Thursday, July 20, 2017


On July 22 of this month we celebrate our City of Arts now designated as a Cultural District by the California Arts Council.. We, the Artists, Commissioners, and Patrons of the Arts have been creating Art Waves for a quarter of a Century and on this night under the stars, we celebrate our Splendid Oceanside  Museum of Art we fondly call OMA.

Our City has come a long way in promoting the arts since I first moved here in 1991. At that time, there was no Artists Alley, the Brooks Theater was closed, the Star was on and off, and OMA did not exist. We had dreams back then. Ginny Tompkins and I spent many long hours dreaming about what could and should come to our City on the Hill. We were both on the Arts Commission and were trying “find” a key to opening the door of the Art World for Oceanside.

The Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation had been tasked by Mayor Bagley to bring Culture to Oceanside. This great Foundation had been formed before I moved to Oceanside and many ideas had been offered, but none had taken root in our fair City. At one of our Commission meetings, Chairman Dr. Kieth Broman gave us a task to "Find" venues to hang visual art. We were thinking a gallery space that would be cost effective, maybe a vacant store front.

Walking the downtown, it seemed that there was no suitable site until the vacant Old City Hall building came forth for consideration. It had been bordered up for years and was destined to be the City Clerk's storage building for records. When the City Council heard the concept presented by OCAF, they came into the light of our vision. The rest is history. The Star Theater shines with performance, the Brooks performs wonderful plays,and has film festivals , Artists Alley is our joyous place of studios, and The Muramid Mural Museum, all because OMA was the catalyst for change. We Celebrate our City tonight on the 22nd of July, but most of all, most of all we Celebrate our Oceanside Museum of Art which began the transformation of our downtown. OMA we thank you !