MOAH prepares for grand opening

Curator Andi Campognone shows the exhibit titled "Indians, Gold Miners and Gunslingers: A Look Back at Lancaster in the Old West". Campognone and city officials toured the museum with the local media Thursday.

Workers were putting the finishing touches on the museum Thursday.

LANCASTER – Officials were making final preparations Thursday for the grand opening of Lancaster’s new Museum of Art and History (MOAH).

“We’re putting labels on all the artwork, touching up painting and cleaning,” said Curator Andi  Campognone. “We’re super close.”

On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. the City of Lancaster will host the official grand opening of MOAH. The free public event will kick off with an official ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by tours of the museum, musical performances, and hands-on art activities for attendees of all ages.

“A lot of people are intimidated by museums, thinking it’s not for them or they don’t get it,” Campognone said. “I think you’ll find that this particular museum is very inclusive and very accessible and everyone will be able to enjoy it.”

The nearly 20,000 square foot museum boasts five galleries, a store, and a unique rooftop patio offering a stunning view of The BLVD.

The three main art exhibitions showcased at the grand opening will celebrate Lancaster and the entire Antelope Valley – Smooth Operations: Substance and Surface in Southern California Art;

Indians, Gold Miners and Gunslingers: A Look Back at Lancaster in the Old West; and, The Painted Desert.

Additionally, a side exhibit shown in the ground floor Vault Gallery will display the work of local artist, Stevie Love.

Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith looks an exhibit at the media tour Thursday.

“We want to highlight the fact that in addition to showing world-class and international art, we are showing Antelope Valley artists,” said Campognone. “Every six weeks we’ll be rotating a new Antelope Valley artist in the gallery.”

Campognone said MOAH was designed to be a cultural hub for the Antelope Valley.

“A place for people to meet, experience the arts, look at our history, participate in workshops, and come together in a nonpolitical forum where everyone is included,” she said.

“Every region needs an epicenter for the arts,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Lancaster’s Museum of Art and History will quickly become the epicenter of the artistic community for all of North Los Angeles County.”

Following Saturday’s grand opening, MOAH will maintain hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days a week (Sunday through Saturday). On Thursdays, the museum will remain open until 8 p.m., in conjunction with the BLVD Farmers’ Market.

General admission is $5, with a $3 charge for students and seniors, and no charge for children ages six years and under. Free admission will be offered every Sunday.

A closer look at the exhibits to be showcased at the grand opening:

  • Smooth Operations: Substance and Surface in Southern California Art, co-curated by Andi Campognone and Peter Frank, looks at the use of new and untraditional materials in the fabrication of art objects, many of which came directly from the aerospace industry. Smooth Operations will concentrate on the postwar years in and around Los Angeles, when experimentation with unorthodox—even radical—materials and qualities led to the emergence of movements such as “finish/fetish” and “light-and-space.” Among the artists whose work will comprise Smooth Operations are Larry Bell, DeWain Valentine, Ronald Davis, Craig Kauffman, Judy Chicago, Roland Reiss, Norman Zammitt, Fred Eversley, and Jerome Mahoney. The work of several younger artists who investigate the qualities of synthetic materials, including Eric Johnson, Lisa Bartleson, Andy Moses, and Eric Zammitt, will augment the main portion of the exhibition, gifted to the Museum by collectors Steve Eglash and Gisela Colon.
  • Indians, Gold Miners and Gunslingers: A Look Back at Lancaster in the Old West, curated by MOAH staff member Dr. Laurie Solis, is a visual timeline of the history of Lancaster utilizing artifacts and historic photographs from MOAH’s permanent collection.  This exhibition marks the first in a series of historical exhibitions which will highlight the Antelope Valley.
  • The Painted Desert, an exhibition focusing on the desert as subject, will include paintings from MOAH’s permanent collection and works by artists from southern California celebrating our local landscape both in traditional and non-traditional painting styles.

For more information, contact MOAH staff at 661-723-6250 or

(Information via press release from the City of Lancaster.)

  5 comments for “MOAH prepares for grand opening

  1. William
    May 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I keep reading about ‘slipper people’ at the Lancaster Walmarts. Will they be allowed in the MOAH or at least their ‘slippers’ be on display?

    • 7Mary3&4
      May 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Now THAT was good!

  2. Ron Rock
    May 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I think MOAH’s Grand Opening today will will be a mile stone in Lancaster’s cultural rise to community greatness that Mayor Parris has strived towards since he has taken over reign of the ship that’s called ”LANCASTER”. It’s another testamonial to the vision of our Mayor & City Counsel moving us forward culturally so the citizens can keep up with S. California yet not have to leave the area to give our children & their parents what is generally only seen in the Mid-Wilshire District of Los Angeles!
    RR. :)

    • Dick Tator
      May 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

      hey ron-the museum began in 1986 WAY before this counsel. Parris had nothing to do with building it. he probably enjoys his “visionary” tax write off though. “nonpolitical forum” LOL!

      • John Howard
        May 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        How exactly is this a “visionary” tax write off for Parris?
        Who owns the building on Ehrlich avenue?

Comments are closed.