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OMCA Announces Public Programs and Events for December 2023

Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) has announced its schedule of public programs for December 2023, including a festive Holiday Marketplace and College-Fest for all ages featuring artists from the Museum’s acclaimed special exhibition, Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD, plus our expanded weekly Gallery Chats.

Spotlight Sundays: Holiday Marketplace and Collage-Fest
Sunday, December 17, 1- 3 pm
Marketplace on Lower Level, Lillie Education Center; Collage activity in the California Room
Tickets: Free to the public. No ticketing required.

Usher in the winter holidays and join us for a festive marketplace to shop for artwork produced by Into The Brightness artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth, and the NIAD Art Center. Artists will showcase and sell a large offering of original artwork, making it a wonderful opportunity to find unique and meaningful gifts for your loved ones this holiday season. Artist vendors include Isaiah Jackson, Jean McElvane, Dorian Reid, Karen Ridge, and more.

We also invite you to get hands-on with a delightful winter collage activity that uses recycled materials. This program has free admission, and all ages and skill levels are welcome.

Gallery Chats at OMCA
Saturdays, 1—3 pm | OMCA Great Hall and Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences

Member Gallery Chats 
Second Saturdays, 12— 1 pm | OMCA Great Hall Only  

Special Edition Gallery Chats 
First Wednesdays, 12—1 pm | Special Exhibition Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD

Gallery Activation Hours are now Gallery Chats at OMCA!

Highlighting the informal approach to the traditional museum tour, Gallery Activation Hours are now Gallery Chats at OMCA. Visitors are invited to chat, ask questions, and connect in the galleries with our OMCA facilitators. OMCA facilitators combine content knowledge with lived experience to encourage meaningful dialogue and fresh interpretations of Special Exhibitions and our Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences.

Weekly Gallery Chats take place in our Special Exhibitions and our Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences every Saturday from 1 to 3 pm and are included with Museum and Special Exhibition admission. No reservation necessary.

OMCA Members have access to special Member Gallery Chats every second Saturday of the month from noon to 1 pm.

In addition to weekly Saturday Gallery Chats, during the run of Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD, artists from the show will host Special Edition Gallery Chats noon to 1 pm every first Wednesday.

OMCA Architecture Walk and Talk
First Sunday of each month at 1 pm

Walk through OMCA’s landmark building and gardens with members of the Council on Architecture, and learn about the history, design, and evolution of this award-winning structure with guides who are passionate about OMCA and Oakland.

No reservations or tickets are required. Walk and Talk begins near the Mid Level ticketing desk and lasts approximately one hour.

If you’d like to visit OMCA’s Galleries or Special Exhibitions, please purchase a ticket online in advance or at the ticketing desk on the day of your visit.

Friday Nights at OMCA Takes A Seasonal Break

As we enter the holiday season, Friday Nights at OMCA with Off the Grid (OTG) has begun its seasonal break. Oakland’s favorite weekly block party will resume in April 2024. During the Friday Nights break, OMCA will remain open to the public during the Museum’s regular business hours, including admission to special exhibitions, Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD and Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya. Please visit our website for details.


Thursday After Hours at OMCA
Starting Thursday, January 11, 2024 | 5—8pm

Experience Thursday After Hours at OMCA – your weekly night out at the Museum rich with cocktails, culture, and community. Mingle at Town Fare Cafe by Chef Michele McQueen, where you can enjoy drinks and light bites against a backdrop of music, or explore the galleries which come alive at night with a mix of pop-up performances, chats, live drawings, and more– just for adults, 18+!

Currently On View

Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya
Great Hall

Explore the living impact of Chicano artist, Malaquías Montoya, whose legacy as a public-serving artist, activist, and community leader serves as inspiration for younger generations within the Chicano community and beyond. Montoya’s posters, graphic prints, and murals highlighting political and social justice issues have helped define the Chicano identity for nearly five decades.

Malaquías Montoya’s activist roots and community ties can be traced back to his childhood as the son of a migrant farmworker family and the close relationships he held with elder family members, teachers, artists and more. Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya invites visitors to consider Montoya’s deeply collaborative artistic process, focus on community, and engagement across generations.

This exhibition will explore what it means to become an elder through photographs, historical and familial ephemera, early works from the artist as well as contemporary artworks by artists from multiple generations influenced by Montoya, including Julio Salgado, Elyse Doyle-Martinez, Leslie Lopez, Israel Campos, and Arely Hernández. On view October 6, 2023—June 30, 2024.

Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD
Great Hall

In collaboration with three profound Bay Area institutions, Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD celebrates myriad works from contemporary artists with developmental disabilities. From painting to sculpture to multimedia, these world-renowned artists are producing work of incredible power, exuberance, humor, complexity, and joy.

Into the Brightness presents a variety of dynamic perspectives from the artists’ personal experiences of the world. This original, collaborative exhibition is the largest museum exhibition in over a decade featuring artists from the three local organizations –Creativity Explored in San Francisco, Creative Growth in Oakland, and NIAD (Nurturing Independence Through Artistic Development) Art Center in Richmond. 

Featured artists include Saul Alegria, Peter Cordova, Tranesha Smith-Kilgore, Marlon Mullen, Dorian Reid, William Scott, Dinah Shapiro, Nicole Storm, and Marilyn Wong. On view through January 21, 2024.

OMCA Kids: Nature Playspace
Gallery of California Natural Sciences

Little learners can unleash their curiosity and imagination in OMCA Kids: Nature Playspace. Located inside the Gallery of California Natural Sciences, the playspace is focused on the unique needs of children ages 2 to 5, along with their families and caregivers.

Play is critical to every child’s healthy development and the playroom offers something for everyone – from building materials and nature-themed puzzles to hands-on activities that spark creativity, wonder, and joy. Our youngest museum visitors can also discover the animals that make their homes in Oakland’s streams, hills, and backyards. The playspace gives families a fun, safe place to play, and to build community with other families.

Visitors ages 12 and younger receive free admission to OMCA, as long as they are accompanied by an adult over 18 years of age.

About The Oakland Museum of California

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) tells the many stories that comprise California, creating the space and context for greater connection, trust, and understanding between people. Through its inclusive exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, and cultural events, OMCA brings Californians together and inspires greater understanding about what our state’s art, history, and natural surroundings teach us about ourselves and each other. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together its multidisciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science with first-person accounts and often untold narratives of California, all within its 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus. The Museum is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage for visitors from the region, the state, and around the world.

Visitor Information

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $19 general; $16 seniors and students with valid ID, $12 youth ages 13 to 17, and free for Members and children 12 and under. There is a $6 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions in the Great Hall. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. An accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum.