Discover central California’s vibrant visual art scene on a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, the premier venue for contemporary art between Los Angeles and San Francisco. MCASB was founded in 1976 with mission to advance creativity and inspire critical thinking through meaningful engagement with the art of our time. In keeping with its dedication to the art being made today, MCASB is a non-profit, non-collecting museum. Exhibitions rotate three times annually and are typically on view for 14 weeks. The Museum’s world-class roster features solo and group exhibitions of artists of diverse media, ethnicity, geography, and gender.
You’ll find the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, located in the picturesque outdoor Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center on the Upper Arts Terrace. In addition to the rotating exhibitions, MCASB hosts more than 30 events per year, including a fun monthly Curated Cocktails event as part of Santa Barbara’s First Thursday art walk evenings. Stop by to sip creative signature cocktails, participate in interactive activities and explore the exhibitions currently on display.
Hours, Admission and Parking
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. – 8p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Monday and Tuesday, as well as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday and the first Friday in August.
Admission to MCASB and most of its programs is completely free. However, visitors are welcome to make a donation or purchase a membership during their visit to help support the Museum’s exhibitions and mission.
Parking for the MCASB is available in the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center public garage adjacent to MCASB. The first 75 minutes are free and the charge is $1.50 for each hour thereafter. Street parking is available in the neighborhoods off of Chapala Street.
Tips for Your Visit
The museum is closed between exhibitions for de–installation and installation of each exhibition. Before you visit, check the exhibition calendar to ensure that the Museum will be open to the public.
Extend your artistic experience by checking out the Museum’s nearby second location, MCASB Satellite @ Hotel Indigo at 121 State Street in the Funk Zone neighborhood. The satellite site offers exhibitions and public programs to hotel guests and the community, all free of charge. Exhibitions are installed inside and outside the hotel property, so visitors are encouraged to view the current exhibition during the hotel’s normal daily business hours.
If you’re visiting with kids, don’t miss The Art Lab, an interactive space at MCASB designed for visitors of all ages to engage in creative play and fun hands-on activities. The lab theme changes with each exhibition and complements the art on view.
Photography for personal, non-commercial use is allowed in the Museum, unless otherwise posted. Flash photography and tripods are not permitted.
All of the Museum’s galleries are stroller and wheelchair accessible. Service animals are welcome in the museum, but pets are not permitted due to the fragile and varied nature of the artwork.