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Art Galleries & Shows on the Central Coast

The Central Coast has a thriving artistic community with many events that exhibit creativity and craftsmanship with an artistic flourish. From downtown SLO’s monthly Art Walks to classic art galleries, there are a variety of ways you can get involved in the art scene. Much of the local artwork produced by Central Coast residents captures our beautiful natural surroundings, so participating in art is a great way to show your love for the community as well as get involved with interesting and talented people. Here are 6 local art galleries or art events to try in the new year!

Gallery at Marina Square

The Gallery at Marina Square in Morro Bay, near the gorgeous harbor, features over 60 professional artists. It is more than just a store; it is a community and family of artists using diverse styles and textures.They have an artist’s reception on the second Friday of every month if you’d like to learn more from the artists themselves!

Hearst Castle

While it’s not an art gallery where you can buy anything, Hearst Castle has perhaps the finest collection on the Central Coast, created and compiled by newspaper magnet William Randolph Hearst in the early 1900s. For anyone who enjoys art, beauty, and history, paying a visit to the magical castle atop the San Simeon Hills is well worth your time.

Photo: (c) Wikimedia

Art After Dark

Art After Dark takes places every first Friday in downtown San Luis Obispo and is a great way to get acquainted with local artists and artisans in a charming location. Come stroll down Higuera street from 6-9 pm to be a part of the community, get your creative juices flowing.

Photo: (c) San Luis Obispo Country Visitor’s Guide

Just Looking Gallery

The Just Looking Gallery downtown has a gorgeous selection of Central Coast art. Steve Thomas’ collection of stylized prints of natural landmarks across California and the western coast are standouts, and a great souvenir for anyone who feels a connection to this area.

Photo: (c) David ZagRodny Photographs, Art by Steve Thomas


Dimensions is a show that takes place every other year, exhibiting fine arts and crafts featuring artwork made from clay, fiber, metal, paper, and wood by artists living in California.  This year, it received over 130 submissions, of which it has chosen 51 finalists. Pay a visit to the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art for this fantastic showing.

Photo: (c) New Times SLO

Art Bars

Art Bars have become more popular in the last few years! These are bars or locales where local artists instruct a group on how to do a simple painting, and often include a glass of wine with your ticket with more available for purchase. In SLO, the place that offers a trendy art bar experience is the trendy wine bar, The Station.

Photo: (c) Kendra Aronson


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