From painting to sculpture, ballet to improv, Irvine is a hub for the arts. Replete with a variety of museums, performance spaces and concert venues, visitors come from far and wide to take in Irvine’s vibrant arts community. With the holiday season approaching, art centers in Irvine are announcing exhilarating classics like The Nutcracker at Barclay Theater and modern art experiences such as Embodied Encounters at the Beall Center for Art + Technology. Here’s your list of where to observe the arts in Irvine this season.
Established in 1990, the Irvine Barclay Theatre is a 750-seat performance center home to an extensive variety of programming. Located in the University of California, Irvine’s University Center, this venue showcases contemporary dance, music and theater. With the holiday season just around the corner, The Irvine Barclay Theatre is a perfect destination for seasonal events. On November 28, 2016, patrons can experience a true Irish dance performance at An Irish Christmas, featuring an award-winning cast of entertainers. From December 10, 2016 to December 24, 2016, families can participate in the magic of The Nutcracker presented by the Festival Ballet Theater. This beloved classic will feature dazzling costumes, scenery and choreography set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic music, so be sure to mark your calendars!
For those who can’t fit enough scary movies into their Halloween schedule, Irvine Barclay Theatre will be hosting screenings of Frankenstein on October 30, 2016, at 1:30pm and 6pm.
4245 Campus Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612
A hub for local art in Irvine, Irvine Fine Arts Center not only offers exhibits showcasing the work of painters, sculptures and other fine artists, it is also home to a range of art classes that are open to the public. Young artists in the making can develop their skills at the center’s youth art camp, which rotates on a quarterly basis. Adults who are searching for an immersive, creative program can find plenty of opportunity at one of the center’s many workshops. Currently, visitors can register for classes such as Ceramics & Sculpture, Culinary Arts, Drawing & Painting, Photography and Printmaking.
Irvine Fine Arts Center also displays innovative work from Orange County’s vast community of artists. From November 19, 2016, to January 21, 2017, the center will be hosting an exhibit called “New Dimension,” highlighting the relationship between painting and sculpture. On Friday, November 4, 2016 from 5-9pm and Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 9am-4pm, the center will host its 34th annual Holiday Faire. This is the perfect place to pick up a special gift for the holidays, like ceramics, hand-blown glass, jewelry and more, all handmade by local artisans.
14321 Yale Ave.
Irvine, CA 92604
Looking for a good laugh? The Irvine Improv is home to some of Southern California’s best comedy. Located in the Irvine Spectrum Center, visitors can usually spot the Irvine Improv by its lively line of eager comedy fans. October through December is bound to be tons of fun, with a star-studded lineup, including Patton Oswalt (November 15), Joey Coco Diaz (November 23) and Gabriel Iglesias (December 25). The Irvine Improv has even partnered with Umami Burger, so guests can enjoy a juicy burger and a cocktail while they hear the evening’s standup.
Irvine Spectrum Center
527 Spectrum Center Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618
With 17 interactive exhibits, Pretend City Children’s Museum is a local center where children can learn everything from mathematics and science to reading and writing. Upon entry, families are greeted with a child-size city chock-full of immersive activities that allow children to imagine themselves in real-world jobs. Whether a child is interested in becoming a doctor, an artist or a teacher, there are plenty of locations to explore in the Pretend City. Upon visiting spaces these exhibits, children not only have the opportunity to play in a brand new world, they can also learn educational basics that can help them prepare for future coursework. For example, in the Marina Exhibit, children can learn basic physics, such as why certain objects float while others sink, while the Art Exhibit allows children to build their fine motor skills with a series of creative art projects.
Irvine, CA 92618
A hub for innovation in the arts, the Beall Center for Art + Technology – located on the University of California, Irvine, campus – is where technology meets media. Here, those looking for an extraordinary artistic experience can interact with highly immersive artistic spaces. From October 1, 2016 to January 21, 2017, the center is presenting “Embodied Encounters,” a cutting-edge exhibit centered on technology and artistry. The show includes wearable artwork, and interactive spaces that change according to heart rate, breathing rate – even brainwave activity!
712 Arts Plaza
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-2775
Art history buffs and local artists alike can admire the stunning work of Impressionist painters at The Irvine Museum. Dedicated to preserving and exhibiting California art from 1890-1940, The Irvine Museum offers equal parts education and artistry. Home to some of history’s finest examples of Impressionism, viewers can take in lush landscapes and portraits set in picturesque California. The museum’s “Masterpieces of California Art” exhibit will run from October 15, 2016-January 19, 2017, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Displaying work by famous California Impressionist Guy Rose and Northern California painter Arthur F. Mathews, among others, this exhibit is a visually engaging way to learn more about California’s rich history.
18881 Von Karman Ave., Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92612