Thursday, March 25, 1999
Cannery Row maritime artist Gary Geyer is a developer''s nightmare. He''s big, burly, outspoken and bitterly opposed to development along California''s coastline. He''s been fighting it for almost 30 years, first in the ''70s and ''80s in Capitola Village, where he helped found the town''s thriving art colony and served as a vocal anti-development activist on the local Chamber of Commerce.
Now he''s fighting it on Cannery Row, where he''s been trying to build a second artists'' colony since 1991, and has come up against the artist''s traditional nemesis: money.
In 1990, Geyer left Capitola and headed for Cannery Row, drawn here, he says, by the Steinbeck legacy, the large number of empty buildings, and the natural beauty of the bay. He found likely space on the second floor of 700 Cannery Row, in a building owned--as are most on the Row--by the Cannery Row Company.
"Cannery Row was three-quarters empty, so the space was here to rent," he says. "Cannery Row Co. wanted to build, and the city wouldn''t give them a permit until their buildings were filled. They needed us to fill the space, and I knew that."
Geyer says Cannery Row Co. liked his concept of building an artists'' colony on the Row, to attract more of the high-end tourist market from Carmel and Pebble Beach, and agreed to rent space to Geyer and his artist friends in the 700 building at "very fair rates." In 1991, Geyer moved in and announced a new home for his American Renaissance Movement, which he describes as a loose grouping of artists who are focused on working and displaying art in public spaces where they can interact and exchange ideas with the public.
By the end of ''91 there were about 15 working artists on the second floor, with more artists renting and working across the street on the second floor of the Cannery Row Building. "From ''91 to ''96 there were more artists per capita on Cannery Row than at any time in history," Geyer says. "Businesses were coming back, they were more high-end. There was really magic, and change. That''s what artists bring to an area."
But in 1996, Geyer says, Cannery Row Co. lost its vice-president of leasing, who had been a big supporter of his plan for an artists'' colony. Rents in the 700 building increased 200 percent, he says, and the company "began throwing obstacles in our way." One obstacle was refusing to post signs outside the building directing visitors to the artists'' studios on the second floor, and refusing to allow the artists to post their own signs. "No one knew we were up there," Geyer charges.
Today, there are just three artists left in the 700 building. "We''ve lost three-quarters of the artists on Cannery Row in the past two years, more than 15 artists have left," Geyer states.
Cannery Row Co. President Ted Balestreri says he''s only too glad to see more artists come to the Row--if they can pay the rent. "We like artists there--ones that pay and contribute and don''t fight with the tenants," he says. "It''s always nice to have good artists. It adds color and diversity."
The rent increase in 1996 was only fair, he says. "The rent there is still enormously reasonable," he insists. "Unfortunately, there are a lot more starving artists than successful ones. Almost any rent would be too high for them."
Geyer left the 700 building in early ''98, and moved his studio/gallery to 625 Cannery Row, in a building owned by the Shake family. He''s trying to continue his plans for an art colony in that building and next door at 585 Cannery Row, also owned by the Shakes
But Geyer has run into trouble already. He''s now involved in a lawsuit with the Shake family over the condition of his rental. Tene Shake refused comment when reached by phone.
Other artists still on the Row support Geyer''s dream of an art colony, and say it''s not too late. "It all has to do with rents," says artist Frank Sunseri, who has been renting in the 700 building for 23 years. Three artists have left the building in the past six months, he says, because they couldn''t make ends meet. "It''s up to the landlords, whether they want to promote local artists as a tourist draw. It''s good business. I get a lot of people in here who are so glad to see something made by local artists."
Potter Cheryl "Sunshine" Watts has been renting studio/gallery space in the Cannery Row Building since ''91, and was an early supporter of Geyer''s American Renaissance Movement. She says it was hard for many of the artists who flocked here in the early ''90s to survive slow tourist seasons. "We don''t get a lot of locals," she admits, adding that the rent increases and the company''s refusal to permit signage on the building was a final blow.
Watts uses her 1,000-square-foot space for her own ceramics, and also as a gallery where she shows the work of some 20 other local artists, some of whom no longer are able to rent on the Row themselves. She used to have openings almost every weekend. Then it went to twice a month, then once a month, and now just once a year.
But Cannery Row is still a draw for artists, Watts believes. "We still have some strong artists here," she says enthusiastically. "The movement is taking a breath right now. It''ll be harder if rents go up, but so long as there''s empty space, artists should come and rent. Gary [Geyer] is really in a pickle. We''re just waiting for the powers-that-be to open the space to him, so he can rent it out." cw
Carl Cherry Center for the Arts Beauty at the Heart of Things. Call for Entries. The Carl Cherry Center seeks photographic entries--"up to four slides in black and white or color related to the articulation of beauty in everyday objects"--for a show that opens 4/3. Call for more info, 624-7491.
