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Public Library

Art and Culture Exhibitions

The visual arts program demonstrates the library’s role as a cultural institution embracing a broad range of disciplines while assisting San Diego's emerging, mid-career and professional artists achieve visible opportunities and receive wider local, regional, and national attention.

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Featured Exhibitions

San Diego Art Prize | October 28, 2023 - January 14, 2024 | Learn More

Four individual artist portraits selected for the SD Prize


Helen & Newton Harrison California Work exhibit
PST Art and La Jolla Historical Society logos

As part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: Art and Science Collide, San Diego Public Library’s Visual Arts Program presents Helen and Newton Harrison: California Work, a retrospective exhibition about the work of husband-and-wife team of Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison, who were among the earliest and most notable ecological artists. Founding members of the Visual Arts Department at UC San Diego, Helen and Newton were local San Diego artists for nearly four decades, where they developed their pioneering concepts of Ecological Art. 

Helen and Newton Harrison: California Work is the first exhibition to focus on their California work, between the late 1960s and 2000s. California Work revisits the Harrisons’ groundbreaking ecological concepts through re-staged performance artworks, drawings, paintings, photography, collages, maps, archival documentation of large-scale installations, and unrealized proposals for real-world ecological solutions.  


OnView - Local Arts

Photo collage of photographs created by artists Scarlett Xi and Albert Zhao.

Carmel Valley
People, Places
Scarlett Xi & Albert Zhao
October 22 - November 20, 2023 
Picture of an old photograph folded into a paper boat and placed on top of a mirror by artist Rizzhel Javier.
Central Library, 2nd fl.
Rizzhel Javier
October 11 - November 13, 2023 
Collage of paintings by artists from the Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild.
La Jolla/Riford
Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild 
November 3, 2023- January 5, 2024 

A collage of portraits of unsheltered people by artist Jordan Verdin.

Logan Heights
Humanity Showers
Jordan Verdin
November 9, 2023- January 3, 2024
Painting of a grey-tone landscape by artist Christy Ross.
Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox
The Color and Magic of Creating
Christy Ross
September 30- November 30, 2023

A painting of an abstract landscape and two detailed figures by artist Bridget Roundtree.

Mission Valley
Suspended Landscapes

Bridget Rountree
November 9, 2023 - January 4, 2024

A drawing of a snake with flowers and chollas cactus bark by artist Hilary Dufour.

Pacific Beach/Taylor
Wild Side
Hilary Dufour
October 18 - December 19, 2023

Picture of two colorful glass perfume bottles by artist Cathy Coverley.

Point Loma/Hervey
An Artist's View
Cathy Coverley
November 1, 2023- January 3, 2024
A painting of waves crashing over rocks on the shore by artist Doris Bertch.
Rancho Bernardo
Of Land and Sea
Doris Bertch
October 1-December 31,2023
Photograph of a little girl holding balloons and a teddy bear by artist Nathaly Alvizures.
Rancho Peñasquitos
Boundless & Infinite
Nathaly Alvizures
September 7 - November 30, 2023

White vase with an ornate blue dragon from the collection of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

Rancho Peñasquitos
The Dragon's Tale & Chinese Fishing
San Diego Chinese Historical Society
October 31 - December 28, 2023
Picture of a woman and a boy interacting with a scientific experiment.
Various Locations
Fleet on the Go
Throughout 2023

Previously OnView Exhibitons
  • Waiting Room: Health & Wellness Explored through Contemporary CraftWaiting Room | August 11, 2023 - October 15, 2023
  • Good Natured: Art & the EnvironmentGood Natured: Art & the Environment | May 13, 2023 - July 29, 2023
  • Lost in Translation: A Game of TelephoneLost in Translation: A Game of Telephone | February 6, 2023 - April 15, 2023
  • SD Art PrizeSD Art Prize | September 17, 2022 - January 7, 2023
  • Echoes of AfricaEchoes of Africa | June 4, 2022 - August 20, 2022
  • Clara BreedCall to Serve: Clara E. Breed and the Japanese American Incarceration | September 18, 2021 - January 30, 2022
  • Occupy Third SpaceOccupy Thirdspace II: Plástica y palabra en TJ/SD | Ocupa Tercer Espacio II: Plástica y palabra en TJ/SD | February 19, 2022 - May 7, 2022
  • Julius ShulmanJulius Shulman: Modern San Diego | September 28 – January 19, 2020
  • Fear No ArtFear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies | February 15 – May 17, 2020

Explore past exhibitions at Central Library Art Gallery, including behind the scenes content and virtual tours.