Arts & Culture

On the hunt for art at Seaside Gallery in Pismo Beach

The bold paintings of Ken Christensen are on display in Pismo Beach through June 15. Christensen considers himself a New Fauvist.
The bold paintings of Ken Christensen are on display in Pismo Beach through June 15. Christensen considers himself a New Fauvist. Courtesy photo

Gallery owners interviewed for the last issue of The Tribune’s Biz Buzz Extra magazine noted the importance of tourism to their sales, so it’s not surprising that when I walked into Seaside Gallery in Pismo Beach on a recent Saturday I was asked, “Where are you visiting from?”

“San Luis Obispo,” I replied, to see the exhibit by one of my favorite artists, Ken Christensen.

Was I interested in buying a piece?

Well, like the visitors who buy art when hanging out in our county, I tend to buy art when I’m traveling. That’s how I ended up with a Virgin of Guadalupe beaded curtain from a Seattle shop. Not art, you say? Surround it with Mexican folk art and it all makes sense.

Nonetheless, yes, I am interested in buying a piece. I was the second highest bidder on a Christensen painting at last year’s Real Men Drink Pink Party at Star Farms in San Miguel. He demonstrated his plein air technique that day and I learned later that the winning bidder took the piece home wet with messy results.

By the way, this year’s rosé wine tasting event is June 21 and benefits Cancer Support Community.

But back to Seaside Gallery, which is showing a large selection of the Los Osos artist’s colorful oil scenes of Pismo Beach and the Five Cities area. Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and San Francisco are also portrayed.

Christensen describes himself as a New Fauvist and uses bright and bold colors to capture outdoor scenes full of fabulous brushstrokes.

The friendly owners and staff at Seaside were ready to match me with the painting of my dreams complete with payment plan if necessary. But as much as I appreciated each and every one in the exhibit, I did not covet any as much as some others I’ve seen over the years, especially scenes of San Luis Obispo neighborhoods.

The search continues!

Next up at Seaside Gallery is the fourth annual “SLOPOKE Western Art Rodeo” July 5-20.

Expect 100 works from 30 artists, such as Howard Terpning, Martin Grelle and Andy Thomas.

“We believe the western art collector will continue to be drawn to the picturesque beaches and luxuriant vineyards of California’s Central Coast to enjoy viewing and buying excellent western art. It seems to be a natural fit,” said owner Tom Burgher in press materials.

If you go

What: Ken Christensen

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Show runs through June 15.

Where: Seaside Gallery, 580 Cypress St., Pismo Beach

Contact: (805) 773-8057 or