Carmel Art Association New Members Party. Special Event. A party for new associate members of CAA features door prizes, a drawing for a painting, and figure-drawing demonstrations by CAA artists. Dolores Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Reception: 3/26, 6pm. Through: 3/26.
Seaside City Hall Student Sculpture Competition. Opening Reception. A reception honors the winners of the "Student Sculpture Competition," at the Monterey Sculpture Center, 711 Neeson Road, Marina. Reception: 3/30, 6:30pm. The winning sculptures then go on display at Seaside City Hall on 3/31. 440 Harcourt St., Seaside. 841-2100. Through: 5/1.
The Traveler in the Country: Pleasant Views Within. Exhibit. Paintings of abandoned barns in the Midwest and farm scenes of the Monterey area. At the Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey. 646-3858. Through: 5/3.
Carl Cherry Center
Thinking Out Loud. Exhibit. Artwork in many media by Monterey County high school students. Guadalupe Street and 4th Avenue, Carmel. 624-7491. Through: 3/28.
Carmel Art Association
A Curious Collection. Exhibit. New works by sculptor Kathleen Crocetti. The exhibit represents a yearlong series in which the artist investigates, "what will be emerging from these cocoons?" Also, paintings and drawings by Frank Ashley; abstract landscapes by Heidi Hybl; watercolors by William F. Stone, Jr.; oil paintings on paper by Susan Reith. Dolores Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 4/6.
Carmel Valley Manor Exhibit. Works by members of the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the Embroiderers'' Guild of America. 8545 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. 626-4806. Through: 3/30.
Center for Photographic Art Duane Michals: Now Becoming Then. Exhibit. Narrative series of photographs telling visual, otherworldly stories. At the Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 8th Avenue, Carmel. 625-5181. Through: 4/30.
Fireside Lobby Henry Gilpin. Exhibit. Silver gelatin prints by noted photographer Henry Gilpin. At the Highlands Inn, Highway 1, Carmel. 624-3801. Through: 6/15.
First Murphy House Monterey Peninsula People. Exhibit. Photographs and biographies of people who live in the area by John McCleary. Mission Street and 6th Ave., Carmel. Through: 5/16.
Galeria Tonantzin The Breast of Times. Exhibit. Works in clay by five women artists exploring "a subject that [is] on the minds of most individuals in our culture." 115 3rd St., San Juan Bautista. 623-ARTE. Through: 4/11.
Gray''s Art Gallery Women & Children At Work--Ghana. Exhibit. Photographic essay by Karin Cotterman. 1104 Broadway Ave., Suite K, Seaside. 899-1069. Through: 4/3.
Grove Homescapes Exhibit. Mono prints by Lesley Ann Spowart and Gary Snider; acrylic paintings by Anita Benson; black-and-white photographs by Jay Schneider. 472 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 656-0864. Through: 3/31.
Hartnell College Seminar Gallery Art of Sound. Exhibit. 350 miniature drawings by Hartnell student Elizabeth Harney. 156 Homestead Ave., Salinas. 755-6791. Through: 3/26.
Marjorie Evans Gallery Separate Visions. Exhibit. Photographs by the Independent Photographers group. At Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 8th Avenue, Carmel. 373-3009. Through: 3/31.
Monterey College of Law Exhibit. Handmade papers, monotypes and etchings by Paula Walzer. 404 W. Franklin St., Monterey. 373-3301.
Monterey Museum of Art: Civic Center Exhibit. Gerald Wasserman''s "Caff Scenes;" Works on paper from the Frost/Hanna Collection. C.S. Price: "Landscape, Image and Spirit." 559 Pacific St., Monterey. 372-5477. Through: 5/9.
Monterey Peninsula Airport Altered States: Transforming the Spirit of Castoff Materials. Exhibit. Works by local artists who have created unusual works from everyday objects. Also, "Angels of Tradition," Santa Catalina Lower School students present their version of Monterey''s Christmas angels. 200 Fred Kane Dr., Monterey. 624-7910. Through: 3/31.
Morgan''s Coffee and Tea Intarsia. Exhibit. Painted works in wood by David Jones. Also, photographs from John McCleary''s 1978 trip through Afghanistan. 498 Washington St., Monterey. Through: 3/31.
MPC Gallery Fusion: Integration of Digital and Three-Dimensional Art. Exhibit. Works by students of Jason Challas at Monterey Peninsula College. 980 Fremont St., Monterey. 333-0501. Through: 4/2.
