From the upcoming reopening of the Museum of Contemporary San Diego Art’s La Jolla location to The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, an instantly iconic outdoor music venue, to revitalized Mingei Museum in Balboa Park, San Diego increasingly is providing unique experiences for arts and culture lovers to explore.
The coastline, craft beer, Comic-Con and culture. That last one? It most definitely belongs on the list of what San Diego offers. While natural beauty and outdoor recreation may be what visitors first think about when it comes to San Diego, the city is also home to a diverse and vibrant cultural scene that is being bolstered by a number of new, high-profile investments in the region’s most important arts institutions.Art With a View
In April 2022, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
(MCASD) is set to debut the long-awaited renovation and expansion of its La Jolla flagship campus. The museums will feature four times the previous gallery space, two levels of light-filled galleries, a public park, and new seaside terraces, allowing visitors the opportunity to both relax and reflect. In addition, guests will be able to enjoy some 200 works of contemporary art with views of the Pacific Ocean serving as an inspiring backdrop. The first exhibition museumgoers will experience is that of artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s innovative work from the 1960s. The exhibition will be the first to focus on the artist’s experimental and prolific work during this decade, from her famous “shooting paintings,” created by shots from a .22 caliber rifle, to the exuberant sculptures of women known as “Nanas.” Under the Shell The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
, which opened as the first bayside concert venue in the nation in August 2021, provides not only state-of-the art acoustics and architecture but also stunning views of the waterfront and downtown San Diego’s cityscape. The new concert hall without walls serves as a summer home to the San Diego Symphony and entertainment space to other performers throughout the year. Tickets are now on sale for an impressive lineup of artists from the San Diego Symphony to performers like Lea Salonga, Olivia Rodrigo, Leon Bridges, Little Dragon and Ben Platt. Breaking New Sound
San Diego visitors will have another opportunity to experience the magic of the San Diego Symphony, but in a revitalized historical setting. The Jacobs Music Center
is undergoing a major renovation that will transform its Copley Symphony Hall in downtown San Diego. The project will include the reconfiguration of the stage; the addition of a choral terrace behind the orchestra; new finishes and seating; state-of-the-art lighting, sound and video equipment; and superior acoustics. While guests wait for the renewed and improved Jacobs Music Center to open in fall of 2023, the San Diego Symphony will perform its winter-spring 2022 season at nine venues throughout the San Diego area that include California Center for the Arts, Civic Theatre, The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, Joan B. Kroc Theatre at Salvation Army Kroc Center, PHAME Performing Arts Center at Patrick Henry High School, Poway Center for the Performing Arts and The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. Art of the People
After a three-year renovation, Mingei International Museum
opened to the public in September 2021 with a reimagined space and a renewed commitment to the idea of community, culture and creativity. Located in Balboa Park, the museum, which is housed in a Spanish Colonial Revival building constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, highlights how everyday objects and materials that serve a useful purpose can also be objects of great beauty. Its admission-free commons level, patio, amphitheater, library and large exhibition space filled with folk art, aims to be accessible so people everywhere can engage with its mission. Geek Out Year Round
Comic-Con fans don’t have to squeeze all their excitement and celebration into a four-day convention. The Comic-Con Museum
in Balboa Park now allows pop-culture enthusiasts the chance to engage with its comic-inspired content year-round. Museumgoers can expect 25,000 square-feet dedicated to rotating exhibits; a 6,000-square-foot education center; a 4K video theater and presentation space; a gift shop filled with comics, graphic novels and branded souvenirs; learning-focused labs, classes and seminars. Comic-Con also plans to continue to expand its interior display space and educational area over the next several months leading to a grand opening of the three-floor museum in July 2022. Intimate Art
The Timken Museum of Art
, which is set to open in the first half of 2022, has spent the last two years renovating itself so that it honors the museum’s historic architecture and mission while improving the visitor experience. Called Balboa Park’s “jewel box,” the Timken Museum, is a treasure of mid-century architecture filled with European and American masterpieces, including the only Rembrandt publicly on display in San Diego, as well as European art icons. The museum’s minute size is by no means a minus. Instead it makes for an art-viewing experience that is both intimate and accessible, allowing visitors to relax and absorb what is considered one of the finest small museums in the world. The best part? Admission is always free. While interested art-seekers wait for the grand reopening, they can tune into Timken Museum’s free virtual talks
that discuss in-depth analyses of works featured throughout the museum.Dynamic Downtown Center
Opened in early 2022, UC San Diego @ Park & Market
is the university’s new center located in the heart of Downtown’s East Village. The space aims to welcome an innovative collective of civic, business, innovation, education and arts entities for diverse programs that touch upon the city’s most creative endeavors. It also offers educational and cultural programs and houses a 3,000 square foot restaurant on the ground floor and an outdoor amphitheater space. This new development plans to offer unique educational experiences and cultural activities that will inspire lifelong learning for both visitors and residents.