There are few beach towns left in Southern California in their original incarnation. El Segundo is one of them. It saddles up against a refinery, but is also walking distance to Dockweiller State Beach and is neighbors with the more upscale Manhattan Beach. You can get a great meal in any of its many restaurants in a wide range of types – from granny-style homespun to Indian and just about anything in between. You can grab a high end import at Rock & Brews (Gene Simmons of KISS is an owner), or hang with some of the guys and gals that get off duty from the refinery at one of the long standing local pubs. As of a few weeks ago, you can now also immerse yourself in world class art for free.
Local couple Eva and Brian Sweeney haven’t been collecting art for a long time, but they’ve been prolific and their collection quickly got to be so large it no longer fit in their home. With no interest in becoming art dealers, they both felt the best thing they could do was to share the art with the community by creating an art hub for the public. When they found the ideal space on El Segundo’s main street, they put Eva’s architectural background to work and thus El Segundo Museum of Art (ESMoA) was born.
Along with being avid collectors, the couple has supported up-and-coming art talent from all over the world. Some of the artists will reside above the gallery in living quarters and work in the on-premise studio. Classes and tours for children are available and the gallery has already hosted several schools to see, create and learn about art.
This is truly an off-the-beaten track place to go in the Los Angeles area. The Mayberry-esque feel of El Segundo is a stark contrast to the hyper-modern gallery, but the combination is proof that art fits in anywhere. Next time you’re in L.A. and don’t want the same old experiences, check out what ESMoA has on its walls and event schedule, grab a local brew at the Tap Room and enjoy a Cuban sandwich across the street at Havana Sandwich Company.
Helpful Tip: ESMoA has a bigger-than-life art piece called the Anti Ark installed at Dockweiller Beach which will be on display for a short time due to city regulations, but it’s well worth seeing. From the gallery head west on Grand Avenue until you hit the beach and you’ll see it from the parking lot.