THE HISTORY of STOHANS GALLERY
Stohans Gallery-Established in 1977- Over 36 Years in Business is now named STOHANS SHOWCASE- Daryl Stokes, being one of the original owners of Stohans, is still the active and main operating manager of this company.
In the early 1970s, Daryl Stokes completed studies of fine arts at the University of South Florida in Tampa and ventured west to Monterey, Ca. While living in a bungalow on Jacks Peak, Stokes built a small workshop and began designing and creating redwood furniture as a hobby. Originally an abstract expressionist painter, he became intrigued with driftwood and burls. The endless array of shapes and sizes lent themselves to unique free form designs.
A fellow woodworker, Greg Hansen, became fascinated by Stokes creations of driftwood furniture. Combining efforts, Stokes and Hansen began developing new techniques and design concepts for the production of a unique style of natural wood furnishings. Thus, the name STOHANS evolved.
In October 1977, Stohans opened a small gallery at 807 Cannery Row.
The gallery was a unique organic environment with groupings of sofas and chairs covered with leather and sheepskins, driftwood bars, lamps and various free form burl tables.
Public response was very favorable and increasing popularity made it necessary to create more products. The small workshop in Jacks Peak could not keep up with the demand and more area was needed for raw wood storage. A year later, Stohans secured a new shop location at 484 Cannery Row. It was housed in the large cannery building called the San Xavier. The reduction plant still had remnants of the old fishing industry machines and equipment. Situated at the shorelines edge, the tall wooden building, isolated by vacant lots with other cement cannery foundations, served as a truly inspirational setting for the artistic endeavors of Stokes and Hansen.
In the months that followed, new woodworking facilities were built and Stohans began hiring and training more craftsman. Masses of driftwood were salvaged from northern California beaches and burls hauled down from logged-off mountains. Unusual interior showroom areas were developed and decorated with huge redwood panels hand cut with Alaskan chainsaw mills. Large milled timbers were assembled to create room areas and display structures. Thick redwood slabs were utilized for massive display tables, shelving units, and benches. Outdoor courtyard areas were also created with driftwood landscapes, outdoor sculptures, cascading fountains, and unfinished burl tables.
For several years, Stohans continued to enlarge its production capacity and began supplying other galleries in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Lake Tahoe. Eventually, Stokes decided that the wholesale ventures became increasingly repetitive and artistically restraining, so he began concentrating more energy into designing more exotic, specialized pieces which could only be found at the Stohans Gallery. Because of this new versatility, Stohans produced many custom-order furnishings which included complete driftwood furniture groups for rooms, offices, restaurants, and entire homes.
During the 1980s, Stohans began producing original new designs of indoor/outdoor redwood fountains and massive waterfalls made from hollowed-out burls. Exotic furniture pieces were also conceived and included enormous curved sofas and lounges upholstered with sheepskins. There were beds, dressers, huge mirrors, standing lamps, bar sets, wall designs, abstract sculptures, and many other incredible one-of a kind pieces.
Stohans became increasingly popular as a tourist destination and achieved recognition as one of the most unique galleries in the California central coast. Among the many delighted visitors, one man called it "A visual feast!" It was always difficult to describe the store, you just had to experience it for yourself. Stohans participation in Cannery Rows strong tourist industry was conducive to the gallerys development of national and international clientele. Many of their purchases were crated and shipped coast to coast as well as world wide.
Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Stohans continued to diversify and offered over 150 various artists works and other related product lines, as well as the pieces created on site. The gallery evolved as a Cannery Row landmark, drawing thousands of annual visitors and bridging the gap on the street.
Stohans made constant efforts to maintain the old building and its grounds to retain its romantic appeal and historic significance. It was one of the last authentic cannery buildings left on the street. Even though the property was not ours, we loved the old building and worked to keep its ambiance alive.
The property was eventually sold for a future development and Stohans now is situated at The Monterey Plaza Hotel.
For many visitors worldwide Stohans Gallery had been a favorite destination on Cannery Row for over 20 years. Daryl Stokes, redwood artist since 1977, set up his original Cannery Row studio and showroom in the old Xavier Cannery Reduction plant, right on the coastline of Monterey Bay. Featuring some of the most unique Redwood Sculptures and waterfall fountains on the market, Stohans expanded the lines to include many unique water wall floor fountains, wall fountains, simulated stone fountains, aqua columns, bubble panels, kinetic wood sculptures and much more. Please contact us via our email link found on each page on the site or call us.
As Daryl evolved, he has expanded his redwood sculpture line to include some new abstract contemporary designs as well as some beautiful end table, sofa table and wall hanging art. The Stohans Showcase web site features many of his new works of redwood art. Please e-mail Daryl Stokes directly at Daryl@Stohans.com for all other inquiries. We are also featured in the PHILLIPS COLLECTION in the World Market BLDG A Design Center in Las Vegas and in downtown MOAB, UTAH at the Hogan Trading Company and in Homescapes Gallery of Carmel!