Camera Obscura Art Lab

Coronavirus update

The LA County Department of Public Health continues to prohibit indoor and outdoor gatherings and events. In addition to this order, the City of Santa Monica has had to implement budget cuts due to the deficits projected for the coming year. As a result, all City events produced by Cultural Affairs have been cancelled for 2020, and the Camera Obscura Art Lab is currently closed to the public. The Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program is still up and running and the AiR Workshops have moved online. Please continue to visit this page for Artist-in-Residence information, opportunities and our online workshops. 

Although we won’t be presenting in-person events this year, Cultural Affairs has launched Art of Recovery, a program that will fund art projects that contribute to our City’s recovery efforts. You can also sign up to receive our occasional Artist Opportunity eblasts that feature programs like this, fellowships, residencies, calls for proposals, and more. Sign up HERE and click on ‘Artist Opportunities’. 

Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 related re-openings and service changes for the City of Santa Monica at, and countywide at 

Community arts practice space

The Camera Obscura Art Lab in Palisades Park is Santa Monica’s community arts practice space, where all are invited to find a new perspective! Community members work with local artists to learn and hone their skills, meet their neighbors and share projects. The Camera hosts an ever-changing roster of artists-in-residence, and offers workshops for adults, artist events, pop-up exhibits and more.

We’re located at:

1450 Ocean Ave.
Palisades Park
Santa Monica, CA 90401


The Camera Obscura Mechanism

Enter the body of a camera for a magical view! Visitors can experience the Camera Obscura mechanism Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free. There are fourteen steps up a stairway to the device. Built in 1898 by Mayor Robert F. Jones to attract tourists and visitors, Santa Monica’s Camera Obscura mechanism was incorporated into its current home in 1955.

The Camera Obscura Facility

This mid-century modern building on the bluffs was designed by noted architect Weldon J. Fulton and made possible by a gift from Santa Monica resident Marcellus Joslyn.


Santa Monica Cultural Affairs presents

Chuck Hohng and Matt Reynolds: New Works

September 10, 2020 - October 11, 2020

Online Event sponsored by  the Camera Obscura Art Lab

Studio Residents, Chuck Hohng and Matt Reynolds exhibit new work created at the Camera Obscura Art Lab during their May 27 – August 27, 2020 tenure. 

Current Resident Artist(s)

  • Matt Reynolds

    May 27 - August 27, 2020

    Matt Reynolds is primarily recognized as an animated filmmaker and sculptor. His films (Hot Dog Hands, Sport in the Land of Plenty, Bottom Feeders) have won awards at The San Francisco International Film Festival, The Anim'est International Film Festival in Romania, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and have screened at such festivals as SXSW, AFI Fest, and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. He has also designed and directed commissioned work for various clients such as The Atlantic, Adult Swim, TED Ed, and Fox Sports. As a teaching artist he has taught experimental animation techniques and the principles of "World Building" to a diverse age range of learners (from 4th graders to graduate students at CalArts) around the greater Los Angeles area.

  • Chuck Hohng

    May 27 – August 27, 2020

    Korean American Artist Chuck Hohng was born in Long Beach, California, but spent most of his early life growing up in his family's native home in South Korea. He received his undergraduate degree in Fine Art from the University of Southern California, and received his Master of Fine Arts from acclaimed Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His work has been exhibited both domestically and internationally including Los Angeles, City of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, San Francisco, Paris, London, Dubai, Osaka, Gwangju, and Busan. Not willing to settle on just one form of media, his art pieces run the gambit from incredibly intricate reductive linoleum prints, to giant 10 foot bears composed of drop clothes canvas and balloons, to hauntingly beautiful video imageries. His recent ongoing project Knoxon Dahl, which phonetically means 'Rusted Moon' in Korean, creates objects that reflects his lifestyle aesthetics. From his teddy bears, seeds for garden, to bespoke Hanbok, traditional Korean attire, Knoxon Dahl spotlights curiosity toward nature, multiculturalism where aspects of different cultures are presented in parallel existence with respect to each elements, without hierarchy.

    Upcoming Public Workshopsculminating event and interview

Past Artists-in-Residence

Monthly Brochures

Upcoming Events

    City of Santa Monica Calendar

    Getting Here

    Workshops at the Camera Obscura Art Lab are wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant. NOTE: the camera obscura mechanism is located up fourteen steps and is not wheelchair accessible. If you require any special disability related accommodations please contact us at, call us at (310) 458-8350 or TDD: (310) 458-8696 at least 5 days prior to the event.

    Shared Mobility Devices cannot be used within the park around the Camera Obscura Art Lab.


    Expo line to Downtown Santa Monica Station: Camera Obscura Art Lab is 4 blocks away.
    Metro information


    Take the Big Blue Bus or Metro Bus.


    Take a Metro Bikes from Downtown Santa Monica Station; bike racks are available here.
    Information for bicyclists


    Parking Structure 6, Pier, Civic Center or Civic Auditorium
    Parking information