San Diego

On View

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

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.

Coming Soon to the Central Gallery

The Dream of the Nineties
San Diego Central Library Gallery
Sept. 23 – Dec. 31, 2017

The Dream of the Nineties

This exhibit features the work of nine San Diego photographers at the end of the 20th century, when these artists were keenly aware of the emergence of digital media.  Using a wide range of photographic materials and approaches to the medium, they explored the boundaries of expression at the end of an analog era – a time when hands-on processes and hours in the darkroom marked an artist’s output.
At that period in the history of photography, “creative practice reached a fever pitch, which provided the foundation for countless creative tools in the digital realm,” says Scott B. Davis, the exhibit’s curator.
The exhibit exposes San Diego’s vibrant photography community and presents the work of local artists Eric Blau, Walter Cotten, Steven DePinto, Annette Fournet, Suda House, Richard Lou, James Luna, Han Nguyen and Philipp Scholz Rittermann. It features a range of photographic processes – from darkroom-based work, to early digital capture and pioneering digital printing technologies.

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.  
To learn more about exhibiting at the Library, visit our opportunities page.