Pacific Grove Art Center Exhibit. "Out of the Earth," photographs by David E. Stroup; "My Life," paintings by Marian Whitney; "Print Work," etchings and lithographs by Diana Jacobs; humorous sculpture by Mary Gould. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-2208. Through: 4/2.
PG Museum of Natural History Mysterious Manatees. Exhibit. Photographs and text "intended to improve our understanding of these animals." 165 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove. 648-3116. Through: 4/18.
Richard MacDonald Galleries L''Enfant. The spring exhibition at gallery features original paintings and drawings, as well as sculpture by Richard MacDonald. Included in the exhibit is his newest release, "Romeo," a part of MacDonald''s "Ballet Suite" series. San Carlos Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-8200. Through: 4/25.
Santa Catalina School The World of Lady M. Paintings by Karen Nagano inspired by Japanese court culture and literature. 1500 Mark Thomas Dr., Monterey. 655-9350. Through: 4/18.
Seaside City Hall Annual Youth Art Show. Exhibit. Photographic works, paintings, graphics, sculptures and crafts are shown by Monterey County junior high and high school students. 440 Harcourt Ave., Seaside. 899-6336. Through: 3/27.
Tillie Gort''s Restaurant
Through the Looking Glass. Exhibit. Black-and-white portraiture by Rocio Brice¤o "examines images of an adult world in the eyes of children." 111 Central Ave., Pacific Grove. 373-0335. Through: 3/28.
Valley Art Gallery Annual Juried Show. Exhibit. Members of the Salinas Valley Art Association show works in many media. 218 Main St., Salinas. 422-4162. Through: 3/27.
Venture Art Gallery Exhibit. Paintings by Barbara Reding. 260 Alvarado Mall, at the Doubletree Hotel, Monterey. 372-6279. Through: 3/31.
Vest Pocket Gallery Watercolors. Exhibit. Works by Chuck Scardina. 551 Gibson Ave., Pacific Grove. 657-5200. Through: 3/31.
Woman''s Wellspring Exhibit. Black-and-white photography of the female nude by Jenny Ruley. 575 Calle Principal, Monterey. 649-2320. Through: 3/30.
Zantman Art Galleries Recent Works. Exhibit. Still life paintings by Dorothy Fitzgerald. Mission Street and 6th Avenue, Carmel. 624-8314. Through: 4/8.
Veracity Tuesday and Wednesday at 8pm. Musical. Angelsong Studio Theatre presents an "Easter musical drama" penned and directed by Carolyn Ballard-Hylton. Songs include selections from The Witness, a classic Easter musical by Carol and Jimmy Owens. Admission is free, but reservations are suggested. Wharf Theater, Fisherman''s Wharf #1, Monterey. 375-3787. Through: 4/4.
A Cup of Tea Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Melodrama. The Troupers of the Gold Coast present A Cup of Tea, a 19th-century farce about an erstwhile poet who composes sonnets to his lady-love. His heartfelt odes, unfortunately, fall into the hands of his intended''s husband, with predictably tragi-comic results. This is the Troupers'' 541st production since 1937 in the historic First Theater, one of Monterey''s most treasured 19th-century buildings. All shows are suitable for the entire family, and are followed by an olio revue. California''s First Theater, Scott and Pacific streets, Monterey. General Admission: $10. Children: $5. Seniors: $8. 375-4916. Through: 3/27.
Cinderella Friday and Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 2pm. Musical. Notre Dame High School''s drama club presents the lively Rodgers and Hammerstein''s musical production of Cinderella, the tale of an unwanted girl kept as a virtual slave by her evil stepmother and stepsisters until she''s magically rescued by a prince''s love and a lost slipper. Notre Dame High School Theater, 455 Palma Dr., Salinas. General Admission: $7. Children: $5. Seniors: $5. 751-1850. Through: 3/28.
On The Air Friday and Saturday at 8:30pm, Sunday at 8pm. Musical Revue. Angelo DiGirolamo revives this feel-good, song-and-dance trip down nostalgia lane, presented as this year''s major fundraiser for the Wharf Theater. It''s a true musical revue, featuring the great old songs of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, George and Ira Gershwin, and their like. The show is billed as a way to relive the grand old days of radio (if you''re old enough to remember them) or to introduce that genre to your youngsters and grand-youngsters. All ages, of course, are welcome. Directed by Gina Welch-Hagen. Wharf Theater, Fisherman''s Wharf, Monterey. General Admission: $15. Children: $8. 649-2332, 372-1373. Through: 3/28.
