Arts & Culture

Artists exhibit coastal creativity at Cayucos art gallery

‘Cormorants by the light house, San Simeon’ is an acrylic by Dianne Rose.
‘Cormorants by the light house, San Simeon’ is an acrylic by Dianne Rose. Courtesy photo

Cayucos is known for antique shops, Old Cayucos Tavern lemon drops and those cookies that Rachael Ray likes so much. Morro Bay to the south and Cambria to the north get the buzz for art galleries and local artists, but don’t count Cayucos out. You just have to know where to look.

The Cayucos Community Art Gallery that sits at the entrance to the Cayucos Pier was founded in 1989 and shares an address with the Vets Hall.

Painter Dianne Rose is the featured artist through Jan. 30. She favors acrylic and leans toward landscapes, seascapes, birds and animals.

She learned to paint in high school with instruction from Mel Ramos, known worldwide for his work that mixes pin-ups with pop art. Rose went on to raise a family and work as a graphic artist.

“I forgot how to paint,” she wrote in a brief biography on the Cayucos Art Association’s website, “With the help of all of the CAA teachers, they woke me up!”

Members of the Cayucos Art Association pay $20 a year to show their work in the gallery, and can take free classes.

Al Musso teaches watercolor from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on the first, third and fifth Wednesdays.

Ardella (Jo) Swanberg teaches watercolor and acrylic and offers critiques from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays. Wayne Huston teaches acrylics from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays.

Rose oversees the art classes and has details at 995-5015.

Members support the art program at Cayucos Elementary School and offer scholarships to Coast Union High School students who plan to make art a career. They also show student work at the gallery.

Another bunch of supportive artists along the Cabrillo Highway can be found online. There’s a group called “photomorrobay” on The group’s 465 members post some amazing nature photography. Mike Baird’s sea otters are especially adorable.

The web address for the group is Once there, you can have hours of fun looking through the more than 20,000 images. Try a search within the group for your favorite beach town, bird or sea creature.

Members of the Flickr group regularly chime in to offer feedback on each other’s photos.