Explore Lodi’s Vibrant and Growing Art Scene
By Whitney Butler
Art is everywhere in Lodi. You can taste it in a glass of locally grown Zinfandel, smell it wafting out of specialty cheese stores on School Street, and hear it playing inside trendy restaurants serving delicious culinary expressions on a plate.
While known for producing award-winning vino, Lodi has also become a center for aspiring local artists, international performers and artisans of every imaginable craft. Lodi has a progressive art scene that extends beyond traditional mediums, and also focuses on fostering conventional art through public initiatives, private galleries and annual events.
You may come to Lodi to taste the wine and cheese, but you’ll stay longer to explore this charming city’s growing art scene. Here’s a list of some of the most vibrant arts venues and programs to explore during your next trip to Lodi.
In 2001, the Lodi City Council established the Art in Public Places program, which works in collaboration with the Lodi Arts Commission and the Lodi Arts Foundation to help promote and install public art for the city. Recent projects include sidewalk mosaics, bronze sculptures in the downtown area and painted traffic control boxes scattered around town.
The Hutchins Street Square performing arts theater and community center is another hub for local artists, musicians, residents and families. Throughout the year, guests to the Hutchins can expect to see international musical talent headlining the day before an affordable family movie night. With a mix of classical and contemporary offerings, the Hutchins plays an important role in the community, providing access to quality programming in the heart of Downtown Lodi.
The Lodi Community Art Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging interest in and study of the arts. Organized in the 1930s by a group of local artists, the art center gained state and national recognition for its members’ achievements and contributions to the community. Take an adult painting class or attend a curated event—there are even scholarships available for young aspiring artists.
David Jon Foster Studio Gallery, located above Pasos Vineyards’ tasting room, is the perfect example of how one art form in Lodi can influence another. Foster’s original use of watercolor on canvas has been used on several vintages produced by the vineyard—a truly symbiotic art relationship.
Tony Segale’s Double Dip Gallery is another winning combination of fine art and ice cream. Located on Pine Street in Downtown Lodi, this gallery includes the works of contemporary expressionists who live and work in Lodi. In addition to the art, stop by for a scoop of ice cream; then peruse the paintings and handmade jewelry for a rare view into the lives of local artists.
McKinleys Frame Shop is a lot more than just a place to pick up beautiful frames. Inside, explore local artists like Richard Bepristis, celebrated for his depictions of West Coast scenery; and Chris Max Thompson, a ceramicist named the 2014 Sacramento Artist of the Year.
Art is everywhere in Lodi; all you have to do is come take a look.