Culture Spotlight: Oceanside Museum of Art
Posted on February 10, 2016
In the late 1980s, a group of citizens recognized the need and necessity for a museum of art in the seaside city of Oceanside. It took nearly a decade of planning and funding, but eventually the first iteration of the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) began providing exhibitions of artists to the public.
In need of a permanent home, the Oceanside City Council helped OMA secure residency in the Irving Gill Building, located just blocks from the beach, which then went through a renovation before OMA officially opened its doors in 1997. A more recent expansion by famed architect Frederick Fisher was completed in 2008, giving the museum three levels and 5,000 feet of exhibition space.
Today, the museum hosts 15 contemporary art exhibits each year, including paintings, sculpture, films, and contemporary quilts by well-known and upcoming talent. Each exhibition is decided on by a committee that looks at several factors of how the exhibit will benefit the museum and the public. Past exhibitions have included Urban Entropy: James Enos, Scape/Escape: Stephen Curry, Cruisin’ Califas: The Art of Lowriding, and Beatles: I Saw the Photograph, to name only a few.
The museum also provides a wealth of educational programs for both the public and students. Guests can attend receptions with the artists, partake in charter tours to destination art events, and even take art classes in painting and drawing. Lectures, concerts, walking tours with the curator, and even teaching opportunities are available to members. During the Oceanside Days of Art event, OMA offers two days of art projects for kids, while adults can attend one of the museums many wine receptions. Recently, Oceanside seafood restaurant Pacific 333 partnered with the museum to offer gourmet appetizers, desserts, and wine during art and music events.
In December the museum welcomed its newest executive director, James F. Peck, who came to OMA from The Old Jail Art Center (OJAC) in Albany, Texas. Peck replaces Sandra Chanis.
Exhibits are ever-changing and compelling, attracting art lovers from far and wide. In January the museum premiered its newest round of exhibitions, including Marjorie Nodelman: San Diego Artist, which includes pieces by the former local artist who specialized in figurative pop art and surrealism. It is followed in mid-February by an exhibition featuring sculptors and constructionists Robin Bright and Tom Driscoll, and further exhibitions featuring Bill Rastetter, and Deanna Sabeck, among others.
The museum’s annual fundraiser, the Museum Ball, takes place each July and features plenty of art, entertainment, and festive food, with proceeds going to support the museum’s programs. (760. 435.3721, oma-online.org.com Ryan Thomas
HEADER IMAGE Captions: Works by Robin Bright (center) and Tom Driscoll (left, right), curated by Eric Phleger and on view February 6-July 24, 2016