Carmel Art Galleries
Carmel by-the-Sea, usually just called "Carmel", has been a haven for artists of all kinds since the early 1900s. In 1910, 60% of the town's residents were artists as were many city councilors. Several prominent artists, most notably actor/director Clint Eastwood, have served as mayor of Carmel. The list of artists who've lived, worked, and created in Carmel is long and dotted with the names of illustrious and historically significant contributors to California’s art scene.
Art has persisted as an important element of Carmel's uniqueness and tens of galleries can be found on a stroll of downtown Carmel or a short distance away. Many of the art galleries on the following list are a few minute walk from Monte Verde Inn and Casa de Carmel, two unique Carmel inns that fit right into to this community of artisans and art lovers.
Art Galleries and Theatre in Carmel
The following galleries are located in Carmel-by-the-Sea unless otherwise noted.
View each location on a map or all locations on a map and create your own Carmel art gallery walking tour.
With decades of experience painting the landscapes of California’s central coast, Johnny Apodaca has made a return to abstract expressionism capturing the essence, beauty, color and richness of Carmel and the coast. Alive with color, light, texture and movement, Mr. Apodaca’s works are born of nature. Be sure to take look at paintings influenced by his annual trips to the Umbria region of Italy.
The Bennett gallery shows and sells sculpture and artwork by the Bennett family, featuring over 800 pieces created by brothers (and identical twins) Bob and Tom Bennett. Bob and Tom Bennett, both Californians, were prodigious sculptures in the 80s, collected by tens of thousands of art lovers worldwide and operating 20 sculpture galleries across the U.S. In the late 90s the foundry and galleries closed, followed by the passing of Bob Bennett in 2003. In 2012, the family re-opened the gallery in the same Carmel location it stood back in the 80s. Bennett collectors of old rejoiced, and the Bennett’s work is enjoying a resurgence of popularity and appreciation from a new generation of enthusiastic fans and collectors. At the gallery, you’ll see sculpture by Tom Bennett, the late Bob Bennett, and works by their daughters Terrie Bennett and Ashley-Bennett Stoddard respectively. You’ll also see the sculpture of Kim Eckert-Bennett who apprenticed with Tom and Bob back in the days of the foundry.
The Carmel Art Association is Carmel’s oldest art gallery. Since 1927, the gallery has been home to works of artists living and creating on the Monterey Peninsula. With a rotating monthly exhibit, featured artists, solo shows and a great bookstore, the gallery offers visitors to Carmel food for the eyes, heart, soul and mind.
Although not located in Carmel by-the-Sea, the Carmel Valley Art Association is just a twenty-minute drive away and worth the brief excursion. Located in Carmel Valley, the CVAA is an art association that showcases local juried artists, exhibiting their work on a rotating basis. Showing artists/members work in the gallery monthly, meeting and greeting visitors. Exhibited works include painting, sculpture, mixed-media, glass art, photography and jewelry. CVAA was the inspiration of artist, author, and now gallery director, Shelley A Aliotti, whose “Valley Girls Gallery” evolved into the CVAA.
Dawson Cole gallery features sculptures, paintings and drawings of internationally renowned artist Richard McDonald. Since 1993, the gallery has been home to fine examples of art from American and European Masters, Contemporary, and West Coast Regional artists. Amongst the gallery’s offerings, you’ll find gems from Gaugin, Matisse, and Picasso.
Del Monte Fine Art is Carmel’s oldest purveyor of museum quality, historically significant works of notable early California and American artists from 1880-1950. Visit the gallery and see their fine selection of historical and contemporary paintings.
Galerie Plein Aire exhibits works created by the gallery owners and other local “plein aire” painters (literally “in the open air” meaning “painted outside”). The challenges of painting in open air are many. The environment and ever shifting light, make this perhaps the most difficult type of painting to achieve. The stunning results of some of the great works of the French impressionists were created en plein aire, revealing natural light and immediacy that is difficult to capture in sketches and recreate in studio painting. The gallery was founded in 1998, an outcrop of a group of Monterey plein aire painters who first showed in Pacific Grove in ’97. The gallery is home to fine Carmel and area painters including Howard Bradford, Cynra Bradford, and Jeff Daniel Smith.
Since 1995, Tony Vanderploeg has collected and exhibited the works of some of the country’s finest painters and sculptors. With a love or art that began in the Netherlands, where he was born, Tony was steeped in the teachings of great European art, including the Masters. Tony is also considered a “go-to” expert for all things Rolls Royce and Bentley, and can be seen offering his expertise and guidance as a featured guest on television’s “Monster Garage”.
