Destinations Carmel-by-the-Sea Arts & Culture

Carmel-by-the-Sea Arts & Culture

Carmel-by-the-Sea's roots are planted firmly in the earth of its artistic and cultural heritage. Originally formed as an artists' community, it remains a central point for both fine arts and performing arts on California's Central Coast. Why else would the Cultural Council for Monterey County call Carmel-by-the-Sea its home?

Carmel-by-the-Sea Art Galleries

Carmel-by-the-Sea's walkable community makes it convenient to shop for and enjoy established and emerging artists in its dozens of galleries. The Carmel Art Association is one of the oldest cooperative art galleries in the United States. Its monthly art openings, lecture series and a constantly changing exhibit of work all contribute to its enduring success.

Carmel Art Festivals

Every May, the galleries of Carmel-by-the-Sea take part in the Carmel Art Festival, a public celebration of the visual arts. Painters from around the world descend on Carmel-by-the-Sea to compete in the prestigious plein air painting competition; after they are judged, those new works of art are sold to visitors in a silent auction. For information on the next Carmel Art Festival, click here.

Meet Carmel-by-the-Sea artists, local winemakers, and craft food creators along the Carmel Art Walk at the third annual "Meet the Makers" event. Stroll through charming downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea and meet the artists who carry on the artist colony legacy and tour their galleries, while sipping Monterey County wines. Look for the blue lanterns to find participating art galleries! 

You can also follow the blue lanterns on the second Saturday of every month for the Carmel Art Walk from 4-7pm. 

Carmel-by-the-Sea Theaters and Performing Arts

Carmel-by-the-Sea is one square mile of town, and within that area five live theaters, and a number of theater groups, have been established. The theaters range from intimate settings to large, auditorium-style seating. Pacific Repertory Theatre gives performances in the Outdoor Forest, Golden Bough and Circle Theatres, among other locations.

The recently renovated Sunset Cultural Center has hosted performers like Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, k.d. lang, Leo Kottke, Wynton Marsalis, Kathy Griffin and Garrison Keillor. In addition, the new stage has presented regulars like the Monterey Symphony and Chamber Music Monterey. Its structural improvements are not only beautiful, but also provide a perfect environment for acoustic sound and live theater performances.

Visit the Carmel-by-the-Sea official website for more information. 

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