Please note: To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community, some indoor facilities and outdoor recreational spaces may be closed or have modified access until further notice. 

The Great Park Gallery, Hangar 244, and Artist Studios continue to be closed to the public until further notice. Outdoor park spaces, including the Farm + Food Lab, are open for drop-in use among single households. Playgrounds are open. Attractions such as the Balloon and Carousel are closed. Gatherings between households are not permitted. The Sports Complex is now open for professional sporting activities, without fans in attendance. Learn more at the City Facility Updates webpage



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


Suburban Ecologies

Sunday, December 6, 2020–Sunday, February 14, 2021 

Orange County’s suburban sprawls are an undeniable characteristic of the region. From historic architecture to planned developments, rolling hills to diverse expansive coastlines, these characteristics have been the subject of artist Jesse Colin Jackson’s work since relocating to Orange County in 2013. The Great Park Gallery in the Palm Court Arts Complex presents Suburban Ecologies, an exhibition showcasing large-scale panoramic photography, video, and sculpture which are the results of Jackson’s ongoing research.

A Canadian artist now based in Southern California, Jackson's work has been the subject of several national and international exhibitions. He is the recipient of grants and awards for his creative projects on subjects such as information technology, the social sciences, and digital media. He holds degrees in architecture and engineering which enable his interdisciplinary practice. Jackson is a professor of electronic art and design at the University of California, Irvine, where he also serves as Associate Dean, Research and Innovation. 

Video Tour

Enjoy a video tour of the Suburban Ecologies exhibition on display at the Great Park Gallery here.

Image: Detail of The Ragged Edge Newport Beach by Jesse Colin Jackson 

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

Please note: The Great Park Artist Studios will be closed beginning Monday, October 12, in preparation for Holidayz in the Park's winter events.

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.

The Great Picture: Making the World's Largest Photograph


On July 12, 2006, six photographers — known as The Legacy Project — unveiled The Great Picture, the world’s largest photograph created by the largest camera. The photograph is three stories high by eleven stories wide (31 x 111 feet). It depicts a panoramic view of a portion of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, which closed in 1999, now the Orange County Great Park. It is a foreboding image, illustrating the desolate runways and station’s control tower, qualities emphasized by its grey tones from the gelatin silver process. The Great Picture highlights the nostalgia and melancholia associated with the station’s closing. To create the image, members of the Legacy Project (Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada) converted a hangar into a pinhole camera; an ancient image-making technique discovered by the Chinese in the 4th century BC. This project is a complex and multi-faceted statement about the history of photography, its changing technology in the digital age, and the interchange between process and subject matter in the making of a photograph.

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.


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.