Beach Stories

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Ghost on Santa Monica Pier, 1999 Archival Digital On Handmade Paper Framed 16 X 20 © 1999
Beach Stories

415 Pacific Coast Highway
Santa Monica, CA 90402
April 25th, 2009 - September 30th, 2009

santa monica/venice
Tel: 310-458-4904
7 days a week, 9 am -Sunset
Santa Monica Arts Commission


Debut Photography Exhibit at the Annenberg Community Beach House
Thirty-Six by Twenty-Seven
Stories of Santa Monica Beach

May 12, 2009 The new Annenberg Community Beach House provides residents and visitors with yet more opportunities to experience the arts.  The first of these occasions is underway with the debut art exhibition Thirty-Six by Twenty-Seven, Stories of Santa Monica Beach  on view through the end of September in the Event House.  The historic 3.5-mile stretch of beachfront, home to the Pier, beach volleyball, Muscle Beach, and other attractions, is one of the 10 national “Great Public Spaces” as identified by The American Planning Association in 2008—making the works assembled for this inaugural exhibit particularly appropriate, as each image, celebrates some facet of the Santa Monica coastline.  

Photographers featured in the show include noted artists and Santa Monica residents such as Tony Friedkin whose work can be found in the Getty Museum collection, the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Helen K. Garber, a former Santa Monica Arts Commissioner whose work can be seen at the George Eastman House in New York, the Brooklyn Museum and locally at numerous galleries and exhibition spaces is also included in the exhibit.  

Cindy Bendat is another local artist whose photographs can be found on the wall of the Event House, along with Naomi Troeger, Ave Pildas, Fabian Lewkowicz, Paula Stoeke and SMC student Lillie M. Grossman.  Cindy Bendat, whose photographs also appear in the recently published Santa Monica Pier – A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier, says “it is an honor to be included in the inaugural photography exhibit at the Annenberg Community Beach House.”  

Artists were asked to submit photographs taken on Santa Monica Beach. The beach was considered to be the sand area, including rocks, piers and manmade structures, and the water in close proximity to the shore. In the call to artists, the City requested that photographs convey a sense of place, specifically of the Santa Monica portion of the seaside.

“The range we discovered in reviewing the submissions was exciting,” says Santa Monica Public Art Coordinator Malina Moore, “you cannot help but be awed by the variety found within these 36 photographs.”  Moore continues, “In the collection of images, intimate close-ups of single waves contrast with broad aerial views. In some images solitary beachcombers stroll along seemingly abandoned shorelines, in others ghostly structures appear to be created from nothing more than mist and salt water while yet others depict clear sunny days with an exploding population of beach goers and remind you that this beach is one of the most popular destination points in Southern California.”  

This exhibition is a part of a new ongoing series of cultural programs at the Annenberg Community Beach House, Beach = Culture: Tuesdays at the Beach House, which will include small concerts, readings, and lectures.  As they are scheduled, events will appear on the Beach House website at  The Annenberg Community Beach House is made possible through a generous gift from the Annenberg Foundation at the recommendation of collector and philanthropist Wallis Annenberg, and in partnership with California State Parks and the City of Santa Monica.

For more information on the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division, please visit the website at or call 310/458.8350.

Digital images of the photographs are available upon request.