Neon Delights: Exploring the Vibrant Museum of Neon Art

museum of neon art

Exploring the Museum of Neon Art

Welcome to my personal exploration of the Museum of Neon Art (MONA). This unique museum located in Glendale, California offers a one-of-a-kind experience that celebrates the vibrant world of neon art. Let’s dive into the fascinating history and offerings of the Museum of Neon Art.

A Unique Museum Experience

The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) is unlike any other museum you’ve visited. Founded in 1981 by Lili Lakich and Richard Jenkins, MONA is the first museum devoted to art that incorporates neon lighting. It exclusively exhibits art in electric media, including kinetic art and historic neon signs (Wikipedia).

As you enter MONA, you’ll be captivated by the mesmerizing glow and vibrant colors of neon art. The museum showcases a diverse collection that highlights the versatility and creativity of this unique art form. From intricate sculptures to dazzling neon signs, MONA offers an immersive experience that will leave you in awe.

History of the Museum of Neon Art

The Museum of Neon Art has an intriguing history that spans several locations. It initially opened its doors in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District in 1981. Over the years, MONA moved to different locations, including Universal CityWalk in 1993, Grand Hope Park in 1996, and the Historic Core in 2008. Finally, in 2016, the museum found its current home in Glendale, California (Wikipedia).

The Glendale facility of MONA, designed by the Shimoda Design Group, is a testament to the museum’s commitment to showcasing neon art. It was adapted from two existing structures—a pharmacy and a video arcade. The site features a public paseo, created through strategic demolition, which leads visitors across a landscaped deck to Central Park and Central Library. This unique space sets the stage for an unforgettable neon art experience.

If you’re ready to immerse yourself in the captivating world of neon art, the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) is a must-visit destination. From its fascinating history to its diverse collection, MONA offers a truly unique and illuminating museum experience. So, come and explore the vivid and electrifying world of neon at MONA.

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Neon Art at MONA

At the Museum of Neon Art (MONA), visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating world of neon art, where traditional artistic techniques meet the vibrant glow of neon lighting. MONA is a unique museum experience, as it is the only museum in the world exclusively dedicated to art in electric media, showcasing electric and kinetic fine art and historic neon signs for over three decades.

Neon Signs and Artworks

One of the highlights of MONA’s collection is its remarkable assortment of neon signs and artworks. These pieces of art not only showcase the aesthetic beauty of neon lighting but also serve as cultural artifacts, preserving the history and heritage of illuminated signs from various establishments.

The collection at MONA includes neon signs from iconic establishments such as the Brown Derby and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. These signs, once prominent features of the Los Angeles cityscape, now find a home at MONA, allowing visitors to appreciate their artistic and historical significance.

Iconic Neon Signs in the Collection

MONA proudly displays a range of iconic neon signs that have become synonymous with the vibrant energy of Los Angeles. These signs evoke a sense of nostalgia and serve as a testament to the rich cultural history of the city.

Some notable examples of iconic neon signs in MONA’s collection include:

Neon Sign Description
Brown Derby A replica of the iconic Brown Derby restaurant sign, known for its distinctive shape resembling a hat.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre A replica of the renowned movie theater’s neon sign, featuring intricate Chinese-inspired designs.
Clifton’s Cafeteria A vintage neon sign from the historic Clifton’s Cafeteria, a beloved Los Angeles establishment.
Bob’s Big Boy A neon sign representing the iconic Bob’s Big Boy restaurant, a symbol of classic American dining.
Pann’s Coffee Shop A neon sign showcasing the retro charm of Pann’s Coffee Shop, a popular mid-century diner.

These neon signs not only captivate visitors with their vibrant glow but also provide a glimpse into the city’s past and the cultural significance of neon in Los Angeles.

When visiting MONA, take the time to explore the neon signs and artworks that make up the museum’s collection. They offer a unique and fascinating perspective on the intersection of art, history, and electric media.

Programs and Initiatives at MONA

The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) in Glendale, California offers a range of exciting programs and initiatives to engage visitors with the art of neon. Whether you’re interested in learning the craft or exploring the vibrant world of neon signs, MONA has something for everyone.

