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Camera Obscura Art Lab at 1450 Ocean

   Your Community Art Practice Space

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. Artist Residency programs bring local artists to the Camera to practice their craft and share their work with participants. 

TimWatercolor Enameling on Silver Sewing at Repair Cafe
Timothy Kitz's Watercolor class 
Enameling on Silver with Sharon Kaplan
Sewing at the Repair Cafe

Studio Residency

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Aparna Sindhoor Still from Snake Ladder
Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda performing in A Story and Song

Aparna Sindhoor
Residency: August 18 - November 17, 2018
Final Presentation: Saturday, November 17, 2018, 3-6pm -  RSVP

Dr. Aparna Sindhoor is Founder and Artistic Director of SINDHOOR/NATYAVEDA Navarasa Dance Theater (, and a teacher, dancer, choreographer, director, actor and singer. For her residency project, she is choreographing a new evening-length dance work with S.M. Raju and Anil Natyaveda on the theme of "love." She, along with her company members and senior students, will be leading movement workshops in expressive classical Indian dance in the Bharata Natyam style, fun Bollywood dance sessions, workshops exploring Kalari Ppayattu - one of the oldest martial arts, and special classes in "Song, Dance and Story"– a system for unleashing creativity. 

Dr. Aparna Sindhoor started her dance training at the age of five with her mother Dr. Srivalli. She has trained in Bharata Natyam for over twenty years, including fifteen with the legendary teacher Dr. K. Venkatalakshamma (a Mysore palace dancer). Aparna is one of the main proponents of the Mysore dance tradition in the world. She holds a BA in performing arts with a Gold Medal from the Mysore University and a PhD in Dance, Cultural and Women’s Studies from Boston University. She was awarded the NPN creation award, a Boston Dance Alliance Rehearsal and Retreat award, was a NEFA RDDI Artist, and was nominated for Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Choreography. Critics have hailed her as a powerful voice for creating contemporary works of extraordinary artistry and works that challenge the boundaries of traditional Indian dance, yet also strengthen that tradition.
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Lisa Diane Wedgeworth Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, photographic diptych: Evidence and Hair Celebration

Lisa Diane Wedgeworth
Residency: August 18 - November 17, 2018
Final Presentation: Saturday, November 17, 2018, 3-6pm -  RSVP

Interdisciplinary artist Lisa Diane Wedgeworth is spending her time at the Camera Obscura Art Lab investigating memory, personal narrative and identity as she completes a suite of small-scale abstract paintings that acknowledge and celebrate the space she and other black women occupy amidst the rapidly changing demographics in her community. Her weekly public events follow a four-session pattern: a writing class followed by one in handmade expression, an exploration of digital tools followed by a discussion specifically created for this residency titled, Claiming Creativity. She presents these to invite public participants to use different parts of their thinking anatomy, embarking on a broad project of integration of thought, feeling, analysis, expression and sharing.

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Diane Wedgeworth is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is rooted in storytelling. Informed by personal narratives, her work takes form as painting, video, installation, photography and archived oral histories.Wedgeworth earned her MFA from California State University, Los Angeles in 2014. Her work has been curated in numerous gallery and museum exhibitions, including the Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles and the Harvey B. Gannt Center in North Carolina. She is a recipient of a Metabolic Studio Archiving Project Fellowship, was the 2016 Georgia Fee Artist/Writer in Residence, and just completed a Hermitage Art Fellowship. From 2015 - 2016, Wedgeworth exhibited emerging artists in her studio-based project space, PS 2920, formerly located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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 - featuring Frau Fiber's Sewing Rebellion

Every 2nd Saturday, 11am - 2pm
 Sewing Rebellion  Craft Lounge 2

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. 

Frau Fiber's Sewing Rebellion distributes knowledge of the garment industry, pattern making and sewing, encouraging the reuse, renovation and recycling of existing garments and textiles in the creation of unique items tailored to individual tastes and body shapes. Every month brings a new repurposing project; follow the calendar for updates or bring your own sewing project to work on.

About the Art Lab and Camera Obscura

The Camera Obscura mechanism is free to visit and open M-F 9am - 3pm & Saturday 11am - 4pm. 

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 building,a midcentury time capsule, is located in  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.

Attached to the Art Lab you can step into the body of a camera - Santa Monica's vintage Camera Obscura is a little like an analog 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.


Contact Us

  • Email:
  • Phone: 310-458-2239
  • In Person: Drop by 1450 Ocean Ave, just north of the Pier entrance and Broadway
  • View and Register for classes here.
  • Join our email list to receive updates every 2-4 weeks. 
  • Like us at & tell your friends!

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: 

Bus: check Big Blue Bus and Metro.

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 any materials fee (class fees are payable by cash/check/credit card.) 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 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

Enrollment questions? Call the Community Classes Office at 310-458-2239 or email


Pano interior


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

Ph: 310.458.2239 

1450 Ocean on Facebook


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