Smash Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 5pm. Comedy. Conrad Selvig directs a great local cast in this Jeffrey Hatcher adaptation of George Bernard Shaw''s novel, An Unsocial Socialist. Clever word play and love triangles are intertwined with serious debate about societal change and the British caste system in the Victorian age. The story centers on a young millionaire socialist who leaves his bride at the altar and infiltrates a girls'' school in order to indoctrinate the future wives of Britain''s political leaders with the teachings of Marx and Engels. Smash is also the debut of the Carl Cherry Center''s new facelift. Cast includes Ron Cohen, Peter Eberhardt, John Farmanesh, Roo Hornady, Michael Lojkovic, Deirdre McCauley and Michael Robbins. The play has been held over an extra week due to audience demand. Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Guadalupe Streeet and 4th Avenue, Carmel. General Admission: $14. Children: $12. Seniors: $12. 646-9478. Through: 3/28.
Waiting in the Wings Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2:30pm. Comedy. The Staff Players present Noel Coward''s comedy about a retirement home for British actresses "of a certain vintage." Waiting in the Wings is typical Coward fare: clever, funny, fast-paced and revealing of the human condition. Nick Hovick directs a cast of 17, including Marcia Hovick, Janice O''Brien, Loel Shuler, Susan Keenan and Neva Hahns. Indoor Forest Theater, Mountain View and Santa Rita streets, Carmel. General Admission: $12. Children: $9. Seniors: $9. 624-1531. Through: 3/28.
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm. Drama. Pac Rep takes on this powerful Tennessee Williams Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of a red-hot family feud in a Mississippi Delta town. Stephen Moorer plays Brick, a once-great high school athlete paralyzed by drink and his own failed sense of self. Julie Hughett is his wife Maggie, a bombshell crushed by her husband''s refusal to share her bed. Len Perry takes center stage as Big Daddy, the all-powerful family patriarch whose imminent demise sets in motion a bitter quarrel for his money and his love. Directed by John Rousseau. Saturday ticket prices are $20/general; $15/students and seniors. Other days, $18/general; $12/students and seniors. Golden Bough Theater, Monte Verde Street between 8th and 9th avenues, Carmel. 622-0700. Through: 4/11.
How I Learned To Drive Thursday and Wednesday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 2pm. Drama. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for drama, this memory play is told through the eyes of Li''l Bit, now in her 30s, as she recalls the sexual affair she had with her Uncle Peck over a seven-year period, when she was 11 to 18 years old. Alternately funny and devastatingly brutal, this Paula Vogel play explores the limits of familial sexual behavior. Can sex between an adult uncle and his teenage niece be "consensual?" Can a child realize the emotional impact she may suffer years later? From the opening scenes of sexual exploration in a car-seat, Vogel lets the audience know this won''t be a night of easy entertainment. Kathy Deskin-Jacobs directs Stephen Moorer and Caryne Shea in the lead roles. The Circle Theater in the Golden Bough, Monte Verde Ave. between 8th and 9th streets, Carmel. General Admission: $18. Children: $15. Seniors: $15. 622-0700. Through: 4/17.
Toad of Toad Hall Saturday at 2 and 4pm, Sunday at 1 and 3pm. Children. Thomas Burks revives his role as Mr. Toad in the Unicorn Family Fantasy Theatre production of the children''s classic by Kenneth Graham, The Wind in the Willows. Carey Crockett has adapted the tale and woven it into a wonderful children''s play complete with puppets and props, which the Unicorn folks have put on several times, to the delight of local youngsters and their parents. Advance tickets are available through the theater and at Spanish Bay Galleries, Bookmark in Pacific Grove and Carmel Video in the Mid-Valley Shopping Center. The Hoffman Playhouse, 320 Hoffman Ave., Monterey. General Admission: $5. 649-0259. Through: 4/24.
Two Dozen Red Roses Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 7pm. Comedy. A love quadrangle is the setting for this modern romantic farce by Kenneth Horne. The confusion is set in motion when roses are delivered to the wrong woman''s house. The plot thickens, subplots emerge, lovers are entangled and mayhem ensues until the inevitable resolution. Directed by Richard Munyon. The Hoffman Playhouse, 320 Hoffman Ave., Monterey. General Admission: $15. Children: $15. Seniors: $15. 649-0259. Through: 4/24.
Monterey Opera Association Auditions Saturday, 1-3pm (three more auditions will be held in April/May). Opera. Monterey Opera Association hold auditions for its November production of Verdi''s La Traviata and Mozart''s Cosi Fan Tutte. Auditioners must prepare and bring one piece of music from any opera, in their key, and no longer than three minutes. Musical accompaniment will be provided. If you cannot audition in person, send a picture, resume and audio tape to the Association at P.O. Box 1254, Monterey, CA 93942-1254 before May 15. The operas will be directed by Sid Cato and will run for two weekends beginning Nov. 6 at the Golden Bough Theater in Carmel. The Park Lane (top floor), 200 Glenwood Circle, Monterey. 372-2721.