9 cool art exhibitions to explore in San Diego in 2023

From suits made of sauce packets to immersive works — the local arts scene is calling. 🎨

SD Oceanside Museum of Art Ethan Chan Saucy Suits

These shoes made of sauce packets are part of “Ethan Chan: Selections from the Closets of the People That I Love...”

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San Diego’s arts and culture scene is strong — and in 2023, more colorful, creative works will be on display locally. We’ve curated a sampling of nine local exhibitions we can’t wait to explore this year.

🍟 “Ethan Chan: Selections from the Closets of the People That I Love…”

On display at the Oceanside Museum of Art from Saturday, Jan. 14-Sunday, April 30, this saucy show features wearable art made from condiment packets like ketchup and soy sauce. Through the quirky “sauce suits,” artist Ethan Chan examines the connection between consumerist culture, materialism, and individuality.


The multimedia piece by Germany-based artist Leigh Sachwitz and flora&faunavisions is a 360° immersive light and sound simulation aimed at “shattering the illusion of walls and ceilings.” See it now at the WNDR Museum that debuted this week at 422 Market St. in downtown San Diego.

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“InsideOut” by Leigh Satchwitz + flora&faunavisions.

Photo via Ken Schluchtmann

⚱️ “Beyond King Tut: San Diego”

National Geographic’s traveling, multi-sensory exhibition heads to the Wyland Center at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Friday, Jan. 27-Sunday, March 26. The one-hour experience takes visitors on a gold-drenched adventure to ancient Egypt, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

Inside the Beyond King Tut exhibition

Expect gold galore inside “Beyond King Tut.”

Photo via Timothy Norris and Beyond King Tut

🐰 New exhibit at the Comic-Con Museum

Eh…what’s up, doc? The Comic-Con Museum is temporarily closed while a new exhibit is installed — and the museum dangled a carrot on social media as to which looney icon may be the subject of the display set to open Saturday, Feb. 4. A formal announcement is expected soon, and if it’s as cool as last year’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing,” we are so in.

💪 “Modern Women”

On view through Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the San Diego Museum of Art, this exhibition celebrates the arrival of 20 works on indefinite loan to the museum. The pieces showcase the contributions of women artists to the development of modern and contemporary art — many created by artists whose careers were overshadowed by the successes of their husbands.

SD Museum of Art Modern Women

Lalla Essaydi, Harem #14C, 2009. Chromogenic print on Mounted to aluminum and protected with Mactac luster laminat. Museum purchase with Art Acquisitions Fund, 2015, 2015.5.

🧿 “A World of Beads”

Featuring highlights from the Mingei International Museum’s bead collection, this exhibition explores the materials from which beads are made — from organic plant and animal matter to fabricated metal and glass. It’s on display until Sunday, Aug. 27.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Griselda Rosas exhibition

Griselda Rosas, El punto es que lo intrincado organiza sus fronteras, 2022.

Courtesy of the artist and Quint Gallery

🦉 “Caught on Camera”

Now on display on the top floor of the San Diego Natural History Museum, this exhibition features images of Southern California wildlife captured on film with the help of camera traps. Think: flying squirrels, bobcats in backyards, candid coyotes, and more. You can even submit your own photos of wildlife in your backyard or neighborhood.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Celia Alvarez Munoz exhibition

Celia Alvarez Muñoz, Petrocuatl, 1988.

Courtesy of the artist

🧵 “Griselda Rosas: Yo Te Cuido” and Celia Álvarez Muñoz

We’ve got eyes on two new exhibitions coming to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Thursday, March 16-Sunday, Aug. 13. “Griselda Rosas: Yo Te Cuido” features new textile drawings and sculptural installations exploring themes of inheritance and intergenerational knowledge. Conceptual artist Celia Álvarez Muñoz’s display highlights 35+ playful works including immersive installations, photographs, and book projects often characterized by her use of bilingual puns.

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