Orange County’s Best Summer Art Exhibits

July 9, 2012 6:00 AM



Tucked between Los Angeles and San Diego, Orange County is filled with charming ocean sides and beautiful terrain that attracts many tourists looking for unique art. Local museums and exhibits embrace the history, culture and talent of the region. Take a look at the exhibits that offer insight into the OC culture this summer.
bowersmuseum Orange Countys Best Summer Art Exhibits


The Bowers Museum

2002 N Main St
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 567-3600

Click here for a calendar of events.

The Santa Ana museum was founded in 1936 and has been named one of California’s finest and Orange County’s largest museums. In 1994, the Kidseum was opened as a response to the expanding children’s programming and to accommodate the growing demand by the community. With its grand opening of the 30,000-square-foot wing dedicated to Dorothy and Donald Kennedy in 2007, it is not hard to see why this museum is a must see this summer for adults and children alike. “Fabergé: Imperial Jeweler to the Tsars” exhibit will be on display throughout the summer and features some of the most beautiful gold jewelry created by Peter Carl FabergéThe American Association of Museums has accredited the Bowers Museum, which is an honor only five percent of museums receive. The mission for the museum is quite simply to “enrich lives through the world’s finest arts and culture.”

international surf museum inside Orange Countys Best Summer Art Exhibits

(credit: Elle Toussi)

International Surfing Museum
411 Olive Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 960-3483

Click here for a calendar of events.

“The Surfer’s Almanac” has rated Huntington Beach as the “most heavily surfed beach on the west coast.” The city is also home to the history and legacy of surfing available at the International Surfing Museum. The permanent collections feature surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku, surf films, history of the Huntington Beach Pier, the Surf Walk of Fame and much more. On July 15, Surfing Magazine will host an event presenting the photography of “Leroy ‘Flame’ Moore,” whose innovative use of light transformed the art of surf photography and influenced generations of artists to this day. Stop in to see the still shots of this wild sport.

nixonlibrary Orange Countys Best Summer Art Exhibits

(credit: Nixon Presidential Library/Facebook)

The Nixon Presidential Library & Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
(714) 983-9120

Click here for a calendar of events.

Only 15 minutes from Disneyland, The Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda is situated on nine acres that include Nixon’s helicopter and birthplace. With election year in tow, it is good to get a glimpse of some presidential history available at this museum, which will have special rotating summer exhibits along with its permanent exhibits. Expect to see the centennial celebration of Pat Nixon and the First Ladies Centennial exhibit at the public vaults starting this summer.

marconimuseum Orange Countys Best Summer Art Exhibits


Marconi Automotive Museum
1302 Industrial Drive
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 258-3001

Click here for a calendar of events.

Founder Dick Marconi renovated the exotic automobile museum building back in 1994, which was a former salad oil manufacturing facility that had gone out of business. Marconi since has collected over 75 cars ranging from American muscle cars to F1 racing cars that value close to $30 million. You can catch Marconi during your tour this summer at the facility taking pictures with guests during the exclusive exhibit of his exotic and classic cars.

pageantofmasters3 Orange Countys Best Summer Art Exhibits


Festival of Arts – Pageant of the Masters
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-1145

Click here for a calendar of events.

The theme for this year, The Genius, will help celebrate the Pageant of the Masters’ 80th anniversary. The Pageant will showcase classic work by some extraordinary masters that have galvanized art history. It will explore the unpredictable relationship between art and technology and breakthrough art of modern creators. Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” will return as the traditional finale of the show. The festival runs from July 1 to August 31. The Festival of Arts is an outdoor gallery nestled in the canyon only a few blocks from Laguna Beach and the art show includes a wide variety of paintings, photography, printmaking, sculptures and jewelry from over 140 of Orange County’s finest artists.

Elle Toussi is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on

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