Marin Blog · Marin Arts and Culture Collection

Art in Marin

Posted in Blogging Marin on Thursday, March 9, 2023 by MCVB Staff

By Whitney Butler


The job of an artist is to lead by inspiration—to see the invisible, to imagine the impossible. As part of its history, culture and community, Marin County nurtures this sentiment on several fronts.


Throughout the year, visitors to Marin County can experience the inspiring inertia that continues to push the local arts scene forward to exciting and unfamiliar places. From outdoor performances and poetry to hands-on learning from the pros, however you get inspired, you can find it in Marin County.


Marin Art History 101

Marin is steeped in art history beginning in the early part of the 20th century when the county emerged as a popular place for landscape painters. Many artists came from San Francisco on weekends, some camping overnight, others staying on “Arks” in Corte Madera and Larkspur. At the time there were no art galleries in Marin, and so the Marin Art Association was formed, settling in various locations throughout the county. In the 1950's, the name changed to The Marin Society of Artists and has now found its home in the heart of Marin within the designated Downtown San Rafael Cultural District. The Marin Society of Artists is truly a cultural asset as being both the first and oldest art organization in Marin County.

Programs and activities are varied to appeal to groups of all ages with participation in the 2nd Friday Art Walks, Marin Open Studios, and an Artist Showcase. Feel free to join a painting group, art class, or rent space for your own “pop-up” art show.


Arts & Culture Guide to Marin

Plan a full day or weekend packed with artistic points of interest with the assistance of MarinArts' online Art&Culture Guide. Try starting the day with a look at the world-famous Civic Center, built by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Other venues include the O'Hanlon Center for the ArtsFalkirk Cultural Center, and Smith Rafael Film Center. MarinArts makes it easy to discover and participate in creative and cultural events throughout our community, including arts events and educational opportunities for all ages.


Into The Woods!

Marin's Mountain Play returns in 2023 with a production of Into The Woods!, a 1987 musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests.

This one-of-a-kind mountaintop event takes Bay Area theatre-goers of all ages to the pinnacle of musical theatre experience. The Mountain Theatre, is a 3750-stone seat, open-air venue in Mount Tamalpais State Park. It has redwood groves and oak woodlands with a spectacular view from its 2,571-foot peak.

Performances are scheduled for Sunday, May 21, May 28, June 4, June 10, June 11 and June 18. 


See live demonstrations and discover original work

On any weekend, Point Reyes Open Studios Group hosts a local exhibit of collections from West Marin’s finest sculptors, photographers, potters, painters, printmakers, and woodworkers.

Visitors can meet artists, discover original work, explore unique studio spaces and see live demonstrations of complex, craft techniques. This free event is self-guided so you can meander at your leisure while surrounded by gardens and sweeping views of Tomales Bay.

Marin County has a bit of inspiration for everyone. Feed your creative spirit in Marin County.


For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page.

More information on featured attractions:

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Falkirk Cultural Center

Falkirk, an 1888 Queen Anne-style Victorian building is the former home of shipping magnate Robert Dollar. The 17-room mansion was purchased by the community in 1974 to...[Learn More]

Tags: Art