Located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts is a community center facility supporting the experimental fine arts and sciences, offering a variety of permanent and temporary art exhibits and cultural educational programming. Carl Cherry Center for the Arts founder Jeanne D’Orge was born in Edinburgh, London in 1887 and emigrated to New York in 1906.


While living in New York City, she became associated with the “Others” poetry group, which included influential iconoclastic members such as William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens. By the age of 20, her work was included in the poetry anthology The Others, and in 1923, her poem “Lobos” was published in Scribner’s Magazine.

After moving to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, she met her second husband, inventor Carl Cherry, and lived with him for several decades at the Augusta Robertson cottage. Cherry was best known as the inventor of the Cherry Blind Rivet, which revolutionized the aircraft industry and played a large role in World War II aircraft use. At Cherry’s suggestion, D’Orge took up the art of painting, which she practiced until her death in 1964 at the age of 87. Though her paintings were exhibited at institutions such as San Francisco’s De Young Museum, D’Orge never accepted payment for her works throughout her career. Following Cherry’s death in 1947, D’Orge started a foundation in his memory, which evolved into the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts the following year.

Exhibits and Collections

Today, the Carl Cherry Center is home to a variety of permanent and temporary rotating exhibits, showcasing experimental works from the 20th and 21st centuries, including new contemporary works by emerging artists. The Center’s permanent collection includes over 600 pieces in the mediums of print, painting, drawing, sculpture, and illustration. A collection of periodical published by D’Orge is also held, along with an extensive memorabilia collection documenting the early history of Carmel-by-the-Sea. AN archive collection also includes D’Orge and Cherry’s personal philosophical, religious, art, and poetry book collections.

True to its mission of highlighting emerging artists and works in a variety of artistic fields, including painting, photography, ceramics, and sculpture, much of the Center’s gallery space is devoted to rotating temporary exhibits by artists from the Monterey Bay area and beyond. All exhibits seek to challenge audiences with experimental works and foster community interaction with the arts community. New exhibit proposals are accepted quarterly and may be combined into larger thematic exhibits featuring multiple artists.

Since November 2012, the Center’s Becoming Visible exhibit has traveled throughout the Monterey Peninsula area, focusing on Monterey County’s homeless female population through a variety of still photography, video, and narrative collections. The exhibit, which contains works by artists Lina Vital, Margo Duvall, and Ken Wanderman, aims to raise the voices of the community’s homeless women and explore solutions for homelessness. Other past highlighted exhibit artists include Joseph Campbell, a former Cherry Center lecturer.

In addition to gallery space, the Center’s Cherry Hall Theater offers 50 seats and serves as a host for original theatrical works and presentations, including works by a number of area theater companies. A written-word performance series, Stories on Stage, is featured monthly, with each event highlighting a theme and offering curated short story readings by local actors and literary figures. A Malcolm at the Movies film series offers intimate showings of important cinematographic works, and periodic concerts, workshops, and panel discussions are also presented.

Ongoing Programs and Events

The Carl Cherry Center for the Arts is open to the public on Wednesdays through Sundays, with special hours offered for public special events. Exhibit openings for new gallery exhibits are held periodically, offering a chance to meet and greet with artists, and a variety of theatrical programming is presented at the Cherry Hall Theater throughout the year. Annual public special events include an Ornament Show and Silent Auction in November, which offers the public a chance to bid on handcrafted holiday ornaments. The facility’s theater and gallery space may also be rented for private special events, including film screenings, business meetings, and conferences.

As the Center is dedicated to fostering artistry in Monterey Bay area youth, a variety of educational student programming is offered throughout the year, including an annual Thinking Out Loud exhibit showcasing the works of area high school students in mediums such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and collage. The Center also sponsors the annual Montgomery County High School Poetry Awards, which were established in 1996 as a companion to the Thinking Out Loud program to recognize outstanding written works by area students. Both awards are presented jointly with the Monterey Public Library and offer cash prizes and chances to be published in anthologies.

4th and Guadalupe, 4th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, Phone: 831-624-7491

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