Top Art Galleries, Photography and Statue According to Marin Magazine’s 2012 Best of the County

Making Photography a Snap

82) So you dropped the big bucks on one of those thick-as-a-brick Nikons or Canons just like the pros use. But now, after a couple of months of toting the thing around to family events and up into the hills on hikes (heavy, isn’t it?), you’re wondering why your photos still look like they came out of a Brownie. Sorry, my friends, it’s not the camera. It’s what tech support guys like to call “operator error.” Those DSLRs are smarter than the average shutterbug; to level the shooting field you need some education. Mill Valley’s Image Flow is the place to get it. Owners Stuart Schwartz and Matt Shriock teach the basics (aperture, shutter speed and why you should never use that mysterious “P” setting) and much more, including Photoshop, lighting and documentary photography. Walk in with a smart camera; walk out with some photographic smarts.

Hanging Around

It only makes sense that a place as beautiful as Marin would have so many artists — here are five of the best places to see their work.

83) Seager Gray Gallery: After six years in San Rafael, Donna Seager has teamed up with Suzanne Gray McSweeney, her former assistant director, to bring an all-new gallery to Mill Valley (pictured) featuring local artists and the everpopular “art of the book” show.

84) Gallery Bergelli: Located in a historic building in downtown Larkspur, Bergelli is a light, airy space full of contemporary paintings by artists from across the nation and around the world.

85) Smith Anderson North: Since 2004 this San Anselmo institution has offered artists framing and printing services as well as a place to show their creations. The gallery’s emphasis is on contemporary fine art photography and photo-based art.

86) Gallery Route One: Founded by 23 local artists in 1983, Gallery Route One is a must-visit when you’re traveling the Shoreline Highway through Point Reyes Station.The nonprofit artist-run space provides a forum for artists to focus on the concerns of a rural community.

87) Robert Green Fine Arts: The oldest gallery on our list was established in 1969 in Mill Valley and still serves the art-loving public with a focus on abstract and expressive works.

Coming About

88) Is it a shark fin, a wave, maybe a sail? Actually, the kinetic Coming About sculpture in the heart of Tiburon’s Main Street district is all that and more — it’s anything viewers want it to be. One thing’s for sure: the sculpture and fountain, made by husband-and-wife artistic team Jeffrey Reed and Jennifer Madden in 2006, provide Tiburon with an unforgettable installation and Marin County with a signature work of public art. Indeed, the five stainless-steel sails that rotate slowly over the infinity-edge pool bring an internal focal point to Tiburon’s downtown — a reason to look within rather than out — making this a place famous for more than its views.