Gallery 21 is home to the largest collection of Eyvind Earle paintings and serigraph prints worldwide. Earle passed away in 2000 at the age of 84, leaving a legacy of work from a life in the arts. Earle was born in New York in 1916 and had a varied and colorful career as an artist: showing in New York, a background artist for Disney Studios, animating his art for television, and creating book illustrations and magazine covers. The artist visited Carmel as a youth and eventually moved to Carmel in 1988 where he lived and created for the remainder of his life.
Gallery Elite offers works of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. The gallery’s roster of art includes contemporary and traditional paintings and sculptures displayed in 6000 square feet of gallery space.
The Rieser gallery features early American and California paintings, rounded out by a great collection of work from up-and-coming artists. Drop by and view the current show and visit the gallery’s archive online.
Visit artist Jim Miller’s gallery and see his original paintings, giclee and lithograph prints, and works from Guyol, Jack Storms and JD.
Feautring the works of Johnny Apodaca, Patty Biederman, Fred Carvel, and other notable Carmel and California artists, the Lyonshead Gallery is a great stop to soak up the visions of these artists, often influenced by the beautiful and varied surroundings in which they work. See beautiful landscapes, still life, sculpture, drawing and much more.
Mountainsong specializes in contemporary American masters, bronze sculpture, glass arts and hand-crafted wood furniture. Boasting the works of over one hundred artists, representing a variety of disciplines, the gallery is a cornucopia color, form, and evoked emotion. Visit the gallery’s online store, check out the latest gallery showing, or schedule a private viewing.
Park Gallery represents international contemporary artists working in a variety of styles and mediums. The gallery’s exciting collection includes paintings (landscapes, still life, figurative and portraiture) and sculpture. These broad terms, however, don’t do justice to the exquisite collection of art. Visit the gallery and be amazed at the rich variety of work created by skilled fine artists.
Featuring notable works of modern masters including abstract expressionist Andrea Stella, Bruno Paoli – "the father of Existential Realism", and the controversial work of Italian impressionist Norberto Martini.
Mary Titus is an artist and art educator who’s beautiful, painterly, large-format abstract paintings have been featured in numerous solo exhibits on the coast. Titus’s paintings are admired and collected by local and international art lovers, including royalty - hanging in the collection of the King’s Palace, Saudi Arabia. Her works can be seen alongside the other talented artists Titus Gallery represents.
Trotter Galleries is the oldest historical art gallery exhibiting notable and influential early American and Californian works since 1980. The gallery’s collection includes artists of the Rocky Mountain School, Decorative Tonalists, Impressionists, Society of Six, and the Early Moderns. Be sure to see their current exhibit.
Specializing in American art from 1940 to present day, Westbrook Galleries presents great works of noteworthy artists from the Modernists, Abstract Expressionists, Bay Area Figurative, and Berkley Schools. The gallery also offers the work of early-career, mid-career artists who rank at the top of their fields and exhibited in collections around the world.
Winfield Gallery houses an amazing collection of sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics, works on paper, and artisan-crafted furniture. Since 1989, the gallery has represented notable, contemporary mid-career and emerging artists working in a variety of disciplines. The gallery hosts many exhibits year-round and is a “must-see” stop on your next walking tour of Carmel art.
Wyland Gallery Carmel
Ocean Avenue and Northwest Mission Street
No map available.
A visit to Carmel would not be complete without seeing the work of influential marine life artist Robery Wyland. Simply known as “Wyland”, the multi-disciplinary, highly skilled and expressive artist has raised awareness of marine conservation by depicting its beauty and richness in bold and imaginative ways. In the 80s, Wyland became renowned for his larger than life-size whales painted upon the sides of buildings, which became known as “whaling walls”. These massive, beautifully realized paintings adorn the walls of buildings in cities and towns as diverse as San Diego, Yamagata, Japan, and Vancouver, Canada. Wyland’s work is collected by galleries and collectors worldwide. The gallery also features work of established and emerging artist from all over the world.
Pac Rep produces “daring interpretations” of plays and musicals from the world stage. Each season Pac Rep delights theatre-goers in three Carmel venues: the Golden Bough Playhouse, Circle Theater, and the Outdoor Forest Theater. Check out this season’s offerings by Carmel’s fiercely dedicated and talented theatre group.