Explore unique and moving art in Orange County’s premier museum

Located in Newport Beach, The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) is a contemporary art museum housing over 3,500 pieces of art. The exhibits focus mainly on art from California and the Pacific, concentrating on art created from the early twentieth century to the present.  

The museum was founded in the early 1960s by a group of 13 women who wanted a space to showcase contemporary art. OCMA has gone through several iterations since its early days, before being branded with its current name in 1997. The art within the museum is ever-changing, bringing in new and different artists’ work on a rotating schedule. If you’re in the area and want to see some incredible artwork, here are 4 must-see exhibits at OCMA.

Only A Shadow

This exhibition by artist Diego Berruecos brings together two bodies of work that highlight the impact of the global economy on his home country of Mexico. The first, 26 Used to Be Gas Stations in Mexico highlights the effect of the oil industry in the country, while the second, Red Bull, shows images of Mexican farmers trying the energy drink for the first time.

CaCO3

Artist Fritzia Irizar explores the concept of value in relation to precious metals in this exhibit.  CaCO3 focuses on the pearl and its historic influence on multiple civilizations as a commodity.  Through sculpture, video, and ephemera, the exhibit explores the impact the trade of precious materials has on natural resources and labor. 

To Be Wrong With Infinite Precision

This timely exhibition from Los Angeles-based artist York Chang explores our relationship with the overwhelming amount of information we are confronted with on a daily basis. Focusing on how we interpret fact from fiction, Chang manipulates newspaper clippings, Polaroids, and microfiche to show how easily meaning can be shifted or changed by context.  

Closer Look: Intimate-Scale Sculpture from the Permanent Collection

A collaboration between Hiromi Takizawa and the OCMA, Closer Look is a deep dive into the small sculptures of the OCMA’s permanent collection. Selected for their playful attention to function and scale, as well as their historical significance, each work in this exhibit is meant to be viewed from close range, providing the viewer a rare sense of intimacy with the piece.

The Orange County Museum of Art is currently located at 1661 Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704. The museum will be moving into a new facility starting in 2021.