Exploring The Vibrant Orange County Art Scene

Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

From colorful street murals to sleek gallery spaces, monthly art walks to world-class exhibition halls, every city and region has its own artistic personality and cultural identity. Below are some of our favorite artful attractions in Orange County.

LAGUNA BEACH FIRST THURSDAYS ART WALK - Held on the first Thursday of the month from 6 to 9pm, this monthly art walk celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach, with several local galleries—as well as the beloved Laguna Art Museum—open late for an evening of gallery hopping. A free trolley service is also offered to attendees, each car complete with its own Art Walk guide.

MARTIN LAWRENCE GALLERY - Founded in 1975, this renowned fine art gallery specializes in original paintings, sculpture and limited edition graphics by the likes of Takashi Murakami, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt and Andy Warhol. The gallery’s La Jolla by the Sea location pairs original works by modern and contemporary masters with breathtaking ocean views.

FESTIVAL OF ARTS LAGUNA BEACH - Laguna was founded as an artists’ colony, and the city continues to preserve its rich artistic legacy. Enjoyed all summer long, Laguna’s Festival of the Arts features works by 140 Orange County artists and is highlighted by the world-famous Pageant of the Masters, in which actors pose for breathtaking recreations of famous masterpieces.

OCMA - Having recently relocated to Santa Ana from its Newport Beach location, Orange County Museum of Contemporary Art features more than 3,000 modern and contemporary art works with a focus on artists from California and the Pacific Rim. Current exhibitions include Kathryn Garcia: Gone, Gone Away, and Mariangeles Soto-Diaz: Everyday Grabbling Operations.

LAGUNA ART MUSEUM - Also referred to as the museum of California art, Laguna Art Museum exhibits works created exclusively by California artists or those who represent the life and history of the Golden State. Founded in 1918, the museum’s collection spans periods and styles, from the 19th century to present day.

OCCCA - Founded in 1980, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art is an uncensored gallery that encourages an innovative and progressive approach to art. The center hosts free events for the public, including film screenings, forums, and artist receptions, and a host of revolving exhibitions designed to foster engagement and conversation.

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