The mission of Oceanside Museum of Art is to celebrate art through engagement, education, and innovation.
Oceanside Museum of Art strives to be an accredited, sustainable, and nationally-acclaimed gathering place to celebrate the inspiring and transformative power of arts and culture.
Located in a burgeoning coastal city along the cultural corridor between Los Angeles and San Diego, Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) explores new, relevant, and historical art of Southern California. Like art itself, OMA is always fresh, sometimes edgy, sometimes traditional, and frequently unexpected. The OMA experience stimulates imagination, presents new ideas, and challenges the familiar in a welcoming environment for those new to art, longtime museum-goers, artists, art students, or simply the curious.
Exhibitions showcase the finest art of the southern California region including paintings, sculptures, studio furniture, art quilts, and architectural glass. OMA’s galleries feature on enlightening survey of contemporary art enriched by the cultures of the community. The museum’s galleries are redesigned for each exhibition, surprising visitors with a fresh, exciting visual transformation for every new exhibit.
Oceanside Museum of Art is housed in side-by-side buildings designed by two of southern California’s most renowned Modernist architects. The classic Irving Gill designed building is nestled against the contemporary Frederick Fisher designed Central Pavilion creating the perfect union of past and present architecture.
OMA operates as a private, non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation and was originally founded by a core group of citizens who seized upon the vision of a museum and overcame all obstacles and skepticism to bring that vision to fruition. After almost eight years of planning, OMA began providing exhibitions and public programs in 1995. With the support of the Oceanside City Council and City staff, the lease for the renowned Irving Gill Building, the historic site of the Oceanside City Hall, was approved and a home for the museum was established. Following a renovation to the interior of the Gill Building, OMA formally opened its doors on October 6, 1997.