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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
6 Jun 2016 (All day) - 9 Jul 2016 (All day)
Featured Artists at Gallerie Renee Marie

Featured artists Anne Petty and Robert Schweibert will have their work on display through July 9 at Gallerie Renee Marie, located at 1038 First Street. Open Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5:00 PM. For more information, see

2 Jul 2016 - 6:30pm
Community Drum & Dance

Come join our monthly open dance space! Dancers of any shape, size, and ability have a safe, comfortable and fun place to dance and move. 7:30-8:30 PM, $5 donated to local charity. No shoes. No alcohol. Preceded by an optional Open Drum Circle 6:30-7:30 PM, $5. Attend alone or with friends.

9 Jul 2016 - 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Benicia Art Walk 2016

Benicia Art Walk 2016 kicks-off on Saturday, June 11, 3-6 PM in downtown Benicia. Enjoy great art, live music, and small sips...all FREE!

Participating galleries are Once Upon a Canvas, Benicia Plein Air Gallery, Gallery 621, Mernie Buchanan Studio & Gallery, Lindsay Art Glass, and Gallerie Renee Marie. Check out these galleries and more on First Street in downtown Benicia on the Second Saturdays of June, July, September & October, 3:00-6:00 PM.