On View is the San Diego Public Library’s exhibition program and part of our mission to inspire lifelong learning through connections to knowledge and each other. Exhibition programs allow free access to the visual arts, while promoting San Diego artists and creative community groups. Rotating exhibitions can be enjoyed at many of the 35 branch libraries as well as in the Art Gallery and Valeiras Sculpture Garden on the ninth floor of the Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common.
On View at the Central Library
More than 150 paintings, drawings and photographs from the City of San Diego’s own Civic Art Collection
have been permanently installed on all floors of the library. Of particular importance are fourteen artworks by San Diego artist Russell Baldwin. The City of San Diego has one of the largest public holdings of Baldwin’s works. Many of the artworks on display are those of significant San Diego area artists including Sheldon Kirby, Jean Swigget, Robin Bright and Jay Johnson. The Special Collections section of the library on the ninth floor houses some of the City’s early California paintings by Alfred Mitchell and Elliot Torrey. The Hervey Family Fund Rare Books Room is home to six newly conserved and rarely seen prints from the 1800s, three by William Hogarth and three by Ando Hiroshige. In addition, paintings by Charles Fries and Maurice Braun and sculptural works by Donal Hord are on display in the Rare Books Room.
The Central Library is also home to four public art installations by internationally-recognized artists Donald Lipski, Elinar and Jamex de la Torre, Roy McMakin, and Gary Hill.
Currently On View
Print Culture: Midcentury Modern Graphic Design
Art Gallery - 9th Floor, Central Library
Dec. 10, 2016 - Feb. 26, 2017
Print Culture presents a rich variety of fine graphic design created in the mid-twentieth century by San Diego designers, illustrators, photographers, artists and art directors – described as San Diego’s own “mad men”. A variety of techniques and creative processes are represented with some intimately handmade items and others more commercial.
Graphics for the defense industry represent one end of a spectrum presented in Print Culture. At the other end is work that artists did for themselves: exhibition announcements, mailers, posters, invitations, greeting cards, and all kinds of printed objects – some offhand, some precise – that are, at once, independent works of art and evidence of historic creative activity.
Featured artists include John Baldessari, Tom Gould, Bill Noonan, James Boynton, Bob Matheny, Barney Reid and Jim Sundell. Print Culture is organized by guest curator Dave Hampton and made possible by a collaboration between the San Diego Public Library and the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture
On View at Branches
With 35 branch libraries in communities throughout the city, the San Diego Public Library has many great spaces to showcase educational, cultural, intellectual, charitable and recreational exhibits, as well as works by community art groups and individuals.
SDPL is pleased to have hosted exhibitions and displays by groups such as West Coast Drawing, San Diego Mesa College Museum Studies Program, the Museum of Photographic Arts’ Education Department, the Pastel Society of San Diego, High Tech High, Veterans Art Project, San Diego Watercolor Society, the Art Glass Association of Southern California, Words Alive, and various individuals artists and craftsmen.
For information on current and upcoming exhibitions see our schedule of branch exhibitions.