Art is in the eye of the beholder, whereas swollen retinas are in the eye of the bee holder. Get soul-stung by provocative and powerful art with today's Groupon: for $6, you get one ticket to the O Zone Event at Oakland Museum of California on September 10 (a $12 value). Doors open at 5 p.m., and the museum is open until midnight. All ages are welcome.
Soak up new exhibitions and participate in a bevy of events, panels, and film screenings at OMCA. Explore The Marvelous Museum: A Project by Mark Dion—an exhibit dedicated to curios, overlooked orphan art pieces, and treasures from the museum's collection, including a baby elephant—throughout the art galleries. Go behind the scenes with the exhibition PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation, which includes more than 500 drawings, paintings, and sculptures by the artists at Pixar Animation Studios, revealing their creative process. Hear Pixar artists discuss the making of Up, followed by a viewing of the film (limited seating), and watch the Pixar short Tin Toy in the History Gallery’s Studio Screening Room. A limited number of passes can be reserved for this exhibit on a first-come, first-served basis when arriving at the museum.
Other events include free drawing classes (7 p.m.–9 p.m.), a Pixar artist book signing with Sanjay Patel, and a chance to break out your tap-dancing stilts to frolic with a New Orleans–style party band and a Bollywood dance troupe. If you need to fill grumbling stomach engines, refuel at Blue Oak café. Check in at the main entrance on Oak Street when arriving at OMCA to have an automatic get-out-of-boredom-free card, a thoughtful activity for out-of-town guests, or a surefire cure for writer's block.
The Oakland Museum's grand reopening has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Eight Judy's Book reviewers give it a four-star average, more than 90 Yelpers give it a 4.5-star average, and Frommer's also recommends it:
- The structure -- at Oak and 10th Streets -- can appear intimidating, but once you enter through the Oak Street entrance, you will be entranced by the building's beauty. – William Wong, San Francisco Chronicle
- Lighted from clerestory windows, these handsome rooms -- conventional post-1960s galleries -- offer considerable promise. – Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times
Oakland Museum of California
California is too vast and diverse a state to capture through just one medium. That's why Oakland Museum of California combines art, history, and natural science collections—more than 1.8 million objects total—to tell the state’s story.
Organized around themes of land, people, and creativity, the art gallery showcases more than 70,000 works from the 19th century through present day, ranging from paintings and sculptures to new media. Encompassing more than 100,000 artifacts, including several thousand bird eggs, the natural sciences gallery spotlights seven particular landscapes, including Yosemite and Mount Shasta. The history gallery includes more than 2,200 objects that trace major periods in the state's history, tying together the lives of the indigenous people, incursions by Spanish settlers, and the giggling mad dash of the gold rush. In a nod to the history of Tinsel town, the interactive Creative Hollywood station lets visitors create an animation, add sound effects to movies, and forget a personal assistant’s birthday.
Forming the roof of each level, verdant gardens separate the galleries, while more greenery and sculptures beautify the museum's outdoor roof gardens and courtyards. The museum uses more outdoor space to hosts its Friday Nights @ OMCA, a family-friendly market full of live music, dance lessons, and local cuisine. Local and seasonal ingredients, meanwhile, flavor the dishes available in the museum's Blue Oak café. The café doubles as a residency for jazz bassist Ron Crotty, a founder of The Dave Brubeck Quartet, who grooves his way through jazz standards every Friday.