Neon Classes and Workshops

MONA’s facility in Glendale, California features a dedicated classroom where visitors can observe skilled neon craftspeople fabricating and processing neon tubes. Aspiring artists and enthusiasts can also participate in hands-on classes to learn the art of neon. These educational experiences provide a unique opportunity to delve into the intricacies of neon creation and gain practical skills under the guidance of knowledgeable instructors.

The classes cover various aspects of neon art, including bending techniques, gas filling, and electrical components. Participants can explore their creativity and bring their designs to life using neon tubes. Whether you’re a beginner or have previous experience, MONA’s neon classes offer an immersive learning environment to enhance your understanding and appreciation of this captivating art form.

Neon Cruises™ and Night Walks

While the museum is temporarily closed, MONA’s Eric Lynxwiler provides a fascinating way to explore the neon landscape of Los Angeles through Neon Cruises™ and Night Walks. These guided tours allow you to discover diverse neighborhoods and their historic and contemporary neon signs.

During the Neon Cruises™, you can hop onboard and embark on a journey through glowing streets, including “Glowing Glendale,” “East Hollywood Lights,” “Brilliant Koreatown,” “Echo Park,” “High Voltage Sunset Strip,” and “Radiant Route 66.” Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours provide insight into the history and significance of neon signs in various Los Angeles neighborhoods.

If you prefer a more intimate experience, the Night Walks offer a chance to explore the neon wonders on foot. Led by experienced guides, you can stroll through the illuminated streets, appreciate the dazzling displays, and learn about the cultural and artistic significance of neon signs.

Both the Neon Cruises™ and Night Walks provide a unique perspective on the neon heritage of Los Angeles, allowing you to immerse yourself in the vibrant glow of the city’s iconic signs.

By offering neon classes, workshops, and engaging tours, MONA aims to save cultural legacies, keep the craft of neon art alive, and foster a community of creators. Whether you’re interested in hands-on learning or exploring the neon landscape, MONA’s programs and initiatives provide a dynamic and interactive experience that celebrates the artistry and cultural impact of neon.

The Mission of MONA

At the Museum of Neon Art (MONA), their mission goes beyond simply showcasing neon art. They are dedicated to saving cultural legacies, fostering a community of creators, and providing a unique space for artistic exploration and education.

Saving Cultural Legacies

One of the primary goals of MONA is to preserve and save cultural legacies. Neon art has a rich history and is deeply tied to the visual landscape of cities around the world. Through their collection and preservation of historic neon signs, MONA ensures that these cultural artifacts are not lost to time. By showcasing these signs, MONA celebrates the craftsmanship and innovation of neon art, allowing visitors to experience the visual heritage of their city.

Fostering a Community of Creators

MONA is committed to fostering a vibrant community of creators. They believe in the power of art to inspire and bring people together. Through their neon classes and workshops, MONA provides opportunities for individuals to learn about the art of neon and explore their own creativity. By sharing their knowledge and expertise, MONA empowers artists and encourages the next generation of neon creators.

MONA is also involved in educational initiatives that engage new generations of artists. By combining hands-on science and art activities, they aim to transform matter and inspire young minds. Through these programs, MONA encourages experimentation and exploration, nurturing the creativity of budding artists.

By organizing electrifying events, MONA brings people together and sparks curiosity. These events provide a platform for artists to showcase their work and reimagine history through the medium of neon art. Whether through exhibitions, performances, or interactive installations, MONA creates an atmosphere that celebrates the beauty and innovation of neon art while engaging the community (MONA).

With the support of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture and the California Arts Council, MONA continues to expand its programs and initiatives. Through collaborations and partnerships, they strive to make neon art accessible to a wide audience and nurture the creativity and appreciation of this unique art form.

The mission of MONA is not only to showcase neon art but also to preserve cultural heritage, inspire creativity, and build a community united by a passion for the vibrant art form. Whether you are an artist, an enthusiast, or simply curious, MONA offers a truly immersive and enlightening experience.

Events and Exhibitions at MONA

At the Museum of Neon Art (MONA), there are always electrifying events and captivating exhibitions happening that bring people together and spark curiosity. Let’s explore some of the exciting happenings at MONA.

