Artists from around the world have long been attracted to the idyllic beaches of Malibu. From iconic sights like the Malibu Pier and the glistening Pacific to renowned celebrities, there is no shortage of inspiration for talented creatives.

As we enter the height of summer, a favorite Malibu tradition returns to our shores to celebrate the artwork of more than 200 award-winning artists, and this family friendly festival is not to be missed. And prior to the festival, take a stroll to some of Malibu’s more permanent art showcases with our list of must-see local shows and galleries.

The Malibu Arts Festival

Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful outdoor festivals in the nation, The Malibu Arts Festival highlights exceptional modern artwork in painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and more and encourages creativity with interactive displays.

“It’s a fun day of exploration, activities, and entertainment,” says Event Director Kristine Bocchino. “Energy is high, and the anticipation of what great artist, clothing or jewelry designer, or musician one might discover keeps you moving through the space.”

Each of six unique Villages of Art features a different medium or activity including the Fine Art Village highlighting paintings, sculpture, and more; the Fashion and Jewelry Village with a constantly running fashion show each day; the Arts in Education Village in which students will create masterpieces before your eyes; the Music & Theatrical Arts Village highlighting live music and theatrical performances; the Crafts Corner with hand-made items of all kinds; and the Kids Village featuring face painting, cookie decorating, a petting zoo, and more. There is also a diverse food truck terrace and children’s art workshop.

Celebrating 45 years, The Malibu Arts Festival will take place outdoors at the Malibu Civic Center on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Admission is free of charge.

Art Hotspots in Malibu

In case you can’t make it to the event, here are our favorite year-round galleries in Malibu – plus a pop-up art show to keep an eye out for:

Wall Street Gallery near Malibu Point - Pop Culture Art of Paintings and Sculptures
Photo Credit: Wall-Street Gallery

Wall Street Gallery near Malibu Point features the signature pop culture art of the renowned Mr. Brainwash. Over the years, Mr. Brainwash has held exhibitions all over the world and has designed album covers for the likes of Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Black Keys.

Malibu Gallery Framing And Art - Malibu Beach Inn

For 25 years, Malibu Gallery has been showcasing the work of local artists from Malibu prints and photography to abstract paintings. The Pacific Coast Highway based gallery also offers art restoration services and custom framing.

The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, located at Pepperdine University, features historical and contemporary art with a focus on California. The current exhibition on the floor is David A. Leffel: The Mastery of Light – A Retrospective.

Art 4 All People Yoga in Malibu, CA Near the Malibu Beach Inn
Photo Credit: Art 4 All People

The belief at Art 4 All People is that art is a healing force. They use experimental classes like YogART—a combination of art and yoga—to ignite creativity. The gallery and studio can be found on Pacific Coast Highway south of Malibu Beach Inn.

Tucked away on the Pacific Coast Highway near Zuma Beach, the D’Andrea/Bieck Gallery highlights the vibrant paintings of owner-artists Edward D’Andrea and Kathleen Bieck as well as established and emerging creatives from across the country. A particularly interesting exhibit here is the tattoo flash art representative of Southern California skate and surf culture.

In addition to our permanent galleries, Southern California has lately experienced a wash of spontaneous, creative energy in the form of pop-up art shows, and The Malibu Arts Festival is partially responsible. The exhibit Made in Malibu debuted several weeks ago in May, and at least one more pop-up show is expected this month from the festival visionaries.