Special Events

Allure of Matter:  Material Art from China:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art  (323/857-6000 )  This exhibition brings together 34 works from the past four decades in which conscious material choice has become a symbol of the artist’s expression.  Features 21 of the most important and influential Chinese artists working today including Ai Weiwei, Aci Guo-Qiang, Zhang Huan and more.  Thru Jan. 5, 2020.

By Day and Night: Paris in the Belle Epoque:  Norton Simon Museum,  411 West Colorado Bl., Pasadena   Celebrating the innovative spirit of art and culture in Parks during the bell epoque thought a selection of paintings, drawings, prints and photographs from the Museum, collections.  Thru March 2.

Calafia: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise:  The Armory, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena (626/792-5101)  A series of exhibitions and related programs taking place throughout the California region, north and south of the US?Mexican border, that explore the 16th century myth of the indigenous Black Queen Calafia and her island home.  Features 29 artists and collectives using diverse aesthetic strategies to engage with the consequences of being in a place continuously framed as a “paradise.”   In conjunction with the Armory exhibition, satellite programming will take place in Calexico, Mexicali and Tijuana. Thru Jan. 12, 2020 

Catalina Adventure Activities: A new ropes and planks course weaves through a grove of towering eucalyptus trees deep within Descanso Canyon.  Other adventurous activities nearby include Zip line Eco Tour and Catalina Climbing Wall and there is always hiking, camping and an adventure expedition.

Celebrating Raphael:  Norton Simon Museum, 411 West Colorado Bl., Pasadena Joining museums around the world to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, a special display and a serious of programs focus on the artist’s Madonna and Child with Book.  One of the treasures of the Museum’s early Renaissance galleries also has the distinction of being the only painting by Raphael in a public collection west of the Mississippi.  Raphael 2020, Jan. 15-May 18.

Cinema Tuesdays: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda B., Los Angeles (310/440-4500)  Free movies featured on the first two Tuesdays of each month, 1:30 p.m.

Cirque du Soleil Volta: Dodger Stadium, Jan. 18-March 8, OC Fair & Event Center, March 18-April 19

Culinary Events at the Gettys: Getty Center, 1200 Getty Drive off the 405.  Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades (310/440-7300)   The J. Paul Getty Museum is offering a number of culinary events in the coming months spotlighting the lush gardens and bountiful herbs at both locations. Tea by the Sea, at the Villa, ongoing Thursdays and Saturdays. Limited tickets.

Culver City Walking Tours:  Los Angeles Conservancy (213/623-2489)  Award winning tours include the special Culver City’s Unique History plus Broadway Historic Theatre District,  Art Deco, Angelino Heights, Historic Downtown.

El Sueno Americano/The American Dream: Photographs by Tom Kiefer:  Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Bl., Los Angeles (310/440-4500) Drawn from the artists ongoing series of the same name the exhibition features more than 100 photographs of objects that once belonged to migrants and were seized and discarded by United States border officials in southern Arizona.  Blending documentary and fine art photography, he created these images as a poignant treatment to the hardships of migration and a call for human decency in how we treat each other.   Thru March 8, 2020.

Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Bl., Los Angeles (323/857-6000) The first substantial project on the art of Fiji to be mounted in the United States features more than 225 artworks drawn from major international collections including figurative sculpture, ritual kava bowls, breastplates of pearl shell and whale ivory, weapons, and European watercolors and paintings. Thru July 19, 2020.

Free Play Readings: For reservations: (213/972-8028) Center Theatre Group offers free library play reading series with six plays on select dates from July to December.  The plays will be presented at Benjamin Franklin Library on Tuesdays, Malabar Library on Wednesdays and Robert Louis Stevenson Library on Thursdays.  All reading begin at 6 p.m.

Gold at the Autry: Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles (323/667-2000) Gold is a precious, beautiful metal but it can also be an empty promise.  A desire for gold has led to atrocities, large and small yet its allure remains.  Discover a range of gold-related artworks and artifacts through a new self guided tour and special exhibits, thru July 19, 2020.

