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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.

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

Central Library Art Gallery

You Are Here
Feb. 10 – May 6, 2018 | San Diego Central Library Gallery
You Are Here exhibit pinThis exhibit celebrates the creative energy found within San Diego-area higher education art departments and shifts that energy off campus to the Central Public Library. Tweaking the tried-and-true model of an on-campus exhibition gives the general public easy and free access to the talents of local teaching artists and their emerging-artist students.
Works on view are as diverse as the studio art practices at the schools, created by instructors and students working in a range of mediums such as painting, mixed media, ceramics, and photography. The show includes 26 artists representing 13 schools.
The following artists and schools have participated in “You Are Here”: David Avalos and Martha Gil, California State University - San Marcos, David Adey and Matthew J. Mahoney from Point Loma Nazarene University, Matthew Hebert and Liz Koerner from San Diego State University, Monique van Genderen and Maya Grace Misra from University of California, San Diego, Brianna Rigg and Bryan Reid from University of San Diego, Jennifer Anne Bennett and Christian Garcia-Olivo from Grossmont Community College, Xuchi Eggleton and Larissa Lopez from Cuyamaca Community College, Siobhán Arnold and Benjamin Poarch from MiraCosta College, Sasha Koozel Jonestein and Corina Bilandzija from Palomar Community College, Wayne Hulgin and Niki Ito from San Diego City College, Wendell M. Kling and Tim Penney from San Diego Mesa College, Jessica McCambly and Hanna Hunter from San Diego Miramar College and Perry Vasquez and Jorge Mendez from Southwestern College.

Community Exhibitions

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.

Allied Gardens/Benjamin

Latex flowers hand-made and arranged by craftswoman Porntipa Chatchupong.

Credit: P. Chatchupong

For Real?
March 1 – May 31, 2018
Latex flowers hand-made and arranged by craftswoman Porntipa Chatchupong.

La Jolla/Riford

Floral painting by Anne Swan Moore.

Credit: A. Swan Moore

The Colors of Spring
March 11 – May 21, 2018
Contemporary works by Erin Hanson, Lyn Hiner and Anne Swan Moore.

Logan Heights

Photo of the Here, There, and Everywhere exhibit at the Logan Heights Library


Here, There, and Everywhere
March 7 – May 8, 2018
Here, There, and Everywhere (HTE) is a NASA-funded program that consists of a series of exhibitions, posters, and supporting hands-on activities that utilize analogies in the teaching of science, engineering, and technology (STEM) to provide multi-generational and family-friendly content in both English and Spanish.

Mission Valley

Two portraits of San Diegans by José González

Credit: J. González

Faces of the Street
Jan. 3 – March 31, 2018
Portraits of San Diegans by José González show the real people behind the stigma of homelessness.

Computer image of a fox by K. Schneider.

Credit: K. Schneider

Pretty Monsters
March 1 – 31, 2018
Artistic renderings inspired by Kelly Link's modern fantasy fairy tale collection, created by middle- and high-school students.  Sponsored by Write Out Loud.

North Park

The Memory Project – Syrian Children
Feb. 15 - April 20, 2018
Based on photos, American students made these portraits and gave them to displaced children, creating new happy memories. Learn more here.

Pacific Beach

Colorful painting by Walter Redondo

Credit: W. Redondo

Walter Redondo
March 11 – May 6, 2018
New works by the painter/sculptor, who says “my paintings are fueled by the expression of things that come to me through life’s unseen experiences.”  Reception Saturday March 17, 3:30 to 5:30 pm.

Point Loma/Hervey

Glass sculpture by Cathy Coverley

Credit: C. Coverley

Art Glass of Cathy Coverley
March 12 – April 30, 2018
Work from a series of four explorations in sculptural glass casting: Alchemy - images created by combining two reactive chemicals in the glass; Landscape & Architecture – examples of dimension and perspective in cast glass; The Basic Elements - Earth, Air, Fire & Water; and Oceanic.

Print of fish by B Schoner

Credit: B. Schoner

Midway Printmakers
March 5 – June 2, 2018
Examples of a variety of printmaking techniques, created by members of a group rooted in a continuing education class at the San Diego Community Colleges.  Reception and demonstration Sunday April 15, 1 to 4 pm.

Rancho Bernardo

Butterflies painting by Joanne Michalik

Credit: J. Michalik

Flutterings and Flowers
Jan. 5 – March 31, 2018
In her paintings, Joanne Michalik captures the startling variations of color seen on butterfly wings, combined with floral images.

Photo of panels in the AstrOlympics exhibition at the Rancho Bernardo Library


March 7 – May 8, 2018
A project from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory Communications group highlights the physical connections between sport and space. Examining various topics including speed, distance, time, mass, rotation, and pressure, AstrOlympics explores the impressive range of these different physical properties.

