UCI’s Institute and Museum for California Art
For a long time, the thing I disliked the most about being a UCI student was the lack of definitive art culture. When I was a freshman, this wasn’t really an “artsy” institution. We had art galleries, sure, but I was jealous of universities that had dedicated art museums on their campuses. As I became an art history major, this became a bigger problem for me. I really wished there was a space I could go to that could not only give me a glimpse of potential career opportunities that could await me, but also a space where I could just meditate on some good art, and a space where other students (most non-art savvy students) could walk to that could provide them with some easily accessible insight into the art world.
This year, I got my wish! Recently UCI received a huge gift from Orange County developer Gerald Buck who amassed a huge collection of modern and contemporary artwork over the years, all comprising artists who in one way or another were involved in California. UCI also received works of art from the Irvine Museum as well. And now, we have UCI’s Institute and Museum for California Art! The institute, or IMCA for short, will research and exhibit some of California’s greatest artwork. Soon, we’ll have an actual museum on campus! So right after class, you can check out some cool art on display.
I’m very lucky to be able to say that I’m interning with the IMCA; I’m helping to create a digital museum. It’s all really interesting stuff, and I hope everyone can check it out. It’s been really cool for me to see all these artists from California -- a lot of famous artists came from UCI too! We have a piece from artist James Turrell, and that blew my mind. James Turrell works with light and space in his art; but you might know him because he was the artist that inspired Drake’s Hotline Bling music video.
This is really cool news for me, and I hope that all students (especially the ones that feel like they “don’t get art”) will check it out! I’m excited for all the possibilities having a museum will give students on campus.
I took pictures of some of my favorite pieces on display right now (as of fall). Do check it out if you get the chance! Otherwise, you can wait for the digital museum to be completed :) You might see some of the descriptions I wrote of the art pieces.