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Alive and Well: The Arts in Walnut Creek

There’s a reason why Walnut Creek is Contra Costa’s leading cultural center, and it has a whole lot to do with its thriving art scene. From galleries to art classes, casual painting sessions, performing arts venues and walking tours, the arts are alive and well in East Bay. Here are some best bets for art happenings in Walnut Creek.

Bedford Gallery

As part of the comprehensive Lesher Center for the Arts on Civic Drive, Bedford Gallery is where to experience cutting-edge contemporary visual art. With up to five major art exhibitions every year, you’ll find everything from international master artists to budding local visionaries exploring new digital art and mixed-media forms. The month of August through mid-September 2019 features the Blow Up exhibition focusing on inflatable contemporary art with figurative and abstract qualities. Public programs also let you delve into art history and participate in panel discussions.

Hands On: Arts Classes and Casual Painting Sessions

The Center for Community Arts in Walnut Creek encourages people of all ages to explore creative thought and self-expression through arts learning. You can take classes in visual and performing arts at either the Shadelands Arts Center or downtown at Civic Park.

For a fun evening out with friends or coworkers, splash some paint over at Canvas and Cabernet. While sipping and sampling some of the region’s best wines, you’ll encourage your inner artist while interpreting a different theme each time you go. Leave your inhibitions at home, and don’t worry if you’ve never put brush to canvas in your whole life.

On Stage: Performing Arts

At least three performing arts theaters thrive inside Lesher Center, churning out more than 700 presentations every year. Imagination runs wild with dance, drama, music and comedy at the 800-seat Hofman Theatre and the more intimate 300-seat Margaret Lesher Theatre and 130-seat Vukasin Theatre. August 2019 features special productions such as the Spontaneous Farce improv shows and the Summer Sounds outdoor live music on Thursday evenings. To see local-level productions or join in the fun yourself, check out the Center Repertory Company.

Public Art and Walking Tours

Indoor galleries aren’t the only way to get your art fix in Walnut Creek. The Public Art Program encourages art integration into daily life, and you can see the results all over town. At any given time, you’ll find sculptures, murals, and visual art both outside and inside places such as Olympia Plaza, City Hall Plaza, the Downtown Library and Ygnacio Center.

Bedford Gallery even gives you a full immersion of public art with guided docent walking tours, revealing treasures that you likely walk by every day without noticing. Tours take place on the third Saturday each month at 11 a.m. If you prefer to do it on your own, check out the public art audio tour that guides you to 33 art installations. Phone number posted at each location let you dial to hear all the details about what you’re viewing.

Living in Walnut Creek puts you in the heart of East Bay arts and culture. Call today to hear about our Walnut Creek apartment homes and to check availability!