Pasadena Museum of California Art Marks 15 Years as Cultural Hub

Pasadena Museum of California Art Celebrates 15 YearsPasadena Museum of California Art Celebrates 15 YearsPasadena Museum of California Art Celebrates 15 YearsPasadena Museum of California Art Celebrates 15 YearsPasadena Museum of California Art Celebrates 15 YearsPasadena Museum of California Art Celebrates 15 YearsPasadena Museum of California Art Celebrates 15 Years

5:06 am | June 3, 2017

The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) threw a fun and lively birthday bash Friday to celebrate fifteen years in the Pasadena as a celebrated art and cultural hub that brings artists and exhibitions through its doors to help tell the stories of California’s vibrant past and onrushing future.

Anniversary events resonate at the Museum throughout June, including today’s Exhibition Walkthrough with curator John David O’Brien.

Friday’s all-ages happenings featured poetry readings hosted by Pasadena-based literary publisher Red Hen Press and art exhibitions that featured the works of portraits and figure paintings by Joseph Kleitsch, free-standing sculptures by contemporary Los Angeles-based object makers and color woodcuts by Gustave Baumann.

“Not only are we celebrating fifteen years of just amazing work that the museum has done with exhibitions and programs and outreach, but we are starting to think about the next fifteen years,” said PCMA Executive Director Susana Smith Bautista.

“We’re going to really explore what it means to be California art and what it means to be Californian today and tomorrow,” Bautista added.

The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) is dedicated to the exhibition of California art, architecture, and design from 1850 to the present. Informed by the state’s rich mixture of cultures and inspired by its impressive geography, California art has long been defined by a spirit of freedom and experimentation.

PMCA exhibitions and educational programs explore the cultural dynamics and influences unique to California that have shaped and defined art in all media.

“Because we pair historic exhibitions with contemporary exhibitions, you’re able to always see something bridging between what happened in the past and what helped make us who we are and then what’s happening today and who we are and how our identities are ever changing,” explained PMCA spokesperson Brianna Smyk.

“To have a museum dedicated exclusively to California art, we’re able to share those narratives,” added Smyk.

Currently, there are three exhibitions that are featured at the PCMA; “The Golden Twenties, Portraits and Figure Paintings by Joseph Kleitsch”; “Interstitial”; and “Gustave Baumann in California”.

Each exhibit offers a unique experience ranging from impressionist paintings of 1920s California landscape to dreamlike sculptures stuck in a moment of time.

“You really get a whole feel for the sense of California as it’s meant to someone else,” explained Smyk.

The celebration was a collaborative effort between both the PCMA and Pasadena based poetry publisher Red Hen Press who treated exhibit goers with readings by authors William Archila, Douglas Manuel and Lisa C. Krueger.

Red Hen Press, one of the few literary presses in the Los Angeles area, was founded in 1994 by Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull with the intention of keeping creative literature alive. Red Hen Press is committed to publishing work of literary excellence, supporting diversity, and promoting literacy in local schools.

“They’re very interested in intersections in different art forms, which is really what we are interested in. That’s kind of the direction that we like to take in terms of events that they’re not just our reading, but that they’re an event that involves audience participation, more than one art form and that kind of thing,” said Red Hen Press Founder and Managing Editor Kate Gale.

For more information about the Pasadena Museum of California Art, visit