Do you enjoy art? Maybe you like being by the beach sipping on a refreshing drink? If yes, then look no further than the Long Beach Art Museum. The museum is in the historic Elizabeth Milbank Anderson house, an heiress and philanthropist from the 20th century, and was originally built in 1911. The home was later converted into the Long Beach Museum of Art in 1957. This was the time when the museum began to obtain their permanent collection of over 3000 pieces of both European and American art.
Later the museum would also become hosts to more recent and new artists that are invited to show their work in the two-story pavilion. These exhibitions are held for a limited time and change throughout the year. Outside the pavilion you also have the option of taking a short walk through the sculpture garden and taking in the amazing views of the ocean. Food and drink are made available at Claires restaurant which is located right on the back of the Anderson house.
During our visit we had the opportunity to view The Brilliant Earth, Creature Comforts, and Long Beach Museum Annual juried high school exhibition.
The Brilliant Earth exhibition by Tony Marsh is truly a unique experience. The collection is a mesh of his work spanning from the 1970's to the present day. The ceramic sculptures are described to be done in an unorthodox way by the museum attendants. They works are mix of odd clay formulas, have layers upon layers of different textures and colors to demonstrate or even recreate how happenstance occurs within our natural environment. When first entering the exhibition, you see the title of the collection and shortly underneath it reads, “I am nothing but grateful. Creating with clay – as has been the case with teaching -have been parallel life pursuits. However different they may be, I understand them both as tremendous instruments for learning. Not done yet”.
While the silhouettes of the sculptures were similar from one piece to the next the texture and color of each one was vastly different. The reason for this was to demonstrate how different the environment, circumstances, and even the influence of time can cause such a drastic difference on the end product. It was interesting to see the large collection. The layers of colors and textures really remind the audience that life is very much like those sculptures.
Vibrant and Nostalgic
The second exhibition that was on display was by Brent Estabrook, Creature Comforts. The exhibition was his first show. Much of his work was vibrant and nostalgic. From the sculpture of the large teddy bear to the paintings that included many characters from various tv shows and cartoons, it was amazing. People of all ages were standing in front of the unique pieces, almost as if the art itself had an innate ability to call out the little kid in us all.
One painting in particular stood out and it was a large painted piece encompassing teddy bears of various colors, adventure time characters, Peppa the pig, studio Ghibli, and even some anime characters. Brent has mentioned that he hopes his work inspires everyone to get creative and pursue what they really want in life. At one point every single one of us had hopes and dreams, Brent calls upon that to remind us of that time. One patron even gasped when seeing the large sculpture of the teddy bear, “It looks so realistic!”. This is truly a must see for everyone.
The last exhibition that was show cased was the Long Beach Museum Annual juried high school exhibition. The theme for this year was to challenge the status quo and to speak up against injustices. Aside from the sheer talent that was on display, the beautiful imagery and messages behind the art demand the viewers' attention. The artists touch on the themes of women's rights, black lives matter, and immigration. The entire downstairs area was full of small sculptures and paintings from students throughout Long Beach Unified School District.
Lakewood Self Storage
The Long Beach Art Museum has art, beautiful views, and good food to make for a day well spent. It is open Thursday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm and we strongly recommend visiting. Here at Lakewood Self Storage, we like to find new ways to explore the communities we serve and become more involved. We hope more visitors go to visit our lovely local museum, but if possible, take the time to come visit us at Lakewood Self Storage. We have great storage options and even a move in truck.
The Long Beach Art Museum
2300 E Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90803
Sunday-Thursday: 11AM - 5PM