In 2004, Michael H. Kellicutt held the first Coastal Arts League juried photo show, naming it "Through a Lens". Widely known by photographers on the San Mateo County Coast, Michael was a photographer and a photo educator, who encouraged others to view their photography not just as pictures, but also as art. The juried show was another way for Michael to vitalize fine art photography in the local community, and it was his hope to bring this to a global scale.
The show is entirely staffed by volunteers. While much of the proceeds from the entry fees go into the prizes and expense of running the show, funds remaining go towards the cost of maintaining the museum space year round.