Camera Obscura Art Lab at 1450 Ocean

Make & Move at Palisades Park

The Camera Obscura Art Lab at 1450 Ocean is a hive of activity, where adults of all ages can roll up their sleeves and dive into hands-on crafts, art, and cultural programs. Learn to make a mosaic tabletop, paint a landscape, knit a market bag, practice salsa moves, learn to take better photos, and much more. There's always something new at the Camera!

Plein Air Drawing Enameling on Silver Sewing at Repair Cafe
Plein Air Drawing with Gary Geraths
Enameling on Silver with Sharon Kaplan
Sewing at the Repair Cafe


Camera Obscura Studio Residency: Zeal Harris

Residency: August 10 - November 23, 2016 
Final Presentation: Saturday November 19, 2016 from 2-5pm. RSVPs
Zeal Harris  Happy Hour Un Hijo Por Otro
Zeal Harris
"Happy Hour," acrylic on
board, 2004
detail from "Un Hijo Por Otro," 
Dye-sublimation on fabric, 2016

Zeal Harris is known for creating seductive, caricaturesque, political, urban-vernacular, story paintings. She is a Los Angeles based visual artist with an MFA in Studio Art from Otis College of Art & Design. For her Camera Obscura residency, Harris is creating a series of works exploring the impact of police violence on interpersonal relationships. Recent exhibitions include the Port Au Prince Haiti Ghetto Biennale, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, the California African-American Museum, 18th Street Arts Center, and the Caribbean Cultural Center of the African Diaspora in New York. Harris has been mentioned and interviewed on Pacifica Radio, Fabrik Magazine, The Culture Trip, Life in LA, Requited Journal, the Blk Grrrl Show, Clocktower Radyo Shak, the LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Times. She will also be a featured artist in a soon to be published book on African-American artists in Los Angeles. - See more at zealsart.com.

The Camera Obscura Studio Artist Residency program connects the public with artists and artisans working within and between the worlds of fine art and craft. Artists-in-residence share their work with the public informally and through workshops and master classes. If you're an artist interested in receiving alerts about this program and other opportunities with the City of Santa Monica's Cultural Affairs Division, join the Artist Opportunity email list.
Current Calls For Proposals


Free Craft Lounge

Every 2nd Saturday, 11am - 2pm

Have a project you've been meaning to finish? Need help getting it done? Drop by the Free Craft Lounge every 2nd Saturday, where everyone's welcome to bring a craft project and work in the company of others... with an ocean view. Sewing machines, supplies, and other tools are available for use. Swap your expertise with others. Local artists and crafters often drop by to lead mini-workshops.


About the Art Lab and Camera Obscura

1450 Exterior

Vintage Camera Obscura

Step inside the Camera Obscura Art Lab and you'll find a welcoming space with fantastic views of Santa Monica Bay and the Pier. The Camera is located in a midcentury time capsule in Palisades Park between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd on what was once the site of the Pacific Electric Railway's North Beach Station. Designed by noted architect Weldon J. Fulton (who's work can be found around town including the classic Camera Obscura sign and font, the Montana and Fairview branch libraries, and the former Zucky's building on Wilshire Blvd), the building's exterior features walls clad in chunky Palos Verdes stone, glass walls, sloping roofs, and projecting canopies and rafter beams. It was donated to the City of Santa Monica by Marcellus Joslyn in 1955.

Next to the Art Lab is Santa Monica's vintage Camera Obscura - a little like an analogue webcam, with a periscope and a white screen in a darkened room. Mirrors reflect images from 360 degrees, with the image guided by an old-timey captains wheel. Originally located on the beach, the Camera Obscura was built in 1898 by Robert F. Jones, nephew of Santa Monica city founder Senator John P. Jones.

The Camera Obscura is free to visit and open M-F 9 am-3 pm and Saturday 11 am-4 pm. Check-in at the office with an ID to borrow the key.


Contact Us


Getting Here

Note that we are just north of Broadway, as is Parking Structure 6... those pesky GPS devices can sometimes get confused!

Train: Expo terminus at 4th St/Colorado, 4 blocks away. Upon exiting the station go west on Colorado to Ocean Ave, cross the street to the Pier and turn right. We're in Palisades Park just past Broadway.

Parking (info: smgov.net/parking): 

Bus: BBB Routes 8 and rapid 10, Metro 733.

Bike: Ride your bike (bring a lock) or utilize the Breeze Bike Share corral just south of us in the park.


Class Registration & The Fine Print

There are several convenient ways to sign up for a class at the Camera:   

  • OnlineCreate an account to make a payment by credit card 

  • In Person: Stop by to pre-register for a class. We are open Monday - Friday 9am-3pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. Cash, check, or credit card accepted. Proof of Santa Monica residency may be required for discounts where applicable.

  • By MailSend your completed registration form to Community Classes Registration, 1450 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401 

  • Drop-ins: Drop-ins are welcome if space is available. Call 310-458-2239 by the Tuesday before to see if space is available. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the class starts with cash to pay for the class and materials fee. Note: Some classes do not proceed without a minimum enrollment and some reach capacity. Call ahead to let us know you're coming and how to get in touch with you if there are any changes. Programs are subject to cancellation if minimum enrollment is not met.

  • Refunds/Transfers: Full refunds are given if class is cancelled before taking place - enroll online with confidence. For student withdrawals, there is $15 processing fee for each multisession activity refunded; one-time classes & expended material fees are nonrefundable. Requests must be made in person, by mail, fax (310-899-0840), or email to communityclasses@smgov.net within 24 hours of first class meeting. All class dates, times, locations, and instructors are subject to change. Requests must be made in person, by mail, or email to communityclasses@smgov.net.

Please bring cash to cover material fees on the first day of class. 

Other questions? Call the Community Classes Office at 310-458-2239 or email communityclasses@smgov.net.


 

 


 

Pano interior

 

Camera Obscura Art Lab
1450 Ocean Ave.
Palisades Park
Santa Monica, CA 90401

communityclasses@smgov.net

Ph: 310.458.2239 



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