Mavericks Art Show Reaches Unprecedented Swell

VIA- Half Moon Bay Patch


“California Dream” photo of Mavericks by Southern California photographer Fred Pompermayer. Credit: Kristine Wong



Mavericks Art Show Reaches Unprecedented Swell


Big wave surf photographer reflects on successful fourth annual show in Half Moon Bay.

It’s a modest-sized space, yet this year’s “Mavericks: Everest of the Seas” art exhibit at the Coastal Arts League gallery in Half Moon Bay has packed in a show of wall-to-wall waves of its hometown break.

Big and splashy photos of Mavericks surfers riding the waves line the edges of the room, along with paintings, video, and pieces of ceramic and fabric art.

In the center of it all lies a smooth and shiny Jeff Clark surfboard made of mahogany — perhaps a fitting position for the man credited with being the first to surf the wave located less than a mile past Pillar Point Harbor over 35 years ago.

This is the fourth year in a row that show curator and veteran Mavericks surf photographer Ed Grant has put together the exhibit in conjunction with the Coastal Arts League.

“This year we had a sensational year,” Grant said earlier this week as he reflected upon the show’s six-week run in the gallery.

“We’ve sold more works than any other year before,” he said. “And the opening champagne and wine reception was the first time in my life I remember having a party where everyone showed up.”

“The photographers’ work here is stunning,” he said, referring to the work of featured artists Tony Canadas, Seth Migdail, Art Gimbel, Sue Pemberton, Fred Pompermayer, Grant Washburn, David Evans and filmmaker Eric Nelson. [Ed] Grant’s work is also featured in the exhibition.

“It’s overpowering in the sense that people are in awe of what they see — it’s a phenomenal lineup of photographers,” Grant added.

A veteran photographer at the Mavericks break, Grant should know. In the past decade, Grant worked closely with Clark on previous Mavericks contests along with promoting Stacy Peralta’s big wave documentary “Riding Giants” (2004) featuring Mavericks surfers Clark, Grant Washburn, Sarah Gerhardt and Peter Mel.

Taking a tour of the exhibit with [Ed] Grant is similar to sitting alongside a friend while leafing through a family photo album and learning the story behind each snapshot.

“This one here of Ion Banner was printed in the New York Times,” he said, pointing to a photo by Tony Canadas which captured the Half Moon Bay resident at just the moment when Banner was hanging parallel to his surfboard and the face of the wave itself.

“And here’s Jacob Trette out at Mavericks,” he said, pointing to a photo of his own taken in Jan. 2011 on the day when the Southern California surfer wiped out on a set of sneaker waves.

Trette’s position at the bottom of that fateful wave was captured by Grant in the photo on display at the exhibit.

“I was standing next to Eric Nelson where we were shooting out at the Air Force Base, and all of a sudden a set came through that was three times the size of the sets that were running that day,” he said. “It caught surfers in the lineup unaware. They couldn’t get out — they were caught in the impact zone.”

Grant said he couldn’t believe what was unfolding before his eyes. But professional kayaker Matt Krican came in and retrieved Trette from the water before photographer Russell Ord swooped in on his jet ski and delivered Trette to safety, he said.

Community artists Carole Brehm, Casey Brehm and Eda Margaret Cook all…


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