Oceanside Museum of Art

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704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054
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Open:
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Thurs - Sat)
11:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m. (Sunday)
Just north of San Diego, the Oceanside Museum of Art features creative work by contemporary California artists. Changing exhibits look to engage visitors.
Oceanside Museum of Art
Inspirational Galleries
What to Expect
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The Inspirational Galleries of the Oceanside Museum of Art

Located in the Oceanside community in North County San Diego, the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) is a place for visitors to experience the power of contemporary art. The museum focuses on modern art and works that are connected to the California community. With its always changing exhibitions, it hopes to inspire, challenge and stimulate art lovers.

The museum's exhibits showcase work from the region that employs innovative and even edgy designs in the realm of sculptures, paintings, studio furniture, art quilts and other mediums. The changing nature of the exhibitions create an environment that is both welcoming and stimulating for those who enter the doors with an open mind. The museum's mission is to celebrate art through engagement, education and innovation.

OMA opened its doors in 1997 in the classic and renowned Irving Gill Building. Eleven years later the museum expanded with an additional building, the contemporary Central Pavilion designed by Frederick Fisher. Together, this gives the museum 20,000 square foot of space to showcase the fine art in the region.

A diverse assortment of visitors come to see the 15 contemporary exhibits offered each year. Many other events are held at the museum, including movies, concerts, culinary events and fundraising parties, all with the purpose of celebrating the power of art in today's world.

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What Visitors Should Expect

Those who enter the doors of the Oceanside Museum of Art should expect to be stimulated by innovative works of art across a broad spectrum of designs. The pleasant atmosphere of the galleries allow for a space to question and contemplate the power of contemporary and historic art works. Each exhibit will be curated to the highest standards.

Because the featured art is always changing, the museum is vibrant, offering works by both newer and established artists. Also, because OMA is inclusive of many mediums of art, the visitor is likely to encounter a broad array of art forms. These works look to be visually interesting and thought-provoking on many levels.

Opportunities for learning include lectures, classes and tours by knowledgeable docents. The many learning programs offer something for everyone.

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The Exhibits and Attractions at OMA

Since OMA does not have a permanent collection, the changing exhibits are the heart of the program. This instills the museum with an impressive freshness and brings in some of the most interesting contemporary work of the day. Occasionally the museum collaborates with other institutions and allows for live streaming options.

A Southern California Contemporary Quilts exhibition is planned for later in the year. A virtual exhibition called Mozart@OMA was scheduled for earlier in the year but has been suspended as of now. This exhibition included works by artists with autism who worked in the realm of synesthesia, where one sense is mysteriously merged with one or more additional senses.

A varied selection of artists and presenters have graced the two buildings of OMA. Here are some of the recent shows that have already come to the museum.

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Awarded Museum
In 2016, the museum was awarded a $150,000 grant from the James Irvine Foundation to endow a series of interactive and public artist-in-residence programs at a variety of locations in San Diego County.

Tiny Canvases: The Art of Nails

This exhibition took a look at the possibilities inherent in designs in nails. It centered around the work of the Creative Nail Design group that began in Oceanside in 1979 and grew into a leader in the global nail industry. Showcasing the work of CND artisans, the exhibit revealed the possibilities of creating beauty through color and design on a tiny canvas: the human nail.

Dress Rehearsal

A selection of accomplished artists showed the possibilities of dress design by incorporating sculpture, collage, painting and photography. Creative materials such as gummy bears, collected beach trash and glass tiles were used in the works, which often sought to inject the projects with personal and societal relevance. The result was a creative look at the multiple meanings in a dress.

Brian Kesinger: Dream It Yourself

Artist, author and filmmaker Brian Kesinger created a program that sought to engage dreamers and visionaries. After working with a number of top studios, he then began to create his own characters. His show encouraged visitors to create their own works at OMA.

Educational Programs at OMA

As an interactive museum, OMA provides a number of programs to allow visitors to delve deeper into the art process, whether it is taking classes, listening to artist lectures or just pondering the significance of innovative works. Ongoing classes are taught by artists and experts on a variety of topics. Student groups can participate in tours, workshops, field trips and more.

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Tips for Enjoying OMA

The Oceanside Museum of Art is located just off Interstate 5. It is within walking distance of the beach, so a visit there can be combined with walking around Oceanside or taking a stroll on the pier. Visitors should come to the museum with an open mind and expect to spend a couple of hours looking at the displays.

The Museum is closed on Mondays. A membership to the museum makes sense because the exhibits regularly change and it comes with added perks such as invitations and discounts at the gift shop. Parking is accessible and a number of restaurants are nearby.

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The Fin Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
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The Fin Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
from $93 / night
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SpringHill Suites by Marriott San Diego Oceanside
Near Camp Pendelton
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SpringHill Suites by Marriott San Diego Oceanside
from $184 / night
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Comfort Suites Oceanside Camp Pendleton Area
Near Camp Pendelton
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Comfort Suites Oceanside Camp Pendleton Area
from $84 / night
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Wyndham Oceanside at the Pier
Near Camp Pendelton
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Wyndham Oceanside at the Pier
from $171 / night
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