Best Places to See Art in Monterey

Things to Do — By mfitzsimmons on March 1, 2012 at 9:36 am

Travelers come to Monterey to sample some clam chowder and scope the city’s many historical sites, such as Colton Hall and the Presidio, but what many don’t realize is that Monterey is home to a thriving arts scene.

The Museum of Monterey, or MOM, houses several galleries burgeoning with art, history, and cultural artifacts. MOM just recently installed an exhibit called “Chicanitas,” a series of paintings from actor Cheech Marin’s personal collection. They are also running an exhibit called “Costume, Landscape, and Memory in Monterey,” which takes a look at fashion’s evolution in this seaside city. On any given day, MOM is home to an eclectic mix of historical and modern art that will intrigue any visitor.

A blue woman smoking a cigarette; painting by Cheech Marin

A painting from Cheech Marin's personal collection.

If you are really looking for a place that mixes history with art, than check out the Monterey Museum of Art (MMA), which is actually split up into two buildings in the oldest part of the city. The museum is the art and cultural hub of Monterey thanks to its regularly held lectures, photography that captures specific points in the area’s history, and paintings which are completely unique to this region of California.

A visitor in the Monterey Museum of Art.

A visitor peruses the works on display at the Monterey Museum of Art.

In addition to official museums, Monterey is also home to a plethora of galleries sprinkled all over town. However, one of the best places to see local art is the Monterey Peninsula Art Foundation on Cannery Row. This institution was founded by artists for artists and always features works by local painters, sculptors, and photographers.

Tags: Cannery Row, Monterey, Monterey Museum of Art, Museum of Monterey, the Monterey Peninsula Art Foundation