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Oceanside Museum of Art is showcasing pieces from its history in a brand new exhibit honoring the museum’s 25th anniversary. Photo by Samantha Nelson
Oceanside Museum of Art is showcasing pieces from its history in a brand new exhibit honoring the museum’s 25th anniversary. Photo by Samantha Nelson
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Oceanside Museum of Art highlights 25 years with ‘Legacy’ exhibit

OCEANSIDE – The Oceanside Museum of Art is showcasing its 25-year legacy in a new two-part exhibit.

“Legacy: 25 Years of Art and Community” is a survey of artwork from the museum’s past exhibitions set in two shows: “The Early Years,” currently on display and spans from 1997 to 2011, and “The Recent Years” from 2012 to 2021, which opens Oct. 1.

Founded in 1997, the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) has featured more than 300 exhibitions from artists throughout Southern California. The museum formed after community members spent years together planning to open an art museum in the city.

Since then, the museum has grown tremendously, transforming into a cultural hub that helped turn downtown Oceanside into one of 14 state-designated cultural districts.

James Hubbell's "Firebird" on stained glass and wood. Photo by Samantha Nelson
James Hubbell’s “Firebird” on stained glass and wood. Photo by Samantha Nelson

In honor of its 25th anniversary, OMA launched a year-long celebration campaign that first kicked off with a gala in February and more events still to come, including the full “Legacy” exhibition.

“It’s a milestone moment,” said executive director Maria Mingalone. “It’s a great way to celebrate community vision – people coming together and creating something out of nothing for the benefit of the community.”

The museum originally started in the historic city hall building designed by renowned architect Irving J. Gill, which included about 5,000 square feet of space. Then in 2008, the museum gained an additional 15,000 square feet of space with the completion of the Central Pavilion, a contemporary three-story building designed by architect Frederick Fisher. The expansion exploded the museum’s activity, which went from showcasing five exhibits each year to about 15 exhibits.

Plans are also underway for the museum to absorb the historic Fire Station 1 building, which is set to be replaced by a new fire station building nearby. The building is one of two that still remain from Gill’s 1929 city hall complex.

A portion of the “Legacy: 25 Years of Art and Community" exhibit at Oceanside Museum of Art. Photo by Samantha Nelson
A portion of the “Legacy: 25 Years of Art and Community” exhibit at Oceanside Museum of Art. Photo by Samantha Nelson

“Legacy” Curator Danielle Deery, who has curated multiple exhibitions for the museum, split the exhibit into two parts because of the museum’s large number of exhibits featured over the years. She worked with OMA’s founding director, Skip Pahl, as well as board members, collectors, volunteers and staff to figure out which pieces and exhibits were key to building the museum’s legacy.

Out of the museum’s more than 300 exhibits, the “Legacy” exhibit features pieces from 71 exhibits with more than 112 artists.

“It’s a nice sampling and features such a diverse array of artistic expressions,” Deery said.

Artwork in the exhibit shows everything from more traditional styles to contemporary art. In its recent years, the museum shifted its focus to Southern California artists instead of the entire West Coast and has featured more popular culture and street art as well.

“Legacy: 25 Years of Art and Community” features artists such as James Hubbell, Ethel Greene, Wendy Murayama, William Glen Crooks, Allison Renshaw, Italo Scanga, Charles Arnoldi and many others.

“The Early Years” segment will run until Jan. 29 and “The Recent Years” will run from Oct. 1 until Feb. 19.

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