CAL Juried Show?


By on Mon, April 11, 2011

Dear Coastal Art League Members,

I traveled to your gallery this weekend and was disappointed in your juried showing.  It was one of the flattest display of art I have seen in a regional show in many years.  The best work of art was the fresh front pages of the coastal newspaper - a barrier for cautioning the viewer not to fall over the railing!
The adjacent galleries of wood furnishings, the commercial glass store and another fine arts gallery spoke volumes to quality as well as the southerly pricey gallery were greeters, but left the potential customers alone while gazing at potential purchases. There was no greeting, though I lingered there for 15 minutes or so.
The multimedia works were over-represented photography and newsy art; it is best to have greater variety, but if that is the best of the coast, I guess I won't make a special trip to see a published juried show.  I would recommend that you review what it is to have a juried showing, increasing the number of artists and improve the quantity and quality and selections of fine art and how it is aesthetically displayed with improved didactic panels about artists and the coastal community and expanded labeling information.
You might ask what authority I have in the arts - probably not much, but I am a collector (50+ painting from across regions).  My Facebook page has an album of our collection...!
Our day was not lost.  Barbara's fish shack and ML are always a nice eating venues, a walk on the pier keeps Princeton-by-the-Sea on our agenda and I am not so sure the fine arts venue would not profit in relocating there. HMB Main St has lost its way with a lot of kitsch.

Dear Mr. Cresson,

If the juried show was at Coastside Art Gallery and Wine Bar, the newspaper doesn’t report that!

On the web page contained in that article: is dubious and clearly shows the CAL with the blue awning pronouncement suggests I am where I should be. In fact, the person laboring at the desk should have said our juried gallery is adjacent to this gallery and have given me directions.  Perhaps my mistake was not making a distinction between 300 and 330 Main St, (I checked the Coastsider or another paper to get the name and recheck the address) but I walked that center and none of the numbered venues are very clear.

As to the reference to my art collection - purchases are what keeps artists doing what they do best, but as a payback to my negative comment you should be unsettled as should your artists and HMB. I am a buyer and not just a “lookieloo,” but I like to look and consider and…!

Watching the problems facing the venues in HMB are distressing considering the merchants association and city bickering and recent loses does not bode well; in this case, advertising what you have to offer.  Part of my caseload and eventual area of responsibility as a manager have brought me in an official capacity to visit your community for 20 years and visits 40 overall.

I am sorry you don’t believe me about the lack of greetings, but maybe the lady was lost in her work.  The acid comment was both deserved and misplaced - perhaps you can use that to etch your next plate.  Personally, I would have invited me back to see your temperamental artists and their works with a critical eye - I will surely be anonymous when I return.

In a message dated 4/12/2011 4:13:25 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) writes:
Dear Mr. Kirkpatrick,

I see that your “review” of the Coastal Arts League exhibit was posted in several public places.

Regrettably, any review that is so negatively judgmental certainly would hurt the feelings of some sensitive, good volunteers. They give their time and best intentions as a community service. Regardless of your expressions about the weak quality of their efforts, your opinion and the public rebuke was painful to some who are involved in that organization.

Whether we agree with you or not is irrelevant. You are entitled to your opinion, in view of your (“50 plus painting”) collection of art.

But, as it turns out, you did NOT visit the Coastal Arts League (300 Main St.) exhibit.

You were in a nearby commercial gallery - with that newspaper photography exhibit that you criticized, and the railing that you might have fallen over. The gallery you did visit is located down the block at 330 Main St. I can’t imagine why you weren’t properly greeted at that gallery, as its livelihood depends on making every visitor feel welcome and respected.

Never the less, your unfortunate reaction should not be blamed on The Coastal Arts League. It should be blamed on our gallery - at 330 Main street. It is I who should have greeted you. And it is I who might profit from listening to your opinions.

I feel that we should all be careful about the way we express our criticisms. They can hurt well-meaning people’s feelings (including mine). It is an important part of life, in today’s often painful world, to try to be a little gentle. But, if we insist on putting out acid comments, they should be directed at the correct targets.

As for me, I do appreciate your thoughts. I wish they could have been more gently expressed, but I try to hear people who see a better way for us to do our business.


Dave Cresson
Coastside Art Gallery and Wine Bar

Dear Mr. Kirkpatrick,

We appreciate your taking the time to write, and more importantly, to check out our gallery & museum (especially with the cost of fuel these days to get anywhere).  Though the current show may not be to your liking (as it is with others we have heard from, who enjoy local photography), we have new exhibits every month, and each one is different.  Last month’s show featured local plein-air painters, along with legendary painter Galen Wolf. The month before, it showcased acclaimed surfing photographers, as well as paintings, sculptures and surfboards on display.  Next month, Half Moon Bay High School will be showing the works of student artists.  If you look at our schedules and links on CAL’s website, you can see that we offer something for everyone interested in the arts, at one time or another.

You have to remember that the Coastal Arts League is a non-profit museum & gallery, which supports the arts and artists on the coast, allowing them the opportunity to show their work. CAL also develops programs to encourage young artists to publish and display their work.  The current show was possible through the generous offering of Mr. Dave Cresson of Coastside Gallery (the owner of that fine arts gallery you wrote of, which spoke “volumes to quality”), who organized the juried show which was hung in our Museum Gallery.  That type of opportunity is what makes CAL so unique.

Your suggestion about didactic panels has been used by CAL for numerous exhibits before, but each show is presented differently.  In any event, we thank you for your comments, and again wish to thank you for visiting us.

All the Best,
Patricia Keefe
C.A.L. President

Deb Wong
C.A.L. Secretary