Electrifying Events

MONA is known for organizing a variety of events that celebrate the vibrant world of neon art. These events provide visitors with a unique opportunity to engage with neon artists, learn about the craft, and experience the magic of neon firsthand. From artist talks and panel discussions to special performances and interactive installations, MONA’s events are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Stay tuned to MONA’s website or sign up for their newsletter to stay updated on the latest events. Attending these events is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the dynamic world of neon art and connect with fellow art enthusiasts.

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

MONA’s exhibitions showcase the incredible creativity and innovation of neon artists from around the world. Each exhibition offers a unique perspective on the art form, exploring various themes and techniques. Here are some of the current and upcoming exhibitions at MONA:

  • “Our Choice” by Dani Bonnet: This thought-provoking installation, visible from the Pasaeo windows, will be on view from September 14 to February 2023. It invites viewers to reflect on their choices and the impact they have on the world (Museum of Neon Art).

  • “The Storytellers” by Leticia Maldonado: From October 8th, 2022, through February 11th, 2023, experience a collection of life-size multimedia sculptures animated by mesmerizing light effects. These sculptures convey personal memories and narratives, inviting viewers into a world of storytelling through neon art (Museum of Neon Art).

  • “Lightning’s Lung” by Oliver Nowlin: Discover the captivating work of Oliver Nowlin, an artist known for integrating painting, sculpture, and light. This exhibition will be on display from February 24 to October 15, 2023, showcasing Nowlin’s unique approach to neon art (Museum of Neon Art).

  • “The Brain Without Organs: An Aporia of Care” by Warren Neidich: This exhibition had its world premiere at MONA and was on view from April 16 to September 25, 2022. It explored the intersection of technology, neuroscience, and art, offering visitors a thought-provoking experience.

These exhibitions at MONA demonstrate the diverse range of artistic expressions that can be achieved through neon. With each visit, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with thought-provoking and visually stunning works of art.

Before planning your visit, be sure to check MONA’s website for the most up-to-date information on current and upcoming exhibitions. MONA’s commitment to showcasing innovative neon art ensures that there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

Visiting the Museum of Neon Art

If you’re looking for a unique and vibrant museum experience, the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) is a must-visit destination. Here’s what you need to know before planning your visit.

Location and Contact Information

The Museum of Neon Art is located at 216 S. Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91204. If you’re mailing something, you can use the PO Box 631, Glendale, CA 91209. To get in touch with MONA, you can reach them via phone at 818-696-2149 or email at For more details, you can visit the NEON MONA website.

Hours of Operation and Admission Prices

MONA is open on Thursdays to Saturdays from 12 pm to 7 pm, and on Sundays from 12 pm to 5 pm. The museum is closed on major holidays, including Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. It’s always a good idea to check their website for any updates or changes in the schedule.

Admission prices at MONA vary based on different categories. Here is a breakdown of the prices:

Category Admission Price
MONA Members Free
Children (12 and under, with an adult) Free
Veterans (with ID) Free
General Admission $10
Seniors (65+) $8
Glendale Residents (with ID) $5
EBT Holders (with card) $3

For MONA members, children aged 12 and under, and veterans with ID, admission is free. General admission is $10, while seniors (65+), Glendale residents with ID, and EBT holders with a card are eligible for discounted prices. Please note that admission prices are subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.

Parking Options and Group Visits

When visiting MONA, there are several parking options available. You can park in the public parking structure at 120 Artsakh Avenue, which offers 90 minutes of free parking. Street parking on Brand Boulevard is also available at a rate of $2 per hour. Additionally, there is metered parking in the alley behind MONA at the same rate of $2 per hour.

If you’re planning a group visit to MONA with 10 or more individuals, it’s recommended to request a docent at least 2 weeks in advance. Group admissions must be paid in one lump sum (check, cash, or card) in advance, with the balance settled at the lobby desk before the tour. Special arrangements can be made for school groups of up to 20 students.

Visiting the Museum of Neon Art promises an illuminating experience. Immerse yourself in the captivating world of neon art and explore the cultural legacies preserved within its walls. Don’t forget to check out their electrifying events and current exhibitions for a complete MONA experience.

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