Rancho Penasquitos

San Diego Plein Air Painters and Urban Sketchers

Credit: D. Peterson

San Diego Plein Air Painters and Urban Sketchers
Feb. 21 – March 28, 2018
These organizations have a common goal of meeting in small groups to paint and sketch at specific locations in our region. Paintings and sketchbooks are on display.  A reception Saturday March 17, 2 to 4 pm will feature art being created on the spot.

Circular painting of animals by A. Carver

Credit: A. Carver

Along the Transect Line
March 7 – Aug. 31, 2018
Scientists use “transect lines” across a habitat to help them watch for change in plant and animal life.  This exhibit blends art and science to show what’s seen Along the Transect Line at Cabrillo National Monument.

Heart Gallery Project logo


Heart Gallery Project
March 6 – April 3, 2018
This project showcases some of the children and sibling groups in San Diego who need an adoptive family and seeks to raise awareness about the need for adoptive families in San Diego.

San Carlos

Landscape painting by Julianne Ricksecker

Credit: J. Ricksecker

Julianne Ricksecker 
March 6 – 29, 2018
Best known for her work as a printmaker, Ricksecker’s favored technique is á la poupée color etching.  This process renders sumptuous color with depth and richness unusual in metal plate printmaking.  Ricksecker also works in pastel and watercolor.  Reception Saturday March 17, 12 to 2 pm.

Skyline Hills

The Memory Project – Syrian Children
Feb. 15 - March 22, 2018
Based on photos, American students made these portraits and gave them to displaced children, creating new, happy memories. Learn more here.

University Community

The Memory Project – Syrian Children
Feb. 15 - April 20, 2018
Based on photos, American students made these portraits and gave them to displaced children, creating new, happy memories. Learn more here.
Associated program Saturday April 14, 1:30 pm: Meet the Neighbors – San Diego’s Syrians

Exhibition Opportunities

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.
Exhibit Space is made available on equitable basis regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. The Library endeavors to present a broad spectrum of opinion and viewpoints. The Library does not accept responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single exhibit.
To initiate use of Exhibit Space; Library staff must receive a completed online application from the party requesting the exhibit.

Online Application to Exhibit

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you choose what to exhibit in the library?
All potential use of Exhibit Space shall be evaluated by criteria, which may include, but are not limited to:
  • Public Safety: The exhibit must not pose hazards or threats to public safety or public health and/or must not pose a potential liability for the City of San Diego in any other way.
  • Availability of Resources: The availability of Exhibit Space and necessary Library staff support. Preference will be given to exhibits that do not require an excessive outlay of City of San Diego resources.
  • Excellence: The level of exhibit quality and conceptual content.
  • Security: The nature of the proposed security measures for the exhibit.
  • Relationship to Exhibit Space: The scale and nature of the exhibit in connection with environmental, physical, and/or functional contexts, both existing and planned.
  • Content Considerations:  Exhibit content should be appropriate in material, form and content for the library environment.  In general, the Library does not accept exhibits of a purely commercial nature, unless they have a special educational, informational, or cultural value to the community. Materials advocating a particular vote on a candidate or ballot proposition may not be exhibited.
  • Associated Programming: Exhibitors are encouraged to participate in a lecture or demonstration during the show. Evaluation will consider willingness to prepare creative associated programming. Associated programming will be arranged in consultation with the Branch Manager.
  • Priority: Organizations and individuals based in San Diego or serving primarily San Diego residents, which have not used Exhibit Space within the past year, will be given priority.
How can I exhibit at the Central Library?
Programming for the gallery at Central Library is curated and we are not accepting unsolicited applications. There are limited opportunities to display in cases throughout the library, in the Teen Center, or in the Popular Library on the ground floor. Please contact us with a letter of interest to determine if these spaces are appropriate for your needs.

Photo Gallery

  • First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, installation view; On tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC and co-hosted with The Old Globe.
  • The Art of Comic-Con, installation view, Central Library; A collaboration with Comic-Con International.
  • Intersecting lines: The Tenth Invitational Drawing Show, installation view of Underneath by May-ling Martinez.
  • Rainmaker, installation view.
  • Installation view of Art Forms in Nature at the Rancho Peñasquitos Branch Library Art Forms in Nature, installation view, Rancho Peñasquitos Branch Library; Nature photography by Michael Ready in conjunction with Cabrillo National Monument.
  • Installation view of METALOCI at the Mission Valley Branch Library METALOCI: Points of Transformation, installation view, Mission Valley Branch Library; Exhibition conceived and organized by the Mesa College Museum Studies Program.

Contact Us

For more information about library exhibitions, email us at [email protected].
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