Regionalism: Art in Southern California


In Southern California, more than fifty different artistic evolutions, and more coming will continue making art in the area a widespread practice. With approximately one-eighth of Americans living in California, it is no doubt that the region accounts for a significant population of artists and related creative works as well. Apparently, there is no list of such works that is ever complete, but there are past and current wonders that will continue impressing for long. The fact is, there are cross sections of both new and old features, emerging, and still in development; thus, anything observable today is not ending anytime soon. 

Regarding art, several aspects uniquely define South California astounding work. To begin with, this is a region where tattoos are a significant part of the populace; many artists have already embraced it and have permanent marks that depict various aspects and personal beliefs or values. Also, it is a place that encompasses contemporary and landscape art and painting too. For instance, several of the renowned painters live in the city, and a perfect example is Mike Stilkey. Using some excellent tools and imaginative concepts, Mike uses his work to depict fanciful cast especially in for characters specializing in fantasy tales.

Apart from painting and landscaping, other perfect illustrations of artistic perfectionism include virtual arts and classical art. Indeed, both sets have a rich history in Southern California, and they are only expected to reach higher levels by introducing features that meet the demands of the present day. A case example of a recognized virtual artist is Jason Pearson who specializes in a stunning initiative to produce underground visuals in selected nations that do not relate well to the United States by using digital paintings. Classical art is also a significant part and includes ancient Greece and Rome painting, sculpture, and architecture (Lazzari, 2010). One way through which conventional art is evident is the Mingei International Museum; here, there are numerous collections of folk art, craft, and design materials and objects from approximately 150 countries in the world (Crabtree & Fodor’s Travel Publications, Inc., 2013).

Art and artists specializing in medieval and renaissance work is also prevalent. However, most of the medieval work is religious since it targeted the churches while depicting Christian elements. On the other hand, renaissance art is all about ancient Roman and Greek architecture and includes their literature and learning features as well (Bonner, Pennington, & University of Mississippi, 2013). An example of such work in Southern California is the Salvation Mountain. The art is a colorful piece rock that combines religious script with an outstanding display of sun, birds, and vegetation. However, even if it is an outsider art mecca, the spiritual element in it depicts the value given to medieval art and the need to develop it further and sustain it for long.

Another significant location is the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD). The only difference with this place with others is that it explores and manifests art not only the ones created in the 1950s but also up to the present day. As one of the locations in the strategic areas in Southern California, MCASD provides an extraordinary collection of art exhibition spaces and exciting features for the community. Above all, it is a retail and display area for showcasing internationally recognized collection besides hosting exhibitions and public events that promote art.

Far from art and artists, it is also essential to look at the related movements that are specific to the region. Regarding culture and art, in particular, a critical progress in the area is the California Impressionism, which together with California Plein-Air painting describes the big collection of the 20th century California artists working outdoors; in fact, this was a practice direct from what was the nature in the state. The movement’s work continued to grow and reached popularity in established areas such as the San Francisco Bay Arena (Cándida, 2009). In the same way, its influence increased especially in painting up to the extent of acquiring the identity of California Impressionists (Crabtree & Fodor’s Travel Publications, Inc., 2013).

About the region, one thing with art in Southern California is that it conforms to the culture of the United States in its entirety. Nevertheless, there are some unique features that one can only find in South California. More so, with the region having some firm roots in Spanish, Asian, and Mexican cultures, it is likely to see artistic elements that integrate language and traditions of the entire globe (Bonner, Pennington, & University of Mississippi, 2013). In this regard, everything is not entirely American despite the place being among the most influential cities in the United States.

If one looks closely at the art, artists, and movements in South California, there is a firm connection between the socio-cultural ties and liberalism. Indeed, the people from this area are more liberal than other parts of the United States particularly those in the inland regions.  Nevertheless, the Southern part is less radical than the north. Regarding the external cultural influences that influence art in the region, Spanish influence is evident with Hispanic Californians forming a significant part of the area’s population divide. Furthermore, from their large share of cultural contributions, the Mexicans have also paved their way into the area with much of their work being evident in classical and virtual artistic. 


 It is irrational to deduce that the description of the art and related elements that have an artistic touch can fit in a single document herein. In fact, there are so many omitted features that are relevant too. Nevertheless, it is apparent that everything involving art is astounding. Indeed, the current artists are doing marvelous while accommodating elements from the past and the present to make their work exceptional. Regarding that, the only sure thing that one can expect as time progresses is more developments to make everything better and more attractive.


Bonner, J. H., Pennington, E. C., & the University of Mississippi. (2013). The new encyclopedia of          Southern culture: Volume 21. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Cándida, S. R. (2009). The modern moves west: California artists and democratic culture in the twentieth century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Crabtree, C., & Fodor’s Travel Publications, Inc. (2013). Fodor’s 2013 Southern California. New          York: Fodors Travel Pub.

Lazzari, M. R. (2010). The practical handbook for the emerging artist. Enhanced 2nd Ed.       Boston, MA: Wadsworth CENGAGE Learning.

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