Monica Graham
Dream 24 Hours

An Art Insider’s Tour Around Town

Unlock the area’s art and culture scene with gallery owner Monica Graham.
Like a Local

After rising to the top of the tech industry as an executive for Oracle and Microsoft, Monica Graham embraced her lifelong love for the arts (and minor in Studio Arts from Loyola Marymount University), by founding Monica Graham Fine Art in Carmel. A consultancy and gallery, MGFA showcases a diverse range of works from both established and emerging talents — including her newest representation, trailblazing artist Halim Flowers — and local and international artists such as Tierney Gearon, Michael Snodgrass, Kristina Grace, and more. Known for her keen aesthetic eye and unique business perspective, Monica fosters creativity and collaboration with her clients, and trusting relationships with collectors. She credits her design-minded mom with instilling in her a passion for art and culture, and she strives to do the same for her three daughters. Discover where she takes them—and where she’d take you — on this art-insider’s tour around town.


If I were doing an art and architecture walk, this would be my route

I would start at the Frank Lloyd Wright house (aka the boat-shaped Clinton Walker house, at the south end of Carmel Beach), continue along Scenic, turn up toward the TOR House, and walk back on Scenic toward the Butterfly House. Then, head to town towards the Carmel Art Association. The Association gives you a wonderful overview of our amazing local artists.

Fellow favorite galleries

Weston Gallery for the most beautiful historical and current photography. Joaquin Turner Gallery for moody coastal fine art, Patricia Qualls for contemporary art.

Artists to know

This month we’re featuring a very special artist named Halim Flowers from Washington, D.C. Halim is an artist, writer, and activist who led a complicated early life but managed to channel his intelligence into a perspective of love and gratitude. On March 28th we are featuring Halim in a Solo Show at MGFA. You do not want to miss his art or his story. We also love Karen Folgner, who owns a home in Carmel-by-the-Sea and assists the Monterey Museum of Art with their wonderful fundraisers.


Hidden gem

The Village Big Sur just reopened with incredible views from their gorgeous yoga studio. They are also planning to reopen their market place with locally curated food and drinks this spring.

Editor's note: Allow yourself an hour for the scenic drive from Carmel to Big Sur.

I always take visitors to

The Carmel Mission. Growing up in California and studying the Missions, I think the Carmel Mission is the most beautiful of them all.

Best places to stay

Because we live in Carmel, I usually recommend hotels here, or Big Sur for the ultimate Central Coast getaway. We have some favorites like Villa Mara and L’Auberge. I have also always thought the Lincoln Green Inn is a hidden gem with its great location, carmel-style cottages and fireplaces.


Cover illustration by Kelsey Wisdom

on the Peninsula

Map of the Peninsula

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