Women of Surfing: Art and History

Huntington Beach Exhibit – A Tsunami of Talent!

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

The Vans US Open of Surfing is over now, but some of the best surfing action you’ll see this summer isn’t on the beach. It’s at the Huntington Beach Art Center’s Women of Surfing: Art & History exhibit (now till September 2, 2017).


Featuring paintings and photographs by today’s top women surf artists, the exhibit is an ode to the joys of surfing and the beauty of the beach.

It’s also a tip of the hat (or board!) to the amazing women artists who are helping to capture the essence of the ocean and this sport of Hawaiian kings.

When SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel arrived for the opening night reception we got a big surprise.

Kathy Kohner-Zukerman (AKA “Gidget”), who inspired her father’s 1957 bestselling book Gidget that helped launch the surfing revolution, came over to greet us.


Taking a break from signing book copies, she told Patti she remembered meeting her before – a special gesture from an icon in the surfing community.



The exhibit – staged in collaboration with the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center – is curated by Costa Mesa surf artist Phil Roberts over a three-room space that creatively showcases the different styles and periods of art.

Among the artists represented are champion surfers Courtney Conlogue, Sage Erickson, Kim Hamrock. and Lynne Boyer.

This is Conlogue’s first time participating in an art show and it was clear that she was enjoying interacting with everyone who stopped to see her painting.


As you move from one gallery space to the next there are exciting discoveries around each corner, changing the artistic mood and direction…


much the way a wave can change course when you least expect it.


SurfWriter Girls were especially excited to see San Luis Obispo. CA award-winning artist Colleen Gnos – one of the nine outstanding women featured in SurfWriter Girls Women Making Waves 2017.

In addition to her paintings, Gnos is known for the mermaids she paints on surfboards and her murals on lifeguard stations.

Seeing Kim Hamrock was a thrill, too. A champion surfer, surfing instructor, artist and much more, Hamrock is one of SurfWriter Girl Patti’s former students.

She took Patti’s business start-up class at Cypress College when she was developing her Danger Woman surf school.


Reflecting the different viewpoints and visions of each woman, the paintings and photographs are as unique as the artists who created them.

But, they all share one thing in common: a love for the ocean.



Roberts says, “This exhibition is for us to see, feel and appreciate the ocean through the personal narratives of women who call the waves home.”

For ocean-lovers, Women of Surfing is a joyful homecoming. 

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

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