In Search of Our Times:  Wende Museum of  the Cold War Events: 10808 Culver Bl., Culver City (310/216-1600)   We live in a polarized society.  Republicans accuse Democrats of socialism, Democrats charge Republicans with fascism.  It seems impossible to find basic agreement on topics like immigration, climate change, gun control, science, truth, the news or even the weather.  In these times of confusion and anger the Wende Museum is inviting artists, writers, scholars, philosophers, journalists, politicians and freethinkers to discuss what brought us here and to open up new perspectives.  The six panel discussions are presented as part of Wende Conversations. RSVP necessary. Discussion series includes The History of Forgetting Jan. 12, 2020,  Roads and Shortcuts to Utopia March 8, Fact and Fiction May 10,  Walls and Borders July 12, Ethics in Unethical Times Sept. 13.

Jazz at LACMA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Bl., Los Angeles (323/857-6000)  Free jazz concerts every Friday night at 6pm at the Grand Entrance.

Manet and Modern Beauty:  Getty Center, 1200 Getty Drive off the 405.

Manet’s Jeanne (Spring)

(310/440-7300) The great painter of modern Paris, Edouard Manet famously shocked contemporary audiences with his provocative pictures.  The first major exhibition to explore the last years of his short life this exhibition highlights a less familiar and more intimate side of this celebrated artist’s work.  Stylish portraits, luscious still lifes, delicate pastels and watercolors and vivid cafe and garden scenes convey his elegant social world and reveal his growing fascination with fashion, flowers and femininity.   Thru Jan. 12, 2020.

Marionette Theater:  Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 4949 York Bl., Highland Park   After 55 years this theater for children has moved to a new location.  The new location will continue its mission to educate, celebrate and rejuvenate puppetry and the allied arts.

Meet and Greet Series:  Skylight Studios, Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City (213/403-3000)  Multi-media venue located directly across from the Space for Photography offers a free lecture series with attendees given the opportunity to interact one on one with the featured guest speakers.  Free. No reservations necessary.

Museum Acquisitions 2019: Director’s Choice:  Getty Center, 1200 Getty Drive off the 405  (310/440-7300)  The first of a new exhibition series that spotlights some of the most important wo9rks of art added to the collection over the course of the year. Thru March 1, 2020.

Natural History Museum Events:  900 Exposition Bl., Los Angeles (213/763-DINO)  First Fridays — Walk on the Wild Side after hours features cocktails, KCRW DJ  lounge, LA bands, tours and talks…a unique adventure.  Live music and discussion series continues. 

New Exhibitions at LACMA:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Bl., Los Angeles (323/857-6000)  Betye Saar: Call and Response addresses spirituality, gender, and race and she ruminates and plays with objects and ideas making sketches inspired by specific found objects in her possession. She is one of the most significant assemblage artists working today. Thru April 5, 2020.  Every Living Thing: Animals in Japanese Art, the first U. S. exhibition to bring together artistic representations of animals in all media across Japanese history from the 5th century to the present.   Underpinned by Japan’s unique spiritual heritage of Shinto and Buddhism, the Japanese reverence for nature — and the place of animals within that realm — is expressed in sculpture, painting, lacquer-ware, ceramics, metalwork, cloisonne and woodblock prints. Features nearly 200 objects.  Thru Dec. 8. Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge, marks the artist’s first large-scale museum presentation. These stunning, outdoor, large-scale black and white photographs encapsulate the psychological impact of each place through geographic and atmospheric details.  The exhibition comprises over 130 works, showcasing Cooper’s The World’s Edge –The Atlas of Emptiness and Extremity, a project to chart the Atlantic, its more extreme northern, southern, eastern and western points that he began in 1987.   Thru Jan. 26, 2020.

