Art is the flavor of San Diego and the fuel that gives it life. You cannot walk down a street without seeing either a ten-story mural of surfers, monkeys and whales or passing by an electric box that has been painted with cyclists’ silhouettes and palm trees swaying in the wind, all to reflect the colorful, sea-side life of San Diego. Highway tunnels are painted with acrylic expressions of racial unity and VW vans are covered with pins, paint and plastic toys. The people live for vibrancy here in their sunny home, and artists of all kinds are highly valued in San Diego and are provided with a number of outlets. There are dozens of art galleries in the city and a handful of exciting summer events. So, which ones are the most notable?
Galleries and Museums:
- Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego
Unconventional is the name of the game at the Museum of Contemporary art in San Diego. The Museum’s collection includes works dated after the 1950s, the pride and joy being the Pop Culture Art of the 60s and 70s. A large amount of the pieces featured in the exhibits are rooted in Latin America and California culture. MCASD constantly looks for new ways to push the bounds of art and culture and educate viewers about cultures from around the world. From prints to paintings to sculptures, there’s something here for everyone and the more exhibits you see, the more you learn about the artists who created them.
- San Diego Museum of Art
Located in Balboa Park and home to more than 18,000 works, San Diego Museum of Art is the largest art museum in San Diego. Categorized by location, the museum’s prize exhibits include tribal masks from African and Oceania, water colors of America, 1800s painting of Europe, decorative sculpture art from Asia and so much more. As the region’s oldest and most visited art museum, SDMA provides a historically rich artistic experience and hosts spectacular events for children and adults such as Teen Art Café, Art and Cocktails and Art Alive.
- Michael Wolf Fine Arts Gallery
Michael Wolf’s art gallery, The Naked Wall is the oldest and most popular art gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp district. Promoting contemporary artists from around the world, the works are on display and available for purchase. Shipping and handling are provided services. The gallery is doused in warm reds and browns and the brick walls give a winery feel as you leisurely walk from painting to painting, sculpture to sculpture, print to print. Most of the art work centers around different aspects of humanity and day to day life. Wolf’s gallery has been going strong for 20 years and is a staple in San Diego’s Gaslamp district.
- San Diego Art Institute: Project Space
Dedicated to raising up the contemporary artists of tomorrow, San Diego’s art institute is an experimental, binational center which provides not only education for those looking for a career in the art industry, but also provides learning programs and classes for youth and adults. Providing art camps and student exhibitions, the San Diego Art Institute aims to bring local artists together and give them a platform for which to create and display their work for the public. Currently, the institute is working on a new development called Project Space which functions as a community space for artists to get together and have fun doing what they love. Project Space offers exhibitions, workshops, screenings, lectures and artist-in-residence studios.
- Space 4 Art
Described as a “hub” for the art community, Space 4 Art provides innovative and educational ways to bring painters, musicians, performers and, in general, all genres of the art community together. Space 4 Art believes that when artists from al departments come together and work in close proximity, they inspire one another to go further and deeper into their work than they thought possible. In operation since December 2009, Space 4 Art offers studios, stages, and classrooms for upcoming artists wanting to explore outside the lines.
- Spanish Village Art Center
There is no place in all of San Diego more colorful than the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. Multi-colored cobble-stone roads connect one vibrant studio building to another. Inside, creativity takes hold. Visitors will be able to witness dozens of artists at work on one-of-a-kind pieces as well as take classes where instructors will teach you how to make your own masterpiece. With 37 studios and galleries accommodating every medium of art such as watercolors, ceramics, acrylics and more, nowhere else in San Diego celebrates art so vibrantly seven days a week, 365 days a year. Whether you’re a practiced artist or an armature drawer of stick-figures, the Spanish Village Art Center is a must-visit.