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Adventure Unabashedly, Santa Monica, California, USA

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A Travel + Lifestyle Blog by Ashley Sundquist

  • Ashley Sundquist

Be Colorful at The Marciano Art Foundation

If you're anything like me, you leave certain museums feeling especially inspired to create, make, and do something special. You realize that truly, nothing is off limits to your creativity.

My friend, Dee is a talented artist and photographer herself and we've had the chance to have two fun playdates over at the Marciano together.


I always walk out of The Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles with that skip-in-my-step feeling!


Smelling Yayoi Kusama's tulips at The Marciano Art Foundation

Getting There

About a 30 minute drive from Santa Monica, you'll reach The Marciano Art Foundation which is a huge contemporary art venue in the heart of Los Angeles. It's housed in a gigantic former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, so you can't miss it!


No need to make any calls to get in! Here's Dee checking out Alex Israel's handpainted "Valet Parking" mural inside the museum.

The foundation was created by philanthropists, founders of GUESS and art loving brothers, Maurice and Paul Marciano to showcase contemporary works from mostly living artists. I love that mission! So many artists are only celebrated and supported when they've passed away, so it warms my heart that they search for emerging and local artists to celebrate. This museum just feels like a celebration and you're invited to the party, friends!!


Yayoi Kusama is 90-years-old and STILL CREATING AMAZING ART. She has overcome so much adversity and really inspires me!

Entrance Fee

How much is admission? Well, so glad you asked! It's completely FREE. Yes, free! Zilch! Zero! Thank you, art philanthropy! All you have to do is make an advance reservation on their beautiful website. This is an ideal choice for travelers to Los Angeles, because travel dates are usually set in stone far in advance.


How to Reserve Tickets

1. Go to https://marcianoartfoundation.org/ and click Visit

2. Click Reserve Free Tickets

3. At the bottom of the page, select How Many Tickets

4. Review the calendar and Select a Date

5. Pick one of the Available Times that works for you

6. Click Reserve Your Tickets

7. Pow! Bam! Wow! Get ready for some awesome art!


Where to start?

Let yourself wander. Get lost. Take your time. Block off a few hours for your visit! Bring a sketchpad and a pencil and create some art of your own.

Dee got us amazing florescent sketchpads (she's the best!)from the gift shop that we used to sketch throughout our experience here!

There are more than 1,500 pieces for you to experience in this mammoth 110,000 square foot space and along the way, I hope you'll stop and visit 5 of my favorite installations:


1. Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds, 2010. Porcelain.

This monumental installation consists of millions of individually handcrafted porcelain sunflower seeds.

2. Yayoi Kusama, With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever, 2011. Sculpture.

You inspired my love of polka dots, Yayoi.

3. Ugo Rondonine, The Sun, 2017. Bronze.

You'll find grand art even in the Marciano's beautiful courtyard. This piece makes me feel like I can walk through a portal into the heavens.

4. Ugo Rondinone, Good Evening Beautiful, 2015. Mirrors.


5. Alex Israel, Valet Parking, 2013. Paint.

The Marciano makes a grand first impression! Here I am pushing a "grocery cart" that is actually just a painted wall mural by Alex Israel's "Valet Parking" installation.

Thanks for checking out The Marciano Art Foundation with me, friends! I hope you leave just a little more inspired and excited about supporting the local arts. If you've been here before, what are your favorite pieces? There's always a new exhibition, so I'd love to see what's new!