MCASD Series offer visitors multiple entry points into the world of contemporary art by exploring issues emerging from the exhibitions and works on view. In addition to the regular series the Museum presents biyearly lecture series in partnership with San Diego cultural organizations.

Ongoing Series


Perspectives offers a new way to look at the world. Using current exhibitions as a starting point, this series of programs offers visitors direct access to artists, curators, and specialists in various fields of knowledge. These participatory talks and tours  will inspire, engage, and challenge your way of thinking.

  • An Artist’s Perspective: Gain a deeper understanding of works on view by hearing directly from the artists themselves. Using a featuredartist’s work as a launch pad to explore broad topics in contemporary art, this conversation invites participants to be challenged and inspired

  • A Curator’s Perspective: Led by an MCASD curator, this tour and conversation invites visitors to ask questions and learn about exhibitions, artists’ processes, or particular works of art. This program takes place soon after an exhibition opens and offers first-hand knowledge about the installation and curatorial process directly from the curator.

  • An Outside Perspective: There are multiple entry points into the world of contemporary art. The Outside Perspective series invites visitors to explore issues emerging from exhibitions by hearing from a specialist in another field of knowledge: music, film, architecture, and even science

Family ArtLab

Family ArtLab combines an in-gallery conversation and hands-on art-making experience to allow families with 5- to 11-years-old children to further explore processes and materials inspired by the works on view. Check the Museum’s calendar for the Family ArtLab program.


Whether it’s a thought-provoking documentary, a classic Hollywood hit, or an independent film premiere, viewers can always expect an exciting and relevant film-going experience.

Sessions in Contemporary Art

Are you are lifelong learner? Whether you’re a novice or contemporary art adept, this four-part, seminar-style course led by Chief Curator Kathryn Kanjo and Associate Curator Jill Dawsey is designed to expand your knowledge of today’s art world. Scroll down the Events page to check out this semester’s line-up. 


Yearly Lecture Series

Russell Lecture

For many years, MCASD and the University of California, San Diego have partnered to bring contemporary artists to San Diego through the annual Russell Lecture program. The Russell Foundation was established in the will of Betty Russell, one of MCASD’s founding docents and a long-time supporter of UCSD. She specified that funds from the foundation should help “foster the appreciation and study of the modern visual arts and creativity of young artists” through support to the Museum and the University.

Axline Lecture

For over 10 years, the San Diego Museum of Art and MCASD have presented this annual lecture event in honor of the unprecedented endowments that Jackie and Rea Axline bestowed on both institutions in 1999.