For those of you who are living on the far east side of LA, make the time to check out the Riverside Art Museum (RAM). It is unlike any other museum visit you will experience.
Located in present day downtown Riverside, the museum building was designed and built in 1929 by renowned architect Julia Morgan and originally served as the city’s first YWCA.
In 1967, the two-story building was turned over by YWCA officials to the artists of the Riverside Art Association to transform it into a museum. The current building boasts a lovely garden atrium with a glass ceiling, a gymnasium-turned-gallery, and a permanent print exhibition. Other parts of the building have been converted for studio art classes and a Children’s Gallery.
The architecture of the building and its history create a unique atmosphere, more so because of the creative use of space to display the artwork. As I walked through hallways, which served as an additional place for smaller exhibitions to hang, into larger rooms with art spread all over the walls, I felt at home, at ease with how familiar the building felt. Recalling the almost sterile cleanliness of an earlier museum visit in the week, the warm feel at RAM was very much welcomed. I noticed myself getting lost in the artwork more because I wasn’t getting caught up in the loud stillness you hear at stereotypical museums.
For a small space, there was a lot of variety in the artwork. Amalgamation of hardware on walls, sketches, carved and glued soap objects, a mural made of different “textiles,” prints, and paintings.
This piece in particular was a personal favorite because of their movable parts (they rotate!), and they also looked like fun clocks that I would put in my imaginary New York loft.
What: Eretai, IN-PRINT, Close Encounters, New Work by Paulen, & PNET Exhibit 2012
When: January 2012 -April 2012
Where: Riverside Art Museum @ 3425 Mission Inn Avenue / Riverside, CA 92501