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New Art and Culture Experiences in California

Sept. 25, 2017

Long known as a place for dreamers, California inspires artists from all over the world. From its dramatic landscapes to its passionate, free-spirited people, California is a perpetual muse, sparking creativity. Perhaps it's no surprise that no matter where you travel in the Golden State, there's always new art and cultural experiences to appreciate. Below are just a few of the new experiences visitors can enjoy while traveling in California.

New Arts and Culture Experiences

Sacramento Becomes a City of Murals
More than 50 local and international artists created the largest mural festival on the West Coast – Wide Open Walls – leaving behind 40 works of extraordinary permanent art across the city. These new contributions expand the city’s already extensive collection of murals that art lovers can easily explore by bike or on foot. The murals join a plethora of public art at the Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento International Airport and the new Golden 1 Center.

Los Angeles Announces New Museum Openings and Cultural Experiences
Los Angeles leads the forefront in new arts and culture experiences. Now through January 2018, the Getty Foundation’s “Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles/Latin America” arrives at more than 65 art institutions and galleries across L.A. and Southern California, exploring Latin American and Latino art. The city just welcomed the opening of Institute of Contemporary Art, and the new Marciano Art Foundation, a contemporary art space offering admission. Visitors looking for the best in performing arts can find a variety of shows downtown this season, including six operas at Los Angeles Opera, Pushing Dance Boundaries at Los Angeles Ballet and Bright Star at Center Theatre Group.

Santa Barbara's Cultural Scene Launches New Programs
Few cities of Santa Barbara’s size can match its thriving cultural scene, which includes enticing artistic offerings, dozens of museums and a historic Theatre District. Now through January 2018, several museums in Santa Barbara will participate in “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.” MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, recently debuted with three stories of fun, interactive exhibits. Arts and Humanities Month in October brings the unique Light Up Santa Barbara, where theaters launch their seasons with light projections of silhouettes and abstract designs on theater fronts. The event coincides with 1st Thursday, when downtown galleries and museums unveil new exhibitions. The Santa Barbara County of Office & Culture fetes its 40th anniversary with a walk through the Historic Theatre District on Oct. 29 and arts programming throughout October.

San Francisco Welcomes Timely Sanctuary Exhibition
Thirty-six international artists consider the nature of sanctuary through an interactive installation of hand-woven rugs, offering visitors a multiplicity of perspectives on this basic human need. Taking place now through March 11, 2018 and hosted by the FOR-SITE Foundation, Sanctuary explores how refuge has shaped sense of self and social identity throughout human history.

Napa Unveils New Arts District
Napa has begun to emerge as an arts destination with its new Rail Arts District (RAD) Napa. RAD features world-class art across nearly two miles of the Napa Valley Vine Trail, and will feature many distinct public works of art, including three recently unveiled murals created by world-renowned artists. The murals include a girl reaching toward a glowing butterfly, a colorful abstract with pixelated colors contrasting black and white elements, and a display of "ungravitied constructions.”

New Permanent Dali17 Exhibit Joins Monterey’s Cultural Scene
Home to museums, galleries and performing arts venues, Monterey has long inspired artists ranging from John Steinbeck to Salvador Dali. Visitors can explore the National Steinbeck Center, a museum and memorial dedicated to the author, as well as the new Dali17. This permanent exhibition of unprecedented Dali art—the first of its kind on the West Coast and the largest private collection in the U.S.—includes 557 lithographs, etchings and 230 originals along with rare sculptures by celebrated surrealist artists. Artist haven Carmel-by-the-Sea now boasts more than 110 art galleries within a square mile, and visitors can explore them with Carmel Art Tours.