The Art Scene In Riverside

Riverside was built on land that was once a Spanish rancho. Investors from England and Canada transplanted traditions and activities adopted by prosperous citizens such as Southern California’s first golf course and polo field. The mix of culture from the Native, Mexican, Spanish, English, and Canadian people have contributed to art in Riverside. Today, the art scene in riverside is heavily influenced by the Chicano experience.

Riverside is bustling with new artists and a rich history. There are so many active members in the community influencing the scene. Cosme Cordova, owner of the Division 9 Gallery in Riverside, is one of the active leaders in the city’s arts community and has helped launch Riverside’s monthly Arts Walk and organized large Latino-themed festivals.

Cheech Marin, one half of the famous duo, Cheech and Chong, is also involved in the scene. The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture, and Industry of the Riverside Art Museum will explore Chicano culture from the barrio to the bay, cholos to Cesar Chavez, and pre-Columbian to modern murals. The center will be opening in 2020. And there are so many other leaders and influencers taking a part in the community. You can check out some of the art galleries and museums available to the public in this list.

Riverside City College Art Gallery

Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Ave.
Quad Rm. 140
Riverside, CA 92506

The Riverside City College Art Gallery is associated with Riverside City College. The gallery displays work from students in its art program as well as local artists in the community. They currently have a show on display called, “Old Broads: ‘It’s About Time’,” which opened on June 30 and will run until July 26, 2018. You can check it out during their summer gallery hours from 10 am to 3 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Riverside Art Museum

3425 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501

Everyone in Riverside has seen the large “ART” letters in front of the museum’s building. However, not everyone knows about the history of the museum itself and who created the letters.

A letter from Juvenile Court to RAM’s then Art Education Director Beth Yeager back in October of 2012 brought up the fact that some of the juvenile tagging and graffiti vandalism offenders sincerely believed that they were artists looking for opportunities to express themselves. Yeager immediately contacted artist Paulden Evans and they began planning a “Day of Art” for the youth offenders. Louie Tozser, artist and fabricator, created three large letters spelling “ART” for RAM’s front sculpture pad for the youth to paint.

Each participant was given a photo of the completed project as well as a certificate. There were some proud kids as evidenced by the smiles and laughter as they posed for pictures in front of the sculpture. The “ART” sculpture by Louie Tozser was a hit with the community since February of 2013 when it was originally completed, the much-loved sculpture that was meant to be a temporary artwork was sent back to Tozser last December for a face-lift. Recently returned to us and renovated to better withstand the elements.

Sweeney Art Gallery

3834 Main St.
Riverside, CA 92501

The Sweeney Art Gallery, supported by Marilyn and Jack Sweeney, is approaching its semi-centennial. The facility is a part of UCR Arts and acts as an artistic laboratory engaging diverse audiences with programs committed to experimentation, innovation, and exploration of art in our time.

The Sweeney Art Gallery is located in the Culver Center and its shows occasionally spill over into the Culver Atrium.

UCR/California Museum of Photography

3824 Main St.
Riverside, CA 92501

The UCR/California Museum of Photography is an off-campus institution and department of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at University of California, Riverside, California. It’s also a facility that is a part of UCR Arts and it provides a cultural presence, educational resource, community center and intellectual meeting ground for the university and the general public. The museum is located off campus in downtown Riverside. UCR/CMP states that it is committed to bringing the most challenging art to the widest possible audience.

CBU Gallery

3737 Main St. #101
Riverside, CA 92501

The mission of the CBU downtown art gallery is to provide year-round exhibitions of work by contemporary Southern California artists, CBU faculty and students that inspire, provoke and affirm what it means to be a human being in dynamic, creative community. The CBU Gallery actively promotes a university culture that is aesthetically enriching, conceptually challenging and morally compelling in a very beautiful building.


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