Old Town Music Hall Film & Special Events:  140 Richmond St., El Segundo (310/322-25920)  Film and concert schedule & home of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ:

Public Gardens of Santa Barbara: Tour these spectacular gardens but check websites in advance. Casa del Herrero; Ganna Walska Lotusland; Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden; Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 

Public Programs and Exhibitions at The Huntington: The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Rd.,    An assortment of fascinating topics and displays with talks and book signings, garden tips, music, film, lectures, exhibitions and tours.

Skirball Events: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Bl., Los Angeles (310/440-4500)  Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration featuring the Inner City Youth Orchestra and Chorus of Los Angeles.  The program will also feature the winners of the SCLC Annual Oratorical and Essay Contest,  Jan. 18, 2020.  Beyond the Pale, the Toronto-based group, has been making its distinctive brand of boundary busting Eurofolk fusion influenced by jazz, classical, bluegrass, reggae, klezmer and Balkan musical traditions.  Feb. 27.

Sweet Land: Creating a Contemporary Opera: Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles  Learn about the creative process and larger themes of this new opera that reimagines stories of America’s founding and westward expansion.   The discussion includes the founder and artistic director of The Industry, co-composers, and artist and co-director.  Jan. 26. Production runs Feb. 29-March 22.

The American Dream: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Bl., Los Angeles (310/440-4500)   Tom Kiefer’s series of photographs asks us to consider how we treat migrants as a reflection of who we are and who we want to be as Americans.  Kiefer carefully arranged and photographed objects seized and discarded by border officials — objects deemed “potentially lethal” or “non-essential,” among a variety of belongings crucial to sustenance, hygiene, protection, comfort and emotional strength.   Moved by the untold stories these objects embody, Kiefer commemorates them in photographs akin to portraits, salvaging and preserving traces of human journeys cut short.   Thru March 8, 2020.

The Elevated Eye: Aerial Photography Past and Present:  Forest Lawn Museum, 1712 S. Glendale Bl., Glendale (323/340-4545) An examination of the history of aerial photography from its origins in the 19th century to the boundary-pushing technologies of the 21st century.  It traces the parallel progressions of flight and photography and focuses on the development of Southern California over the course of more than a century.  Thru March 8, 2020.

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs:  Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Bl., Los Angeles (310/440-4500) For those who know him as a filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick’s early career as a photojournalist is a revelation.  In 1945, the future director of such classic works as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Clockwork Orange was just a teenager — but one with uncanny photographic sensibility who was already scouting human-interest stories for Look magazine.  Explore this formative phase in the career of one of the 20th century’s most influential figures in cinematic history.  Thru Mach 8, 2020.

UCLA Public Arts Program:  UCLA Westwood campus (310/825-2101) and     Programs include distinguished lectures by luminaries such as Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and Phillipe Vergne, student exhibitions showing work from UCLA’s top ranked fine arts programs, student performances directed by renowned faculty and the rich offerings of the Fowler Museum, the Hammer Museum and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.  Many of the events are free and all are open to the public.

Unseen: 35 Years of Collecting Photographs:  Getty Center, 1200 Getty Drive off the 405.  (310/440-7300)  To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Photographs, the Getty will exhibit 200 of never before seen photographs and pull back the curtain on the world of the many professionals who care for this important collection.  Spanning the mid-1800s to the present day, Unseen highlights visual associations between photographs from different times and places to encourage fresh discoveries and underscore a sense of continuity and change within the history of the medium.   Thru March 9, 2020.

Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles (213/403-3000).  Free Admission

Wende Museum of  the Cold War Events: 10808 Culver Bl., Culver City (310/216-1600)  Family Day, make your own artwork and zines in the spirit of Samizdat, the clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state.  Free materials provided, Jan. 26.  This multi-faceted museum offers not only a visual experience but lectures, movies, happy hour, family day, music and yoga. The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists Behind the Iron Curtain …this exhibition pairs counterculture women artists from Cold War-era Eastern Europe with contemporary subversive women artists from Southern California.  Thru April 5, 2020.

 Your Ticket to Santa Barbara Car Free Experiences:  The City’s award winning project with more than 100 community partners dedicated to making car free vacations care-free.