Explore LA Through Art

By Erika Gomi

I’ve come to realize that going to school in Los Angeles is not so bad (despite the heat). LA is a huge city just begging to be explored. There will always be a new restaurant to try or a screening to go see. One of the many things to do in this city is to visit some of the many museums. I, sadly, have not visited many of them, but the ones I’ve been to have all been fun experiences.

One of the most famous museums is probably the Getty Museum. There are two campuses: the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. The Getty Center is a huge museum at the top of a hill and has rooms dedicated to art like old renaissance paintings and ancient sculptures. What I remember most from my visit was the garden. While the museum is famous for its art pieces, it also has a beautiful garden full of flowers and some meandering dirt paths. There is also another part of the museum called the Getty Villa out by Malibu. It’s much smaller than the Getty Center, but if you go on a sunny day, LA does not get more beautiful than this. The Getty Villa is off the Pacific Coast Highway, up a long winding road in the hills off the highway. Once there, your view will open up to an expansive villa that overlooks the ocean; it will feel like you’ve been transported to a summer vacation home in Italy. The museum is filled with Greek and Roman art and even houses an actual mummy. The Villa also has a garden in back with big columns and a beautiful view of the ocean. I highly recommend going on a sunny day.

In addition to the Getty, there are museums like LACMA, MOCA, and the Broad. These museums exhibit more contemporary art unlike the Getty’s classical pieces. I’ve only been to LACMA, but I’ve heard amazing things about all three. LACMA is probably the most famous out of the three with its iconic streetlight sculpture out front. When I first went, I didn’t realize how huge the museum was. LACMA is made up of several buildings and it takes hours to get through even one. It was fun when I went though because they had a special exhibit on the famous movie director Guillermo del Toro. The exhibit was full of his inspirations – all very creepy. There were even life size models and costumes of characters from his films like Crimson Peak and Pan’s Labyrinth. I want to go to LACMA again so I can explore the rest of the museum. You definitely need more than one day.

Now, the final museum I’m going to talk about is very eccentric. It’s called the Museum of Jurassic Technology and it’s located in Culver City. I highly recommend visiting. It only has a couple floors, 3 if I remember correctly, and is probably the smallest museum out of the ones I have mentioned in this article. The museum is unique in that each floor is completely different and exhibits pieces that you wouldn’t expect to be in a museum (I don’t want to spoil too much about this museum, you just have to go and see for yourself). I will say though, that the atmosphere starts off creepy, dark, and mysterious on the first floor and the higher you go in the museum, the lighter and more relaxed it becomes.

Los Angeles is a huge city that never rests. You can never get bored and there’s so much to explore. I recommend leaving room on your weekends to try and hit as many museums as you can (and make sure to leave time to explore its surrounding areas in case there’s an amazing restaurant just waiting to be discovered). Make sure to take advantage of your time here in LA.

Featured image by Harvey Barrison on Flickr

Erika is a USC graduate who majored in Animation and Digital Arts. She was born in China but lived in San Francisco for the majority of her life. She was raised in a multicultural family, growing up with Japanese, Chinese, and American culture. Erika loves art, especially drawing. She also enjoys playing soccer, eating food, and playing Taiko drums.