An outing to Stinson offers more options than suntanning and sand between the toes. This little coastal towns is a mini mecca of galleries, just prime for a day of relaxation and culture. Next time you make a day trip, wander beyond the beach and discover all this little town has to offer.
m a d e
3448 Shoreline Highway
m a d e features handmade sculptural objects, textiles and two dimensional art. The gallery features more than 30 artists from around the country. Heidi Paul, who opened the gallery last May, explained her gallery as “Contemporary craft…more functional.” The gallery is full of funky objects and art; all the way from repurposed fashion, humorous wall decorations to felted necklaces and jewelry made to look like candied oranges. The space feels awfully like walking into the extremely hip and organized closet of Alice Liddel in her later years. “[The kind of people the gallery tends to appeal to are] openminded, interested in learning, learning more about the techniques, art lovers!” Paul said.
Stinson Beach Gallery
3445 Shoreline Highway
Walking into Stinson Beach Gallery is like walking into a seaside cottage. The walls are whitewashed brick, the aesthetic is simple but pleasing, and everywhere you look you’re reminded you are by the beach. The gallery is light and airy, and the art inside directly reflects its surrounding.
Though much of the art is directly inspired by the beach, don’t expect oil pastels of sand and photos of waves. From past shows of wire sculptures whales to portraits made of plastic washed up on the beach, to the gallery’s current show, to series of haunting black and white photographs, this gallery is always fresh.
The Blissful Gallery
3415 Shoreline Highway
The Blissful Gallery is Stinson’s newest addition. A little yellow cottage nestled in the front of Stinson, the gallery is filled with original paintings in oil and water, along with seasonal displays of of 3-D works. The paintings, mostly all landscapes, are done by the owner, Emmeline Craig.
Ethereal and calming, these landscapes which are often very fantastical are full of warmth and life. Upon entering, the sunshine yellow gallery, one almost expects to glimpse a fairy wing flutter by. Craig calls her art “peaceful images to soothe the soul.”
Claudia Chapline Gallery
3445 Shoreline Highway
The oldest and biggest of Stinson’s galleries, the Claudia Chapline gallery is not one to miss. The gallery boasts both an outside sculpture garden and a spacious interior. Make sure you set aside enough time to really wander and peruse through the gallery. The gallery is chock full of art, from feathered chairs to plastic bag installations to abstract nude sketches to deconstructed books to handmade books to oil paintings to water colors and everything in between.
And while you’re at it, make sure to speak to Claudia, who has owned the gallery for over 20 years. Claudia, like her gallery is full of surprises. She runs a gallery, owns a publishing press, is a former dance therapist, writes books of poetry, just published her memoir, is an arts activist and so much more. She might just end up being your favorite part of the gallery.