Palm Court Arts Complex

The Palm Court Arts Complex is home to the Great Park Gallery and the Great Park Artist Studios. This new civic space also features Hangar 244, a 10,000 square foot event center; a shaded outdoor performance plaza enhanced by 54 Canary Islands date palms; and the Great Park’s first site-specific permanent public art installation.

Visitors will discover that the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro’s World War II-era atmosphere and architecture have been preserved by means of adaptive reuse of existing buildings, a strategy that aligns with the Park’s ecological values. The Palm Court’s re-purposed military structures now form a cultural campus supporting the development of a fresh approach to establishing an interdisciplinary, public arts program.

Great Park Gallery

Thursdays & Fridays: noon–4 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Free Admission

CURRENT EXHIBITION

Nature In/Forms

September 2–November 11
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, Sept. 2, 1–3 p.m.

Nature In/Forms presents the art of interdisciplinary ceramicists alongside the research that inspired their completed work. This educational exhibition will provide historical perspective on the effect nature and technology have had on the form and design of contemporary sculpture. Featured artists include an array of college and university ceramics professors: Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers, Mary Beierle, Patsy Cox, Laura Haight, Stanton Hunter, CJ Jilek, Shane Keena, David Kiddie, and Molly Schulps.

In conjunction with the Nature In/Form exhibition, the community is invited to two free artist talks:

Artist Talk: Tim Berg and David Kiddie
Sunday, October 21, 1–3 p.m.
Join artists Tim Berg and David Kiddie for a conversation around contemporary ceramics. This discussion will focus on the research and process that goes into their creative practices. Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers create sculptures informed by consumer culture and iconography drawn from animals and objects. David’s ceramic sculptures are inspired by discoveries about the structure of living forms enabled by microscopic imagery. Free. No RSVP required.

Artist Talk: Mary Beierle, Cj Jilek and Molly Schulps
Sunday, November 4, 1–3 p.m.
Join artists Mary Beierle, Cj Jilek and Molly Schulps for a conversation around contemporary ceramics. This discussion will focus on the research and process that goes into their creative practices. Mary began her studies in biology and her work has long been interested in the geology, flora, fauna, and elemental forces outside the comfort of our homes. Cj abstracts and details flower blooms to enable the viewer to explore the work in the same way one explores nature. Molly’s current work embodies her deep respect and interest with John Muir, the “Father of National Parks.” Free. No RSVP required.

Photo courtesy Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

Federal Art Project: American Design

December 2, 2018–February 10, 2019
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, December 2, 1–3 p.m.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt developed the New Deal to provide economic relief during the Great Depression. Agencies like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) were established to fund programs, including the Federal Art Project, to alleviate unemployment. These programs commissioned thousands of artists and designers to create work across mediums. Federal Art Project: American Design surveys the visual culture of graphic illustrations to celebrate this critical era of American art history.

The Art of Competition

March 3–May 12, 2019
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, March 3, 1–3 p.m.

The Art of Competition is an exhibition that illustrates different facets of professional sports, from the venues and stadiums to the individual teams and players themselves. Illustrators Mark Smith, S. Preston and Henry Kaye have had work featured in magazines and newspapers such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.

El Toro Air Show: 1950–1997

June 2–August 18, 2019
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, June 2, 1–3 p.m.

What began as an opening reception for Armed Forces Day in 1950 to encourage locals to visit military bases became the much-anticipated annual El Toro Air Show of Orange County. With attendance eventually reaching upwards of 2 million spectators, the El Toro Air Shows became an iconic event for Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and the aviation industry. Artist Paul Gavin has dedicated his career to the celebration of US Armed Forces by contributing artwork to a number of military related events, including the El Toro Air Show of Orange County. El Toro Air Show: 1950–1997 will feature Gavin’s work in conjunction with community members who have captured the history of the Air Show through photography and collected memorabilia.

Orange County Art Book Collection

The Orange County Art Book Collection is a curated library of books documenting the history of Orange County art and exhibitions.

 

Great Park Artist Studios

Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Free admission

Please note: Due to special events at the Orange County Great Park, the Artist Studios will be closed September 22–23, October 6–7, and October 13–14. 

Common Walls

Common Walls

Common Walls is a shared space for community groups to curate collaborative art installations.

June–August
Chapman University

September–November
Coastline Community College

December 2018–February 2019
Laguna College of Art + Design

March–June 2019
Irvine Valley College

Hangar 244

Thursdays & Fridays: Noon–4 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Please note: Due to special events at the Orange County Great Park, the Heritage & Aviation Exhibition will be closed September 20–October 26.

Stories of El Toro is located in historical Hangar 244 and features historical images, displays and artifacts that tell the story of the Great Park from its agricultural roots to its role in the military as Marine Corp Air Station El Toro.

  • World War II Airplanes: N3N-3 Canary and SNJ-5 Texan
  • Airforce C-135A Stratolifter Memorial: In honor of United States Airmen and Marines who perished in the Loma Ridge crash departing Marine Corps Air Station El Toro on June 25, 1965
  • History Room: A Guide to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Orange County and Southern California (nine-minute documentary)
  • Rotating Exhibitions: Opening El Toro (personal photographs captured by historian Bob Blankman)