Merced’s Multicultural Arts Center

photo by adam blauert

photo by adam blauert

Downtown Merced’s Multicultural Arts Center

is the local place to enjoy art, purchase art from local artists, and take art and dance classes.

Classes and galleries are operated by the Merced County Arts Council, which has supported art and art education in our area since 1978. Art by local artists is offered for sale in the ground floor area occupied by Arbor Gallery, a local artists’ cooperative.

Second floor gallery  -  PHOTO BY ADAM BLAUERT

Second floor gallery  -  PHOTO BY ADAM BLAUERT

The first and second floors house regularly-rotating exhibits.    Special exhibits change several times a year – the last time I visited the main exhibit was an impressive collection of photos by the Merced Camera Club.

Ground floor gallery - PHOTO BY ADAM BLAUERT

Ground floor gallery - PHOTO BY ADAM BLAUERT

Ground floor

Arbor Gallery sells local art in a broad variety of mediums:  beautiful paintings, ceramics, photography, drawings, textiles, sculpture, glass, turned wood, jewelry, giclee prints and greeting cards. 

Many feature local scenes or are made from local materials.  On my recent visit I was surprised by the affordability of many of the pieces I liked the best.

The ground floor also houses a small theater where performances of music and dance are frequently offered. 

Arts Merced also partners with the Merced Symphony, Playhouse Merced, the Merced Art Hop, and has sponsored music at downtown locations like Coffee Bandits, the Art Kamangar Center at the Merced Theatre, Merced College, Applegate Park, and the Merced Community Center.  

Performances for kids in grades 3-8 are offered on the second Saturday of each month from January through May and September through November.  

Stairs to upper levels - PHOTO BY ADAM BLAUERT

Stairs to upper levels - PHOTO BY ADAM BLAUERT

The third floor

Offers classes for both children and adults.  Frequently offered physical activity courses include world dance and capoeira (a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, acrobatics, and music). 

Dance groups Sol del Valle (ballet folk lorico), and Merced Academy of Dance (ballet) also use the building and offer opportunities for local youth to learn traditional dances.  

Art classes

Include ceramics, acrylic painting, comic books, drawing basics, painting, digital photography, yarn arts, and.  New classes begin monthly. 

The center also offers an arts-based adult day program for developmentally disabled adults. 

The ARTREE program that puts working artists in local K-12 classrooms is also part of the Merced County Arts Council, along with the Arts in the Valley radio program that airs every Saturday at 8PM on KYOS 1480.

The Arts Center is open 11AM-7PM Wednesday-Thursday and 10AM-5PM Friday-Saturday.  Arbor Galley is open 11AM-6PM Tuesday-Friday and 10AM-2PM on Saturdays. 

Admission to both the Arts Center and Arbor Gallery is free. 

For more information, and for a schedule of events, classes, performances, tours, and special events-see website - click here- MCAC.

or call (209) 388-1090. 

For more information about Arbor Gallery, go to Arbor Gallery

or call (209) 384-8338.