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Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

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Address: 653 Paseo Nuevo Upper ARTS TERRACE, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3392
Phone Number:
+1 805-966-5373
11:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Wed 11:00 - 17:00
Thu 11:00 - 20:00
Fri - Sat 11:00 - 17:00

The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF) is an alternative art space...

The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF) is an alternative art space presenting cutting edge exhibitions in visual, new media, andperforming arts.  Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2011, CAF is the premier venue for contemporary art between Los Angeles and San Francisco and is dedicated to the exhibition, education, and cultivation of the art of our time.  With FREE admission, CAF is the main scene for the arts in Santa Barbara!CAF is located at the Paseo Nuevo Mall Upper Arts Terrace in downtown Santa Barbara, CA and is open Tuesday - Saturday: 11 am to 5 pm, Sunday: noon to 5 pm during the run of our exhibitions and on First Thursdays for our popular Forum Lounge series.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 15 reviews
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    Very good
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Museum is moving on up!

They are really making strides in the MCA. It's always been a bit of a sleeper but Micki and the new board are creating some exciting events and bringing some prominence into... read more

Reviewed 25 June 2015
maryanne c
Santa Barbara, California
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15 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 15: English reviews
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
89 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2016

It's small and somewhat amateurish sometimes, local talent mostly. Occasionally interesting installations, but if you're thinking NY, SF or even San Jose, you'll be disappointed. A better bet, if you have the time, is touring the spate of independent galleries on the "First Thursday" map. Not sure where to pick one up, but it's a stand-by and available on line... More 

Thank IdeasAndOpinions
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviewed 19 May 2016

glad that we have a contemporary art museum in santa barbara,.. i'm local and don't always remember to go there but have been there numerous time during the years.

Thank karenraders
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
287 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 417 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2015 via mobile

We like art ; we really do. But this was the biggest waste of time in my life. Fortunately , there is so little to see that that waste of time won't run to more than 10 mins. Yes it's free but you are urged to make a $5 voluntary donation. I should have asked for my money back .... More 

Thank 2016-Paul
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2015

This is one of Santa Barbara's gems and is found in an unlikely place, a shopping complex. The space is small but well done. Pieces are mostly from local artists and the space hosts numerous events.

Thank Sarah H
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
51 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2015

................always VERY INTERESTING "contemporary" exhibits!!!! situated in PASEO NUEVO.....the worlds greatest OUTDOOR SHOPPING MALL!!!!!! catch a movie......there's great food from around the world......GET A MASSAGE at BROOKSTONE......WOK-y WEDNESDAY at PANDA!!!!!.......100 kinds of WHISKEY at EUREKA!!!!

Thank steve p
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 June 2015

They are really making strides in the MCA. It's always been a bit of a sleeper but Micki and the new board are creating some exciting events and bringing some prominence into this small museum.

Thank maryanne c
New Delhi, India
1 review
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Ruchi Singhal is a Contemporary artist, Painting, She has no word for her madness to design paintings colours lead the way for her. Emotions and generally everything around here to create layer after colourful layer of colour and texture on the canvas. http://www.ruchisinghal.com

Thank raj970
Ko Samui, Thailand
Level Contributor
160 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2013 via mobile

Small but with an excellent selection of local modern art, a great space with free entry in the middle of a shopping area, everyone visiting Paseo Nuevo should spend 15 mins here

Thank Njhammers
Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2013

I appreciate that CAF is an arts space in the middle of far too much commercialism. State street is disappointingly mostly chain stores, so finding CAF and the adjacent Stage Theatre on the upper story of the mall was a nice surprise. All that said, the installation I saw made me say "Art? Really?". But I am not a modern... More 

Thank AmandaTravelGal
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed 1 December 2012

Always interesting exhibits of all sorts. Will beguile contemporary art lovers as well as neophytes. If you join, you get invited to cool talks, events and trips. The staff is great - friendly and knowledgeable. CAF is a Santa Barbara gem - I urge Santa Barbarians to visit often and visitors to the area to spend time at CAF to... More 

Thank MarCoLobo244

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