Aside from the palm trees and sunny days that make up Long Beach, one of the most important traits of the city is its artistic community. Just take a walk through the city and you’ll see colorful POW! WOW! murals covering buildings, flyers for upcoming plays and galleries scattered throughout.
Even if you don’t have time to take a trip to the city, there’s plenty of opportunities to bask in the artistry of the student body by visiting a gallery or catching a show at Cal State Long Beach.
Here is your guide to all things art on campus:
School of Art galleries
These galleries, located between the Fine Arts buildings, rotate a number of student artists every week. The four galleries regularly feature illustrations, photography, ceramics, metallics, graphic design and fabrics from a variety of majors in the art department. Whether you want to fill some time in between classes or chat with artists about their creations, the galleries are the perfect getaway if you find yourself on upper campus. They are always free and open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays, with extended hours Wednesdays until 7 p.m.
University Art Museum
Unlike the School of Art galleries, the University Art Museum features artists from outside the campus and sometimes, out of the state. The small building adjacent to the College of Business Administration decorates its walls with new work once a semester and offers a free reception and admission to students and the general public. Past featured artists have included architect Robert Irwin and Mexican-American artist David Lamelas, both of whom attended their opening receptions to share their creative process with the public. The UAM is open Sunday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. with extended hours Wednesdays until 8 p.m.
University Union Art Gallery
One more stop on the visual art train — this one was only recently introduced to the university. Associated Students Inc. organized the USU Art Gallery last spring and invites a group of artist under one theme to share their work each month. Every month there is an opening reception where you can meet the artists, munch on finger foods and sip “mocktails” while exploring the gallery. The gallery is free and open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. through midnight.
Carpenter Performing Arts Center
If you’d rather watch a show, the Carpenter Performing Arts Center has a wide variety of options. From professionals giving speeches, to dances and popular plays, the center offers something for everyone. Its newly announced 2018-19 season is broken up into different series including a Wit and Wisdom series, Cabaret series, WOW! series, Dance series and a Sunday Afternoon Concert series. Tickets are available for single events or entire series, with discounted prices for students.
CSULB Theater Arts
Another form of art brought to you by Long Beach students, the university theater performs a season of plays, both original and reworked and entirely ran by students, save for the directors. The California Repertory Company chooses the stories that it feels best relates to the campus and community, making for heartwarming, timely and humorous pieces. Seasons typically include four to five productions which run for about a month each. Tickets are discounted for students so grab your friends and head to campus for an evening show.
Whether you’re a commuter or living at the dorms, take time to appreciate the art on campus. Seeing the hard work put in by the students sharing classrooms with you will give you a deeper appreciation for the work and allow you to notice the art all around you.