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OC Museum of Art Celebrates One-Year Anniversary with Free Events, Saturday Party

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

The new Orange County Museum of Art from the rear. Photo courtesy of Mike Kelley and Morphosis Architects.

The Orange County Museum of Art is celebrating the first anniversary of its new building and home at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts with a weeklong series of events, plus a free party all day Saturday.

The festivities will start at 11 a.m. with a meditative sound bath on the outdoor terrace, courtesy of SomerSkye Energy Works. Early arrival at 10:30 a.m. when doors open is suggested.

Also starting at 11 a.m. will be a pancake brunch and mimosas from OCMA's cafe, Verdant, plus sweet treats from Crepes Bonaparte food truck, continuing until 2 p.m. (The food is not free.) See the schedule for the brunch menu.

From noon to 3 p.m., Southern California singer-songwriter Joe Marx will perform a wide range of genres, from classics to current chart-topping hits. He will also be on the outdoor terrace.

Family-friendly art activities will take place from 1-3 p.m. on the Upper Plaza, level 2. The themes will be mindfulness, tranquility, joy, and, of course, creativity.

Dancers Kaitlin Regan (left) and Samuel DeAngelo (right) for Backhausdance. The company will present a new site-specific dance work created especially for OCMA. Photo courtesy of Backhausdance/Adrien Padilla.

From 4-5 p.m., Orange County's own dance troupe Backhuasdance will perform "Layering," a new, original dance work with site-specific choreography by founder Jennifer Backhaus. Designed to highlight the museum's architecture, this unique performance will be inspired by the outdoor sculpture "Kundalini Rising" (2023), which is part of the current exhibition, "Jennifer Guidi: And so it is."

To finish the evening, the museum is presenting its final Big Night Out program from 5-9 p.m. KCRW deejays Francesca Harding and Valida will be spinning sets, and the cafe Verdant will offer happy hour specials.

The new, $94.5 million O.C. Museum of Art – designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne and his Culver City studio Morphosis – opened on Oct. 8, 2022. While initial reviews were lukewarm to scorched earth, the free, 53,000-square-foot museum has been a hit with area art fans and tourists, attracting 263,000 visitors in its first year – 12 times the number of people who visited the previous location in Newport Center, near Fashion Island.

OCMA's anniversary week will conclude Sunday with outdoor yoga at 11 a.m. ($10 for non-members) and a free Spanish language-themed program called ¡ArteViva! from 2-5 p.m.

Visit for details.

The exterior of the new Orange County Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Mike Kelley and Morphosis Architects.

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