Exhibitions

The Palm Court Arts Complex is home to the Great Park Gallery and the Great Park Artist Studios. 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.

As part of the City of Irvine’s Fine Arts Program, the Great Park Gallery and Artist Studios present a varied exhibition program from year to year, with shows scheduled 12 to 24 months in advance. For more information, see the Exhibition Proposal Requirement form here.

Great Park Gallery

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

CURRENT EXHIBITION


Break Down, Build Up

Sunday, December 1, 2019–Sunday, February 9, 2020
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, December 1, 1–3 p.m.

Break Down, Build Up is a two-person exhibition featuring large-scale paintings by Daniel Dove and Marie Thibeault. Each artist utilizes themes of landscape and modern America to reflect ideas relating to consumption, industrialization, ruin, and the natural environment. The exhibition's title reflects the artist's opposing approaches to painting while alluding to the related themes found in each of their work. Both Dove and Thibeault have exhibited in galleries and museums across the globe in addition to being reviewed in publications such as Art in America, the Los Angeles Times, and Artillery Magazine.

Art Conversations: Peter Frank with Daniel Dove & Marie Thibeault
On Sunday, January 26, 1–3 p.m., join art critic Peter Frank in a discussion about the Break Down, Build Up exhibition and a conversation around contemporary landscape painting with artists Daniel Dove and Marie Thibeault. No RSVP is needed for this free event. Learn more here.

Top image: Daniel Dove, Stella, Oil on canvas, 52x104 inches, 2014; Bottom image: Marie Thibeault, High Tide, Oil on canvas, 46x48 inches, 2018

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

MCAS El Toro, 2003

Sunday, March 1–Sunday, May 17
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, March 1, 1–3 p.m.

In 2003, a group of six photographers set out to document the transition of Marine Corps Air Station El Toro into the Orange County Great Park. In addition to turning a MCAS El Toro hangar into the world's largest camera to take the world's largest picture, the team of photographers — branded as The Legacy Project — captured more than 150,000 photographs. MCAS El Toro, 2003 will showcase the first photography project Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada would collaborate on. Their goal was to archive every building and structure on the base before construction would commence.


 

Ink on Paper: A Letterpress Showcase

Sunday, June 7–Sunday, August 16
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, June 7, 1–3 p.m.

Ink on Paper: A Letterpress Showcase is the first large-scale exhibition in Orange County featuring work from national and international letterpress printers and artists. This exhibition will also give visitors a unique insight into the history of the letterpress through artifacts, films, and publications. 


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

Common Walls

Common Walls

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


MCAS El Toro: Life on the Base

March 1–May 17
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, March 1, 1–3 p.m. 

Marine Corps Air Station El Toro opened in 1943 giving opportunities to young men and women who would come to call the base and surrounding areas home. While their days included the expected activities of life on a military base, their free time and recreational activities were fun and diverse. Through a curated selection of photographs, MCAS El Toro: Life on the Base will provide a glimpse into the recreational lives led by the men and women who served at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.


 Mt. San Antonio College: Great Impressions

June 7–August 16
Exhibition Opening: Sunday, June 7, 1–3 p.m.

Mt. San Antonio College is one of the largest 2-year colleges in California and offers extensive programs for the fine arts, attracting students from across the region. Over the last two years Mt. SAC printmaking students have received scholarships and awards from the Los Angeles Printmaking Society, evidence of a rigorous and prosperous program.

Dirk Hagner is a printmaking and book artist who has lead the printmaking program at Mt. SAC for the last 13 years. This exhibition highlights the work of Hagner and his students featuring a variety of printmaking practices including letterpress, book arts, relief prints and intaglio, as well as screen prints, photo etchings, and monoprints.

Hangar 244

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

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 Corps Air Station, El Toro.

Opening Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro

Construction of Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro began on August 3, 1942, on land previously owned by the Irvine Company. The runways and taxiways were completed by December 1, 1942, and all squadron hangars were complete by January 15, 1943.

These photos, taken by Bob Blankman, a history archivist and member of the first unit stationed at El Toro, capture the building of the base.

Closing Marine Corps Air Station El Toro

In 1993, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro was designated for closing by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission and all of its activities were to be transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The station officially closed on July 2, 1999.

Since 2002, the Legacy Project has documented the transformation of the former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro into the Orange County Great Park. They have created more than 200,000 images and famously turned a giant jet hangar into the world’s largest camera and used it to take the world’s largest picture.

These photos capture the Flying Bull insignia around the military base and its buildings.

Coordinates

This photography collection from the Legacy Project highlights seven former MCAS El Toro buildings, their purpose when the base was open, and their coordinates.

The Legacy Project is comprised of artists Mark Chamberlain, Clayton Spada, Jacques Garnier, Robert Johnson, and Douglas McCulloh.

A Guide to Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro

A Guide to Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro is a documentary about the history of the region.

This 9-minute archive will take you on a retrospective journey from the early days of the Irvine family’s prodigious ranching and agricultural projects, to the coming of World War II and the subsequent arrival of Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro.

The film screens every 20 minutes in the History Room of Hangar 244.