IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE at the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a set of grand staircases serve as a gathering place for visitors to the OC Museum.
September 30, 2022
By Lydia Ringwald
The new Orange County Museum of Art, the latest jewel in the crown of the Segerstrom Center, opens with a series of celebrations, culminating in a 24-hour party with music and dancing on October 8 and 9, free to the public.
The clean lines of the museum’s innovative new 53,000 square foot structure flow like fabric, creating a pivoting interior space that transforms into a dramatic undulating exterior with a sparkling tile structural facade. Morphosis designed the iconic building under the guidance of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, lead partner Brandon Welling and OCMA project architect Crystal Wang. It is a living sculpture, an architectural work of art.
The interior layout provides flexible gallery space for temporary and permanent art collections, a theater for performances and presentations, and an educational space lit by natural light. The charming open upper terrace is designed for exhibitions and special events.
A charming cafe that seats 75 on the second level offers a menu of fresh appetizers with seasonal Southern California bounty. Visitors can browse the museum’s bookstore in the illuminated lobby to peruse an intriguing selection of unique art publications.
The new Orange County Museum of Art is adjacent to the spectacular 2,994-seat Segerstrom Center Theater which has hosted world-class dance companies and spectacular Broadway musicals since it opened in 1986. On the other Across the square is the 1,704-seat Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. and the 375-seat Samueli cabaret-style theater opened in 2006 along with the Tony Award-winning South Coast Restorative Theater Complex.
The Segerstrom Cultural Complex was the vision of Henry Segerstrom, developer of South Coast Plaza and iconic commercial and residential properties throughout Orange County.
Henry Segerstrom believed in the value of the arts and the enrichment the arts would bring to the lives of community members. His successors, Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom, along with many other prominent and generous donors, carry on the legacy of celebrating the new museum built on the remaining land of the cultural complex.
Exhibits in the indoor galleries include California Biennial 2022: Gold of the Pacific in the Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom Permanent Collection Pavilion, curated by Elizabeth Armstrong with Essence Harden and Gilbert Vicario. The exhibit features 19 artists from across the state whose works reflect the mystique and myth of California.
The “13 Women” exhibition curated by Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and Director with Ziying Duan, Assistant Curator; Amanda Seadler, Director of Collections and Exhibitions, showcases prominent Californian artists with works of art that are also part of the permanent collection, which rotates throughout the year.
Joan Brown, The trip #5, 1976. Enamel on canvas. 90-1/2 x 72-3/4 inches. Museum purchase with additional funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, 1978.008. Collection of the Orange County Museum of Art.
Commissioned for the opening of OCMA is a stunning 24′ wide by 16′ high multimedia outdoor sculpture by ‘Sanford Biggers: Of many waters…’ on view October 8, 2022 through August 13, 2023.
“Reflecting Back the World” by artist and former NASA engineer Fred Eversley, an exhibition curated by new OCMA curator Courtenay Finn and curated by former OCMA curator Cassandra Coblentz, puts spotlight the new inaugural exhibition space.
‘Peter Walker: Minimalist Landscape’ is on display in the ‘Visionaries Gallery’ mezzanine.
Peter Walker, Arrival GardenCourtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture.
Visitors to the inaugural 24-hour opening night on October 8 and 9 will be the first to appreciate this premier art installation and enjoy the splendid events planned for the inaugural event. The party begins at 5 p.m. on October 8 with a drum march on the Avenue des Arts, followed by a purple hour, inspired by Fred Eversley, with “mocktails” in the new cafe, then transitions to concerts by Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony and the Philharmonic Society.
A rooftop dance party on the outdoor rooftop terrace is topped with fireworks at midnight to ignite the sky for the historic event.
“Movies for Insomniacs” and a “Late Night Lounge with Boss Harmony” lead revelers into the new day of October 9. Yoga at 6:30 a.m. and a Japanese tea ceremony at 8:00 a.m. are scheduled in the morning.
Delicious treats and drink specials are available throughout the evening, with tea, a juice bar and donuts available early in the morning.
The Segerstrom Center is a dream come true, a cultural center that offers all the arts – theater, dance, musicals, concerts and now, the visual arts.
Southern California friends and family, international tourists, and visitors can enjoy OCMA year-round to view art from the permanent collections, changing art exhibits, and attend events. educational in the ambient atmosphere of art.
Please visit OCMA.art to find the detailed program of activities for the festivities from October 8 to 9 and the museum’s schedules throughout the week. A generous $2 million grant made admission to the museum free for the next two years.