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Orange County Museum Of Art Celebrates Opening With 24 Hour Party October 8 – 9

IN A NOD to the steps at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a set of grand stairs serves as a gathering place for visitors at the OC Museum.


September 30, 2022

By Lydia E. Ringwald

The new Orange County Museum of Art, the final jewel on the crown of the Segerstrom Center cultural center, opens with a series of celebrations, culminating with a 24-hour party with music and dancing on October 8 -9, free to the public.

The sweeping lines of the innovative 53,000 square ft. new museum structure flow like fabric, creating a swiveling interior space that transcends into a dramatic undulating exterior with a sparkling tile structural facade.

The landmark building designed by Morphosis under the direction of Pritzker-Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, Partner-in-Charge Brandon Welling and Crystal Wang, OCMA Project Architect is a living sculpture, an architectural work of art.

 The interior layout offers flexible gallery space for temporary and permanent art collections, a theater for performances and presentations and an educational space illuminated with natural light. The delightful open upper terrace is designed for exhibitions and special events.

 A charming cafe seating 75 on the second level offers a menu of fresh entrees with the seasonal bounty of Southern California. Visitors may browse the museum’s bookstore in the illuminated lobby to review 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 that has welcomed world-renowned dance companies and spectacular Broadway musicals since it opened in 1986. Across the plaza is the 1,704-seat Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and 375-seat Samueli cabaret-style theater opened in 2006 along with the Tony Award Winning South Coast Reparatory Theater complex.

 The Segerstrom cultural complex was the vision of Henry Segerstrom, developer of South Coast Plaza and landmark commercial and residential properties throughout Orange County.

 Henry Segerstrom believed in the value of the arts and the enrichment that the arts would bring into the lives of those in the community. His successors, Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom, along with many other prominent and generous donors, continue the legacy of celebrating the new museum constructed on the remaining piece of land in the cultural complex.

 Exhibits in the interior galleries include the California Biennial 2022: Pacific Gold in the Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom Permanent Collection Pavilion, curated by Elizabeth Armstrong along with Essence Harden and Gilbert Vicario. The exhibition features 19 artists from across the state whose artworks reflect the mystique and mythos of California.

 The exhibit ’13 Women’ organized by Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and Director with Ziying Duan, Assistant Curator; Amanda Seadler, Collections and Exhibitions Director, showcases prominent California women artists with artworks that are also in the permanent collection, rotated throughout the year.


Joan Brown, The Journey #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 OCMA’s opening is a stunning 24 ‘wide by 16’ tall multimedia outdoor sculpture by ‘Sanford Biggers: Of many waters…’ on view from October 8, 2022 – August 13, 2023.

Artist and former NASA engineer Fred Eversley’s ‘Reflecting Back the World,’ an exhibit organized by OCMA’s new curator Courtenay Finn, and conceived by OCMA’s former curator Cassandra Coblentz, highlights the new inaugural exhibition space.

 ‘Peter Walker: Minimalist Landscape’ is exhibited in the mezzanine ‘Visionaries Gallery.’




Peter Walker, Arrival Garden, Courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture.



 Visitors who attend the inaugural 24-hour opening party on October 8-9 will be the first to appreciate this initial installation of artworks and enjoy the splendid events planned for the inaugural event. The party starts at 5 pm on October 8 with a drum march down Avenue of the Arts, followed by a Violet Hour, inspired by Fred Eversley, featuring ‘mocktails’ in the new cafe, then transitions into concerts by Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony and the Philharmonic Society.

 A rooftop dance party on the outside roof terrace is topped with fireworks at midnight to ignite the sky for the landmark event.

 ‘Movies for Insomniacs’ and a ‘Late Night Lounge with Boss Harmony’ carries party goers into the new day on October 9. Yoga at 6:30 am and a Japanese Tea Ceremony at 8 am are scheduled in the morning.

 Tasty treats and specialty drinks are available throughout the evening, with tea, a juice bar and donuts available in the early morning hours.

 Segerstrom Center is a dream come true, a cultural center that offers all of the arts – theater, dance, musicals, concerts, and now, the visual arts.

 Southern California friends and family, international tourists and visitors may enjoy OCMA throughout the year to view art from the permanent collections, the changing art exhibits, and attend educational events in the ambient atmosphere of art.

Please visit OCMA.art to find a detailed schedule of events for festivities on October 8 – 9 and museum hours throughout the week. A generous $2 million grant has made museum entry free for the next two years.