Orange County Museum of Art’s New Home to Open with Free Admission in 2022

Admission Will Be Supported by Lugano Diamonds

Costa Mesa —Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and Director of the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), today announced that general admission will be free when the institution’s new building opens on October 8, 2022. The free admission policy is supported for 10 years thanks to a $2.5 million gift from the Newport Beach-based Lugano Diamonds.

Rendering of terrace and grand stair at OCMA’s new buildingCredit: Morphosis

Designed by Morphosis under the direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and Partner-in-Charge Brandon Welling, OCMA’s new home is currently under construction at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA.

Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and Director of the Orange County Museum of Art. Photo by Keyang Pang

“Our goal is to remove as many barriers of entry as possible, and to connect as many people as we can to art and artists,”Heidi Zuckerman said. “We are deeply grateful to Lugano Diamonds for fostering these connections by supporting the cost of admission for the next decade—it will be a wonderful way to throw open our doors next year.”

“We are deeply committed to serving the arts, and proud to do so in Orange County, which has been a wonderful home. to Lugano Diamonds since 2005,” said Idit Ferder, Co-founder and COO of Lugano Diamonds and board member of the Orange County Museum of Art. “OCMA is entering a new era with Heidi Zuckerman’s leadership and this magnificent new building. It is an honor to help welcome people to OCMA’s stellar collection, exhibitions, and programs.”

Rendering of gallery spaces at OCMA’s new building. Credit: Morphosis

OCMA’s new 53,000-square-foot facility, anchored by the open public plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, includes 25,000 square feet of flexible exhibition space—approximately 50 percent more than its former Newport Beach location. California Biennial 2022 (CB22) will be the inaugural special exhibition in OCMA’s new home, as a celebratory nod to the museum’s rich history. Begun in 1984 and now being resumed after a hiatus, CB22 will be guest co-curated by Elizabeth Armstrong, Essence Harden, and Gilbert Vicario and continues the museum’s six-decade history of presenting new developments in contemporary art and identifying emerging artists on the verge of national and international recognition. Fred Eversley: Reflecting Back (the World), the artist’s first museum retrospective on the West Coast since a groundbreaking 1978 exhibition of his work at OCMA (then known as the Newport Harbor Art Museum), will also be part of the inaugural slate of exhibitions. The exhibition examines five decades of Eversley’s career and the technical innovation employed in his sculptures.

Rendering of entry atrium at OCMA’s new buildingCredit: Morphosis
Rendering of entry plaza at OCMA’s new building, Credit: Morphosis

In addition to its contributions to OCMA, Lugano Diamonds supports Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Aspen Art Museum, Decorative Arts Society, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, American Film Institute (AFI), Laguna Playhouse, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Aspen Jazz Festival, and The Irvine Barclay Theatre.

Rendering of grand stair at OCMA’s new buildingCredit: Morphosis

About the Orange County Museum of Art

Along with its predecessor institution, the Newport Harbor Art Museum, OCMA has an established reputation as an innovative art museum with a history of actively discovering and engaging with living artists at pivotal points in their careers. The museum has organized and presented critically acclaimed exhibitions that have traveled nationally and internationally tomore than 35 venues. The museum’s collection of more than 4,500 works of art includes important examples of modern and contemporary art and artists inspired by or working in or from California, including: John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Irwin, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray, and Ed Ruscha.

About the New Morphosis-designed Building

OCMA will open a new 53,000-square-foot home on October 8, 2022 designed by Morphosisunder the direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and Partner-in-Charge Brandon Welling. In its new home, the Museum will be able to present selections from its important and distinctive collection and at the same time offer a continuing schedule of major temporary exhibitions. Complementing the gallery spaces are mezzanine and street-front galleries that will house temporary and permanent collection exhibitions spanning a variety of scales and mediums. A spacious roof terrace, equivalent in size to 70 percent of the building’s footprint, serves as an extension of the galleries, with open-air spaces that can be configured for installations, programs and events. Hovering over the soaring, light-filled lobby atrium is an inspiring and dynamic architectural space for performance and education, illuminated by a dramatic window overlooking the terrace. The grand public stairs on the outside of the building curve toward the entrance, linking the museum to Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the adjacent performing arts venues, and creating an inviting public gathering space for pedestrians and visitors. A façade of light-colored, undulating bands of glazed terracotta paneling creates a distinctive character for the new building, playing off the forms and language of neighboring works of architecture.

About Lugano Diamonds

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Lugano is a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of high-end, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Lugano conducts sales of its exclusive merchandise via four retail salons in Newport Beach, Aspen, Palm Beach and Ocala, as well as via pop-up showrooms at Lugano-hosted exclusive events. To learn more, please