As an international mixing pot and a hotbed of international culture and art, Orange County offers modern and classic art styles exhibited at museums across the county. There is something exciting to see at each of these five top-rated museums, including ancient Chinese artifacts that are redefining history. Included in this exclusive list is one of the most exciting and interactive science museums in Southern California. With a wide variety of exhibits on display, these must-see OC museums have something to impress even the most discerning arts and culture enthusiasts.
2002 Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706
This spring, the Bowers Museum will have on display a balanced combination of modern works from local artist Nancy Ravenhall Johnson and ancient artifacts from China that have historians rewriting the history books. These exhibits are in addition to the open-ended First Californians, Spirits and Headhunters, and Sacred Realms presentations. Programs offered by the Bowers Museum include special expert lectures, jewelry workshops and international musical performances. Visitors can save money by touring the museum on the first Sunday of the month, when admission is absolutely free, thanks to a grant by the Target Corporation.
Orange County Museum Of Art
850 San Clemente Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
For eclectic modern and contemporary art, the Orange County Museum of Art has four diverse collections on display through May. The “Alien She” exhibit explores the legacy of the 1990s feminist movement Riot Grrrl through a broad range of media including visual art, film and music. A collection of New York Times cover photos adapted by local-born artist Fred Tomaselli is the first West Coast exhibition of the artist’s work, and a must-see collection from this Orange County native. Other exhibits include silkscreen overlays by Swiss artist Dieter Roth and an assortment of recent acquisitions to the museum’s permanent exhibit.
Discovery Science Museum
2500 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
The Discovery Science Center houses two huge floors packed with interactive displays that get kids of all ages exploring their world. This spring, exhibits include the “National Geographic: World Explorers” which allows children to virtually travel to far off places of the world to discover new scientific technologies. For two weeks in March, the must-see Bubblefest event is being held, where bubble scientists young and old can try their hand at creating gigantic bubbles and romp around in the blow-up play zone. For an additional ticket price, visitors can view the amazing Mega Bubblefest Laser Show featuring bright lights and smoking, bouncing bubbles.
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241 S. Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805
Currently on display at Muzeo is an assemblage of photographs of the natural world by Marc Plouffe that depict themes of solitude and self-reflection. Beginning in April, the “Cougars and Grizzlies: Sharing Their Path” exhibit will be featured in the main gallery. This high-interest display will last through the summer and is the perfect place to stimulate a child’s mind when school is out. In addition to these exhibits, Muzeo hosts a variety of programs that highlight cultural and artistic diversity such as the Open Book Series that brings in local authors to speak about specific works.
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Dr.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Laguna Beach is one of Orange County’s top artistic hot spots, and the the Laguna Art Museum displays art that represents the many facets of California. Offering a permanent collection including “Pacific Views,” the collection features an assortment of seascapes by painter Frank Cuprien. Special exhibits this spring include “Realism, Race, and Region” by Robert Henri, and an assemblage of etchings by eight southland artists on a commissioned trip to Spain. In addition to the various displays, the Laguna Art Museum prides itself on educating the public through school tours, art walks and educational events hosted at the museum.
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