Museum as Laboratory

Museums exist for reasons far beyond collecting and showing art. We aim to incite creativity, to get the juices flowing, to encourage visitors to learn, be inspired, and ask questions. At MCASD, we bring you closer to the creative process.

The LAB is about
art as experimentation.


thoughtLAB is a place to share your thoughts. Stop by, sit down, daydream, and read or watch a few videos that will let you dive further into the exhibitions on view. Let us know what you think of the work on view (or anything else, really) by doodling, drawing, or writing. Designed to inspire reflection and understanding, thoughtLAB is open for all visitors during public hours to learn as well as discuss their own thoughts and ideas about the current exhibitions and art in general.

thoughtLAB is located on the second floor of 1001 Kettner at MCASD Downtown.

Behind The Scenes

We believe in taking people out of the mindset of trying to understand why art is pretty, and encouraging them instead to think about the process of creating. We do so in many ways: documenting the behind-the-scenes installation process, offering opportunities to meet with artists and staff while they are installing, and more. Sign up for our e-newsletter to hear about these opportunities, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

Artist Residency

As a primary patron of living artists, the Museum also serves as a laboratory for artists to experiment with new forms of creative expression. MCASD Downtown houses a unique studio that provides space for an artist to explore his or her practice.

This summer, Byron Kim takes up residency at MCASD Downtown. Kim is a La Jolla native who lives and works in New York.


(Contemporary Art: Media & Process)

C.A.M.P invites 7-12-year-olds to explore contemporary art through a week-long art-making workshop. Discover out-of-the-ordinary materials and learn about artists’ processes as you discuss artwork in our galleries. Experiment and get messy as you meet like-minded C.A.M.Pers.