The walls don’t look the same for long at Red Brick Gallery. Since opening in 2006, the space has featured works by more than 150 different artists, exposing the public to paintings, metal sculptures, woodwork, glass pieces, and more. The gallery almost exclusively seeks the talent of emerging and mid-career artists, with an emphasis on locally commissioned works. “At any given time,” co-founder Jennifer Livia told Food and Home Magazine, “about seventy percent of our art is by local artists.” To bolster the public’s appreciation for art, Red Brick Gallery also teaches students of all ages and skill levels how to paint with acrylics and watercolors, create mosaics, and even take and edit photographs.
The Vita Art Center engages children, teens, and adults in creative expression with visual arts classes and monthly exhibits at their gallery. Capping head counts at 10 students or fewer, instructors work to keep classes welcoming for both beginning artists and those who have already painted a replica of the Sistine Chapel on their living-room ceiling. Young fingers pinch and coil clay and daub acrylic paints, and adolescents delve into more complex skills such as collage-making and printmaking. Adults may twist copper wire into handmade jewelry or learn how to enliven tax returns with stippling, cross-hatching, and other drawing techniques.
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: An authentic working drill rig from 1890
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
California's natural resources have defined the state's history and evolution, from the gold hiding in the hills to
oil bubbling just under the earth's surface. The California Oil Museum tracks the history of petroleum within California's borders, starting with the fossilization of organic matter. Then, through a series of interactive displays, videos, games, and restored gas station memorabilia, the museum's exhibits peel away the millennia. Visitors can relive the glorious early days of roadsters and highways through the vintage gas pump exhibit, or try their hand at old-fashioned oil siphoning with the restored turn-of-the-century cable tool drilling kit. The museum gives plenty of reasons to return, with rotating exhibits on science and history.
Gull Wings Children's Museum appeals to many childhood aspirations as it teaches—the Blast Off area lets kids pretend to be astronauts, the Home Town Hero exhibit lets them play firefighters, and the Lego-a-Go-Go room lets them portray immobile plastic bricks. Aside from the many exhibits, there are a series of regular programs in reading, science, and other subjects. The museum also hosts special events such as storytellers and dance groups.
The Channel Islands Maritime Museum brings the area's rich seafaring history to life with original paintings, ship models, and intricately decorated scrimshaw. After 21 years in one spot, the museum relocated in 2012, hauling along its 2,000-strong catalogue of artifacts—including historic documents, records, and art—to its current location on Channel Islands Harbor.
Museum collections inside the new digs highlight periods and industries important to the development of the local maritime culture, reaching as far back as the Chinese Treasure Fleets that sailed the high seas in the 15th century. More modern attractions include the collection that explores whaling industry of the 18th an 19th centuries, the curious case of the La Jenelle, a ship that sunk right in the harbor in 1970 thanks to a nasty northwester.