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On View: Art and Culture Exhibitions

The Library’s exhibition program allows free access to visual art and cultural exhibitions, while promoting San Diego artists and creative community groups.


Public Exhibition Opportunities

For more information about library exhibitions, email us at

Library patrons viewing an exhibition in the Central Library Art Gallery.


Central Library Art Gallery

Fear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies
February 15 – May 17, 2020 | San Diego Central Library Gallery

Fear No Art work

© City of San Diego Civic Art Collection

Fear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies, invites the public to consider artworks in the City of San Diego’s Civic Art Collection and the narratives that emerge when in dialogue with local contemporary artists. Together, these artworks represent a wide range of themes and approaches, which act as a provocation for the viewer to consider concepts such as institutional critique, the ability of art to effectively speak to and for the masses, the specificity of the Civic Art Collection, and the notion of a collection, itself.
Fear No Art is curated by Dr. Lara Bullock and features work by Eric Blau, Donald Borthwick, Mildred Bryant Brooks, Celeste Byers, Collective Magpie, Jung Ho Grant, William Hogarth, Robert Kelly, Leslie William Lee, Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney, John Parot, Cat Chiu Phillips, Charles Reiffel, Zoya Sardashti, Jean Swiggett, Terry Turrell, Jerry O. Wilkerson, and Joe Yorty.
Check out our virtual exhibition and enjoy the view.

Previously On View

Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego
September 28 – January 19, 2020

Black and white house photograph by Julius Shulman

© J. Paul Getty Trust

Recognized for his work in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, it is not widely known that between 1934 and 2007, architectural photographer Julius Shulman (1910 – 2009) shot over 200 projects in San Diego. His clients were architects, publishers, construction companies, and developers, and included notable San Diego architects Lloyd Ruocco, Sim Bruce Richards, Henry Hester, and Frederick Liebhardt. Shulman’s work, spanning several decades, documented the region’s evolving 20th century architectural landscape and he played an instrumental role in sharing California’s unique post-War modernism with a wide audience. Through a large number of publications and exhibitions, focused largely on his work in Palm Springs and Los Angeles for architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Pierre Koenig, Charles Eames, and Richard Neutra, interest in Shulman’s work continues to this day. However, his images of San Diego have not been widely shared or published.

Crafting Opportunity: Mid-Century Work from the Collection of Mingei International Museum
May 11 – July 28, 2019

Crafting Opportunity exhibit poster

Crafting Opportunity: Mid-Century Work from the Collection of Mingei International Museum is an exhibition of ceramics, furniture, fashion, fiber art, jewelry and metalwork that explores the robust artistic output that followed World War II. Mid-century craft and design in America is a study in creative pluralism, a blurring of the lines between fine and applied arts, craft and production, rustic and modern, functional and conceptual.
The exhibit includes notable works from craftspeople Ellamarie Woolley, Jack Lenor Larsen, Arline Fisch, Maria Martinez, Douglas Deeds, Berta Wright, Harrison McIntosh, Kay Whitcomb, Laura Andreson, and Charles and Ray Eames - many on view for the first time.

The Artist Portrait Project: San Diego Artists 2006-2016
Dec. 15, 2018 – March 17, 2019

Artist Portrait Project exhibition poster

Photographer Jennifer G. Spencer spent ten years trying to capture the “creative spirit” of leading San Diego artists through environmental portraiture. The result: An historic record of 50 artists who significantly contributed to our region’s creative culture. The exhibit included additional works from artists Kenneth Capps, Jean Wheat, Helen Redman, Susan Osborn, Joseph Bennett, Jeanne Dunn, James Watts, Anne Mudge, Nilly Gill, Cindy Zimmerman, Robert Treat, and Polly Giacchina.

A Method for Reaching Extreme Altitude
May 26 - Sept. 16, 2018

Methods for Reaching Extreme Altitudes exhibit graphic

Featuring the work of eight San Diego artists exploring space art, ranging from scientific to science fiction and otherworldly curiosities. Artists Adam Belt, Matthew Bradley, Sheena Rae Dowling, Andrew McGranahan, Arzu Ozkal, Cheryl Sorg, Jones von Jonestein, and Melissa Walter traverse the outermost reaches of space through diverse mediums and concepts. Their creativity, paired with their search for knowledge, exemplifies the human desire to understand the world and universe we live in.

Book Picks

Behind the Scenes

Performance artist Zoya Sardashti speaks about her work "To Be Seen & Unseen" in the gallery's exhibition Fear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies curated by Dr. Lara Bullock.

Multi-disciplinary artist John Parot sits down with us to discuss his current work "Chromosexual" in the Fear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies exhibition.

This week in 'Behind the Scenes' illustrator and muralist, Celeste Byers, discusses her work "Survivor Love Letter" with curator Lara Bullock of Fear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies.

Curator, Lara Bullock of Fear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies sits down with interdisciplinary artist Joe Yorty to discuss his work "Stage".

Curator, Lara Bullock of Fear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies sits down with contemporary artist Cat Chiu Phillips to discuss her work "Entertain".
Funding has been provided by California Humanities and the State of California through the California State Library.