Museum showcases local artists

The Riverside Art Museum, located in downtown Riverside, is a non-profit, cultural arts institution that has been keeping appreciation for artistic creativity alive in the Inland Empire community for more than 50 years.

The art museum resides in a historic two-story building that offers a wide range of art created by artists in the Inland Empire. The museum welcomes more than 52,000 visitors each year and holds over 1,500 art pieces including sculptures, photographs, paintings and more.

In addition to beautiful art pieces, the museum offers educational programs and other events that are beneficial to the community. Art education classes and workshops are held every week for students of all ages. Prices vary depending on the type of class, but most workshops are between $10 and $30. 

The museum even teaches art classes at juvenile detention halls as part of their Creative Horizons program.

The purpose of the Creative Horizons program is to use art to encourage positive behavioral change in young individuals with involvement in the community, original creativity, promoting self-awareness and mentoring relationships.

The first floor of the museum holds two interesting art exhibitions. An exhibit called “Beast,” which is on display until May 26, consists of abstract sculptures and paintings resembling mythical beasts.

Stephanie Sprowell, junior criminal justice major, said the museum’s innovative artwork is what makes it interesting.

“I liked seeing the abstract art because it shows where people’s imaginations can take them. This museum opened my eyes to how powerful creativity can be,” Sprowell said.

Another exhibit called “In the Sunshine of Neglect” is a photography exhibit that emphasizes the unnoticed parts of Southern California such as tree branches, bare hills, empty pools and even old couches that have been abandoned on the side of the road.

The walls of the second floor are covered in artwork from local students in the Inland Empire.

Shekiah Warner, sophomore photography major, said the middle school students’ artwork is her favorite portion of the museum.

“The students’ self-portraits allowed them to be introspective. Some kids used torn up pieces of newspaper to create a self-portrait, and I liked that it looked like they were piecing themselves together in a creative way. This museum gives me a new perspective of culture and helps me to appreciate the beauty of where I live,” Warner said.

Since the artwork featured in the museum changes every three to four months, there is always something new to see.

Drew Oberjuerge, executive director of the Riverside Art Museum, said the art in the museum allows people to travel to new places without leaving their hometown.

“Everyone should appreciate art whether they are an artist or not because, frankly, art is incredibly interesting. Art allows people to see what is in someone else’s mind without speaking to them. Visitors of this museum have the chance to see different perspectives,” Oberjuerge said.

The Riverside Art Museum is located at 3425 Mission Inn Ave. and is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday,  noon to 4 p.m.

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