museum, reopened with vibrant, colorful, mixed media exhibits that plied themes ranging from plastics in the oceans to re-imagined local landscapes. A few vintage, wooden, model clippers remain, as does MMHM’s mission: To identify and preserve those objects that tell the story of Monterey’s role in the birth and development of California. 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey, 372-2608.
Pacific Grove Art Center | With 10 major openings a year, the four spacious galleries of Pacific Grove’s storied art venue feature sculpture, paintings, photography and a full range of art classes. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, 375-2208.
Photography West Gallery | This small space packs in originals, prints and appearances by renowned photographers like Christopher Burkett and Roman Loranc. Ocean and Dolores, Carmel, 625-1288.
Salinas Valley Art Gallery | A group of local artists runs this gallery, which features paintings in all media, collage, sculpture, ceramics, jewelery, photography, glass, weaving and fiber art. Each month, a featured artist show is held with a reception. 218 Main St., Oldtown Salinas, 422-4162.
Steven Whyte Sculpture Studio and Gallery | The prolific and accessible Steven Whyte sculpts classical human forms in iconic poses with stylish touches, earning him one of the most recognizable names in local sculpting. Dolores between Fifth and Sixth, Carmel, 620-1917.
Thomas Kinkade National Archives | The largest display of originals by “The Painter of Light” is the brightest star in a constellation of five local galleries. 361 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey, 655-5520 x108.
Weston Gallery | 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 and 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.
Youth Arts Collective | Built around a nonprofit organization that equips and cultivates teenage artists, YAC exhibits the powerful potential of the next generation of Monterey County (and beyond) artists. 472 Calle Principal, Monterey, 375-9922.
Monterey County boasts an active theater scene enlivened with several college and community theaters and an Equity company.
Bruce Ariss Wharf Theater | Popular musicals are presented in this tourist-friendly setting on Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf, 372-1373, 649-2332.
El Teatro Campesino | An outgrowth of agit-prop theater born during the farmworker labor struggles of the 1960s, Luis Valdez’s lauded company presents Mexican-American-themed works in neighboring San Benito County. 705 Fourth St., San Juan Bautista, 623-2444.
Forest Theater Guild | Shakespeare, musicals, classics and even summer films in the woods and under the stars abound at Carmel’s rustic, 100-year-old Outdoor Forest Theater; the Indoor Forest Theater stays faithful to the classics. Mountain View and Santa Rita, Carmel, 626-1681.
Monterey Peninsula College Theatre Company | Monterey Peninsula’s junior college draws from the acting community at large for its Main Stage shows; smaller outreach productions show in the compact SRO Theater. 980 Fremont Blvd., Monterey, 646-4213.
Magic Circle Theatre | This popular company has returned after a four-year absence, with ambitious programming including productions of David Mamet and other modern greats. 8 El Caminito Road, Carmel Valley, 659-7500, www.magiccircletheater.net.
Pacific Repertory Theatre | The Peninsula’s Equity company presents contemporary and classic productions on the historic Golden Bough main stage and downstairs in the intimate Circle Theatre, along with a summer Shakespeare Festival. Monte Verde between Eighth and Ninth, Carmel, 622-0100.
Paper Wing Theatre Company | This independent community theater company stages edgy plays, musicals and comedies, spiked with humor and daring. 320 Hoffman Ave., Monterey, 675-0521.
Western Stage at Hartnell College | The school’s 3/4 stage allows wrap-around viewing of contemporary plays, summer stock, musicals and adaptations of John Steinbeck novels. 411 Central Ave., Salinas, 755-6816.
Museums Performance Venues
CSU Monterey Bay World Theater | The 457-seat performing arts venue for the California State University campus hosts lectures, films, music, dance and any other event that calls for professional audio/visual equipment and good acoustics. Sixth Avenue, Seaside, 582-4580.
Henry Miller Memorial Library | A small wood-frame house serves as an independent nonprofit with a large collection of photographs, memorabilia and books. Extraordinary music and events occur on the idyllic lawn. Highway 1, five miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Big Sur, 667-2574.
Monterey Bay Aquarium | Recently named the country’s best aquarium, Monterey’s window into the bay, perched over tidepools and waves, highlights the richness and diversity of Central California marine life. 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, 648-4800.
Monterey State Historic Park | The birthplace of European history in Alta California survives in beautifully restored adobe homes, historic buildings and gardens nestled throughout downtown Monterey. Eleven 19th-century structures, including California’s First Theater and original Customs House, may be toured. 20 Custom House Plaza, Monterey, 649-7118.
MY Museum | This 8,500-square-foot museum is packed with a variety of hands-on exhibits where kids can explore a wide world of possibilities-farm, golf course, theater, hospital, beach, treehouse and construction site. 425 Washington St., Monterey, 649-6444.
National Steinbeck Center | This sparkling center celebrates John Steinbeck with a permanent gallery displaying film and interactive exhibits. It also features the “Valley of the World” agricultural wing, original manuscripts, archival photographs and rotating artists and cultural programs. 1 Main St., Salinas, 796-3833.
Osio Cinemas | Monterey Peninsula’s home for art house films, the Osio is a six screen mini-plex on Alvarado Street in downtown Monterey. The Osio features exclusive engagements of first run cinefile pictures as well as a smorgasboard of international and specialty films. Voted Monterey County’s best movie theater every year since 2004. 350 Alvarado St, Monterey, 831-644-8171
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History | A fascinating place for immersion in the county’s ecology and natural diversity, with displays of local birds, foliage, geology and animals. It’s bolstered by changing exhibits. 165 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove, 648-5716.
Point Pinos Lighthouse | The oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast, with rooms furnished as they were in the Civil War and 1940s. Tours available Thu-Sun. Asilomar and Ocean View, Pacific Grove, 648-5716.
Point Sur Lighthouse | On a craggy, windswept point 20 miles south of Carmel, in Big Sur, is an operating turn-of-the-century lighthouse that offers guided three-hour tours. Call for schedule. Highway 1, Big Sur, 625-4419.
Sunset Center | The names that have graced the historic Sunset Center’s stage are the stuff of legend, from tenor Jose Carreras to multi-award winning dynamo Rita Moreno. Run by the nonprofit Sunset Cultural Center, Inc., culture lovers can look forward to more than 50 classical musical performances a year here, including the world-famous Carmel Bach Festival, as well as a variety of other musical acts, author readings, film festivals and dance performances. San Carlos at Ninth, Carmel. 620-2048
Tor House and Hawk Tower | This monument to poet Robinson Jeffers is one of California’s most significant literary landmarks. Built largely by Jeffers himself with granite and rough boulders from the ocean below, the farmhouse and imposing tower with lovely gardens contain original furnishings and Jeffers memorabilia. 26304 Ocean View near Stewart Way, Carmel, 624-1813.