I love art. I spend every day by talking to artists and art lovers. I think about art too. Some of the most unusual, transcendent and deepest moments of my life happened when I was standing next to the art pieces. I have come to appreciate and love the technical aspects as well as the craft used in making it. Furthermore, I enjoy the possibility of communicating with artists through their work. I have also discovered to relish the unexpected. When you are visiting a museum, it is easy to concentrate on those big name artists you already know something about. Sometimes visiting regional art collections leaves a greater feeling of satisfaction and appreciation. Their ability to surprise, charm and even shock. There are a couple of places in this text which could easily blow your mind.
1. The Gold Bug
This is the shop you definitely need to check out if you are someplace near Pasadena. You will be reminded not to take photos and you should not move pieces before first speaking to their staff members. I am saying this because everything in The Gold Bug cries “Pick me up” and the proprietor is very protective about his possessions. All the items are unusual and eclectic and it will give you a sense of going to another dimension. Beautiful home decorating items, artifacts, and jewelry. It feels more like an art gallery.
- Name: The Gold Bug
- Address: 22 E Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103
- Phone: (626) 744-9963
- Hours: Monday to Saturday 11 am – 6 pm, Sunday 12 – 5 pm
- Website: goldbugpasadena.com
2. Pasadena Museum of California Art
PMCA is one of the smaller but vibrant art museums and it is a nice addition to the historic downtown district of Pasadena. Admission fee is reasonable. The parking is free and there are graffiti painted on the parking garage walls. The exhibits are well curated and you do not need more than two hours to see all you want to see here. It gives a feeling of a stereotypical gallery but there are some exhibits that could surprise you.
- Name: Pasadena Museum of California Art
- Address: 490 E Union St, Pasadena, CA 91101
- Phone: (626) 568-3665
- Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 12 – 5 pm
- Website: pmcaonline.org
3. Michelle’s Antiques, Lighting & Design
You will love this place. Often described as an art wonderland. The staff will make your visit even more enjoyable. This is one of those museum-like stores. The objects are curated and displayed with much attention. The collection on display is diverse. There are beautiful antiques. Additionally, the place is rented to other art dealers and each of them brings their own individual artistic eye.
- Name: Michelle’s Antiques, Lighting & Design
- Address: 2546 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107
- Phone: Phone number (626) 796-7989
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11 am – 5:30 pm, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
- Website: michellesantiques.net
4. USC Pacific Asia Museum
There are a free admission and storytime every second Sunday in a month. You will find this place compact but also, that is wonderfully maintained. You will firstly step into an Asian-themed courtyard, then you when you climb upstairs there is an auditorium and almost hidden away a little area where the storytime takes place called Silk Road. Clearly, a family-friendly museum where you can introduce your young ones to Asian culture and art.
- Name: USC Pacific Asia Museum
- Address: 46 N Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
- Phone: (626) 449-2742
- Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
- Website: pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu
5. MOTA Day
Mota Museums include the Gamble House, Los Angeles Police Museum, Pasadena Museum of History, Autry’s Historic Southwest Museum and Heritage Square. There are free admissions to each of these five museums. If you are ready for a museum marathon, this is your place. All of the locations are based on history and they take you in on the trip to the early Los Angeles life. Maybe it is a lot to take for only one day, but it is still fun.
- Name: MOTA Day
- Address: Museums of the Arroyo, Pasadena, CA 91101
- Website: museumsofthearroyo.com
6. Xiem Clay Center
At Xiem Clay Center you will find a welcoming atmosphere and well-meant people. You can go for a simple visit, take one of the classes or look for a special gift to someone. The studio is well organized and clean. The gallery shows the works of regional artists and this is the amazing shop for purchasing pottery supplies and tools. They hold two annual sales where you can find low-priced practical wares. Definitely one of the best ceramics studios in the region.
- Name: Xiem Clay Center
- Address: 1563 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104
- Phone: (626) 791-9220
- Website: xiemclaycenter.com
7. Armory Center For the Arts
This is the place located in the center of Pasadena. There is a free parking in a nearby church’s lot. Armory Center for the Arts offers a wide collection of courses from watercolors to letterpress. This is a solid way to do some experiments in photography with reasonably-priced 10-week courses. There are always a few galleries and it is something that might interest everyone who is into photography.
- Name: Armory Center For the Arts
- Address: 145 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103
- Phone: (626) 792-5101
- Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9 am – 5 pm, Saturday to Sunday 12 – 5 pm
- Website: armoryarts.org
As you can see, there are more than enough artistic places in Pasadena area. You can certainly find something you will personally like and enjoy. These experiences you get in the art can last longer than regular ones so I recommend trying out some of these and I hope the result will provide enough entertainment.
Have a good Trip and Travel!