Looking for things to do in Anaheim? Something different from the typical Anaheim attractions? Try adding a little culture to your life. The art of Anaheim is everywhereCenter City, but you have to pay attention (and know where to look) or you just might miss it.
Downtown has several examples of amazing public art and you can spend a good part of a day discovering it all. There’s also Muzeo, a 25,000 square foot complex encompassing Anaheim’s original Carnegie Library and a state of the art gallery space. The Art Crawl experience happens several times a year with the next one being on November 12th.
You can take your own unguided “Art of Anaheim” tour fairly easily. I suggest starting in the Center Street Promenade area and checking out some of the public art, then by the Muzeo and the Center Gallery, and then wander over to ICE to see the Frank Gehry building. Also, check out LA’s Peter Shires’ “The Neighborhood” installation.
Look for the numbered circular plaques marking the downtown area’s public art, usually on the ground near the artwork. It’s hard to miss the “Hammer Clock” standing nearly 12 feet tall at the corner of Clementine and Promenade—an enormous claw hammer perched over a large pocket watch. The artist is Daniel Martinez and he has several other works of art in the area. Follow the trail from Hammer Clock to his “Video Trees,” birdhouse-like sculptures showing public information, local videos and even traffic conditions.
Heading on you’ll discover another well-represented artist, Nobi Nagasawa, his most popular works include “Orange Crates,” the stone sculptures “Anvil and Nails,” and “Coyote Bench.” One of his more interesting works is the “Sinking Canoe,” placed inside the parking garage at the Center Street Promenade—a nod to the earliest mode of transportation in the area.
Buster Simpson contributions include “Knowse to the Grindstone,” wooden “Nursery Planters,” and the iconic “Anaheim A Benches.” He also created the pavement inscription “Original Anaheim City Map.” His “Exchanger Fountain” is an inscribed drinking fountain adjacent to a willow, channeling gray water to nurture its growth.
For art on a grand scale, there’s the Anaheim ICE building. It’s known for being one of the major works of architect Frank Gehry and it’s also the practice and training rink of the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League. The facility resembles a pair of huge, arched quonset huts, and inside the soaring laminated wooden beams and braces create a nautical effect that recalls the inverted ship shape of Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
Muzeo has widely diverse exhibitions and is currently featuring Vitality of Line: works by Nicolay Paskevich (through September 11th).
Another gallery worth checking out is the Center Gallery, which features works throughout the year at the Downtown Anaheim Community Center. They provide local visual artists a 6 to 8 week long opportunity to exhibit their art. It’s a great place to see the work being created right here in our own community.
Downtown Anaheim’s Art Crawl Experience (ACE) is a quarterly art walk and arts festival which takes place on the second Saturday of February, May, August and November from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Now in its 6th year, guests enjoy a dizzying array of attractions ranging from pop-up galleries to craftspeople exhibiting their unique wares. New to the event in 2016 will be an assortment of culinary creations made by local food artisans.
ACE was created by artists and community art patrons with the intent of bringing arts and culture downtown by showcasing art in public places, street artisans, and the brick-and-mortar galleries.
During the evening of an ACE, attendees stroll among outdoor permanent art fixtures, such as Peter Shire’s illuminated birdhouse sculptures, to discover artists demonstrating their creative process live for curious onlookers.
Participating downtown eateries and shops transform their spaces into one-night pop-up galleries, while the latest art exhibits are revealed at brick-and-mortar galleries, including Center Gallery and MUZEO. Gourmet food trucks rally and local entertainers perform throughout the experience.
The crawl stretches from Clementine to Anaheim Boulevard along the Center Street Promenade with activities reaching around the corner to the Anaheim Packing District. Art lovers can catch rides aboard the open-air trolley for complimentary rides throughout Downtown Anaheim’s Art Crawl Experience.