Idyllic landscapes and urban diversity have long made California a source of inspiration for creatives. And in Malibu and Santa Monica, two of the region’s most vibrant coastal enclaves, residents and visitors have access to a myriad of exceptional art by local and internationally recognized artists.
Between Malibu and Santa Monica, the Getty Villa invites art and history enthusiasts alike to wander through a grand recreation of the ancient Villa dei Papiri that once stood in Herculaneum, Italy. Housing an extraordinary collection of Greek and Roman art, the recently renovated villa features more than 7,000 years of ancient art spanning from the Stone Age to the fall of the Roman Empire.
Discover Roman statues and frescas from Pompeii, beautiful Etruscan artwork, a marble sculpture of Alexander the Great, and a life-size bronze statue of a victorious athlete at the Greek games. Then, step outside to bask in four verdant gardens filled with fountains, reflecting ponds, and arbors and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
Photo: Getty Villa
The outside of the unassuming Depart Foundation simply reads “Depart,” but indoors you will find an expansive collection of artworks focused on taking risks and crossing cultural boundaries. Highlighting some of the most interesting and dynamic artists of our time, the gallery offers a look at contemporary, emerging artists whose work marks a departure from their predecessors. Like the original location in Italy, which opened in 2008, the Southern California gallery encourages creative exploration with a global perspective.
FLOWER + HEWES Contemporary Fine Art Gallery
Malibu and Santa Monica
Showcasing the bold visions of artists from around the world, FLOWER + HEWES brims with carefully curated paintings, eye-catching sculptures, photography, and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Spend a few minutes lost in the otherworldly but intimate paintings of Hessam Abrishami, find your calm in Wendy Brazill’s peaceful landscapes, and stop and wonder at Lawrence Feir’s sculptural pieces crafted in sterling silver, gold, and gemstones. Inside these two galleries in Trancas Country Market and the Loews Hotel, there is always something new to discover.
Photo: Flower + Hewes
26th Street Art Center
In 1994, Bergamot Station opened in a collection of dilapidated buildings on eight acres in the heart of Santa Monica. The hub for artists attracted creatives from all over the world to its vibrant galleries and spaces and was ultimately credited with reviving the Los Angeles art scene. Today, the Southern California mainstay has reopened under new management as the 26th Street Arts Center, but it is still home to acclaimed contemporary galleries, architecture and design firms, and Bergamot Cafe.
Take time to enjoy the work of California-based painters and sculptors at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery, 1970s landscape and non-narrative photography at Gallery Luisotti, and fascinating exhibits like The Fashion Show happening at the Peter Fetterman Gallery through October 20.
Photo: Lora Schlesinger Gallery
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
At Pepperdine University, the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art has been showcasing historical and contemporary works with a focus on California since 1992. Their newest exhibit, Pop! 50 Years of Art & Popular Culture, is open through December 2 and features Keith Haring’s graffiti art, Yayoi Kusama’s polka dot pumpkins, and vintage pieces from the likes of Claes Oldenburg and James Rosenquist.
Photo: Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
18th Street Arts Center
The largest art residency in Southern California, the 18th Street Arts Center has supported some of the most engaging and diverse artists in Los Angeles for 30 years. A focus on inter-cultural collaboration gives rise to conscious exhibits that highlight progressive issues, and when the artists in residence and the public interact through exhibitions and events, the discussion turns to social change.
Photo: 18th Street Arts Center
Featured Photo: Flower + Hewes