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Benicia's Artistic Spirit

Benicia boasts one of the most active and influential art communities in the Bay Area. Hundreds of artists live and work in studios throughout the city, creating world-class objets d'art.

Why do so many artists find inspiration here?

“A desire to become a full-time studio artist, in a community of other studio artists, is why I chose Benicia. I had spent the first 20 years of my creative life working in isolation in another community before coming here. The 1991 Benicia artist community was a rag-tag lot, but it spoiled me for any other form of existence. My artist friends, family and neighbors make my spirit soar. This is the center of my universe.”

– Artist Mike Kendall

Benicia's resident artists share their talents via an eclectic mix of media and styles, including glass art, prints, sculpture, ceramics, photographs, paintings and even hand-screened wallpaper. The city is particularly known for its art glass studios, where you can often see nationally acclaimed glass artists at work.

Almost 100 artists have opted to locate their studios in an enclave known as The Arsenal, a former military reservation that now exudes a bohemian feel, given the depth and quality of creative expression that goes on there.

Helping give the artistic community a focus and collective voice is Arts Benicia, a nonprofit art center located in The Arsenal. Arts Benicia maintains a world-class gallery, offers excellent classes and art experiences for all ages, sponsors exhibitions in locations throughout Benicia, and coordinates many events, including artists' Open Studios every May.

The Benicia Arts and Culture Commission serves to ensure that arts and culture are integral to our community's quality of life, economic vitality, and central identity. They cooperate with council and public and private organizations to create and promote art and cultural programs and activities within Benicia.

Benicia also enjoys a vibrant performing arts community, with twice-yearly, professional-quality productions by the highly regarded Benicia Old Town Theatre Group and frequent performances by locally and regionally known musicians at venues such as the First Street Café and The Rellik Tavern.

Next: Glass Art »

Upcoming Arts Events
12 Apr 2017 (All day) - 7 May 2017 (All day)
Mike Kendal -- Off the Wall

As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, Arts Benicia will honor Mike Kendall, one of its first exhibiting artists, with a one man show during Benicia Artists Open Studios. Kendall’s paintings and sculptures will be on view in the Arts Benicia gallery April 8 - May 7, 2017. Arts Benicia is wheelchair accessible from Jackson Street. Exhibit Hours:  Wednesday - Sunday, 12:00 - 5:00 PM.

Activities in conjunction with this exhibition:

Family Art Day: Sunday, April 30, 1:00 – 3:00 PM, Free and open to the public.

Benicia Artists Open Studios: Saturday & Sunday, May 6 & 7 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Free and open to the public.

28 Apr 2017 - 8:00pm - 29 Apr 2017 - 8:00pm
Intimate Apparel

Benicia Old Town Theatre Group's spring production, Intimate Apparel,runs April 21-May 13 with shows on Friday & Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.beniciaoldtowntheatregroup.com/
Intimate Apparel is described as a thoughtful, affecting play that offers a poignant commentary on an era when the cut and color of one's dress-and of course, skin-determined whom one could not marry, sleep with, even talk to in public.

29 Apr 2017 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Art Scavenger Hunt

Discover amazing art found in downtown galleries while doing a scavenger hunt. Participants will receive a free “I Love Benicia” bag and be entered into a drawing to win $100 in Downtown Dollars. Scavenger Hunt Forms with list of tasks will be available at Benicia Main Street (90 First St. in the train depot), at participating galleries, and on the day of the event here.

• Gallerie Renee Marie – 1038 First Street
• Gallery 621 – 309 First Street
• Benicia Plein Air Gallery – 307 First Street
• Once Upon a Canvas – 129 First Street
• Benicia Main Street – 90 First Street