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Oceanside Museum of Art fosters and promotes the study and appreciation of modern and contemporary art through its exhibitions, collections and educational programs. Each year, the museum presents more than fifteen exhibitions in a variety of media, from painting and art quilts to photography and installation art, as well as special traveling exhibitions of national and international art. Central to OMA’s mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national and international audiences that it serves. OMA promotes an environment that responds to the issues of contemporary art, and encourages cultural diversity through culturally-relevant and historically-significant exhibitions that broaden OMA’s footprint.

The museum presents 4-5 major exhibitions and 8-12 rotating exhibitions per year, featuring individual and group displays of significant emerging and well-established artists, as well as special travelling exhibitions of national and international scope. From traditional landscape paintings and botanical photographs to neon sculpture, art quilts and assemblage, the museum's galleries are redesigned for each exhibit, surprising visitors with a fresh, exciting visual transformation for every show. The museum has four rotating galleries with more than 4,500 square feet of exhibition space.