Oceanside Museum of Art

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704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054
|
Open:
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Wed, Thurs, Sat & Sun)
11:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m. (Fri)
At the Oceanside Museum of Art, you’ll be treated to stimulating fine art as you view works from old world masters & contemporary artists alike.
Todd Sarouhan
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you make purchases through them, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Oceanside Museum of Art
Inspirational Galleries
What to Expect
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Exhibits & Attractions
Parking
Tips for Enjoying OMA
Stay Nearby

Highlights

Exhibits / Attractions
Tickets
Parking
Tips
Exhibits / Attractions
Tickets
Parking
Tips

The Inspirational Galleries of the Oceanside Museum of Art

Art Statue Outside the Oceanside Museum of ArtThe Beautiful 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.

OMA has a goal to inspire, challenge and stimulate art lovers and has a mission to celebrate art through engagement, education and innovation.

Outside the Oceanside Museum of Art
Outside the Oceanside Museum of Art

The Focus of the Museum

The museum focuses on modern art with an emphasis on works that are connected to the California community. I know from my visits to the museum with my family that the exhibits seem to be constantly changing, which keeps things fresh.

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 Oceanside Museum of Art’s Founding and Space

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 feet of space to showcase the fine art in the region.

Inside the Lobby at the Oceanside Museum of Art
Inside the Lobby at the Oceanside Museum of Art

Special Engagement Celebrations

A diverse assortment of visitors come to see the 15 contemporary exhibits offered each year.

Many come for events that 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!

Local Tips
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.

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What Visitors Should Expect

Main Entrance to the Oceanside Museum of Art
Main Entrance to the Oceanside Museum of Art

If you’re looking to visit the Oceanside Museum of Art, you 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 constantly changing, the museum is vibrant, offering works by both newer and established artists. Also, because OMA is inclusive of many mediums of art, you’re likely to encounter a broad array of art forms. These works look to be visually interesting and thought-provoking on many levels.

The museum also offers opportunities for learning including lectures, classes and tours by knowledgeable docents. The many learning programs offer something for everyone.

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The Go City San Diego pass gives visitors the ability to save up to 55% on attraction admissions.

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Looking Deeper at the Exhibits & Attractions at OMA

Walking up to the Oceanside Museum of Art
Walking up to the Oceanside Museum of Art

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 even collaborates with other institutions and allows for live streaming options.

A varied selection of artists and presenters have graced the two buildings of OMA in recent years.

A few of my past favorites worth mentioning were 2023-24 Artist Alliance Biennial, a showcase of 75 pieces of artwork by 62 of the museum’s Artist Alliance members; Dress Rehearsal, which showcased a selection of dress designs incorporating sculpture, collage, painting and photography, as well as creative materials such as gummy bears and beach trash; and Tiny Canvases: The Art of Nails, which revealed the possibilities of creating beauty through color and design on a tiny canvas: the human nail.

While those exhibits have been retired, let’s look at the current and upcoming exhibits at the museum!

Allied Craftsmen of San Diego: Hands On Design

  • March 30 to August 18, 2024

Presenting work that exemplifies the diverse materials, expertise and strength of creativity of the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego, the oldest professional organization of craft artists in Southern California, this exhibition pays homage to the rich craft traditions that flourish in San Diego.

Coastal Exposures, 10 Years of Photography at The Osider Magazine

  • March 9 to July 28, 2024

Curated by Zach Cordner, co-founder and professional photographer at The Osider Magazine, this exhibition showcases the finest and truly unique images of the city of Oceanside.

More than your typical sunset photo at the pier, these images are intended to evoke the emotion of an ever-changing city.

Ving Simpson: Inside Out, Art from the Oceanside Studio, 1994-2023

  • February 17 to May 12, 2024

Seeking to recreate the shelves that lined the studio of artist Ving Simpson, this exhibition displays an array of small, emblematic sculptures and select paintings illustrating the artist’s exploration into his perceptions of reality.

More Disruption: Representational Art in Flux

  • June 8 to September 15, 2024

Inspired by John Seed’s book, More Disruption: Representation Art in Flux, this exhibition is intended to showcase representational painting that has been reshaped and “disrupted,” exploring abstraction, web-based imagery, and socio-political concerns in response to contemporary life and its challenges.

Undocumented Times / Queer Yearnings

  • May 25 to October 6, 2024

Featuring artwork by César Miguel Rivera Magallón and Alexa Vasquez, this exhibition will highlight the experiences of undocumented queer immigrants that migrated to the U.S. as children and came of age in the country.

Transformative Currents: Art and Action in the Pacific Ocean

  • August 17, 2024, to January 19, 2025

Transformative Currents examines the historical causes and ongoing effects of the cultural and environmental devastation of the Pacific Ocean, intending to unite art, science, and Indigenous knowledge systems to raise awareness and improve coastal conditions.

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

I love providing a few bonus tips to my readers to make sure they are prepared for their visit.

Visitors should come to the museum with an open mind and expect to spend a couple of hours looking at the displays.

Parking next to the Oceanside Pier
Parking next to the Oceanside Pier

Where is the Museum Located & Is there Parking?

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 Downtown Oceanside or taking a stroll on the pier.

If you get hungry, know that there are a number of restaurants nearby.

Parking is easily accessible directly at the venue.

Ocean View from Mission Pacific Hotel
Ocean View from Mission Pacific Hotel

Stay Near the Oceanside Museum of Art

Planning an extended stay? Book a room at the Mission Pacific Beach Resort, just half a mile from the OMA!

The Mission Pacific Beach Resort is a boutique beach hotel featuring a modern coastal design filled with inspired artwork, spacious rooms and suites that invoke the spirit of Southern California energy.

Casa De Balboa at Balboa Park
Casa De Balboa at Balboa Park

Other Complementing Museums of Interest – at a Discount!

While the Oceanside Museum of Art is unfortunately not currently part of the Go City San Diego pass, many other San Diego area museums and Balboa Park museums are part of the pass! It gives visitors the ability to save up to 55% on attraction admissions throughout San Diego.

I’d recommend The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park or the Coronado Museum of History & Art on Coronado Island. Both would be a nice complement to OMA mixing contemporary art with other mediums.

Use our discount code GVSD5OFF to save even more!

Memberships and Monday Closure

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.

It’s worth noting that the museum is closed on Mondays.

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