Long Beach Art Scene
It’s tough to keep up with the Los Angeles art scene, but California’s unique beach towns do a good job of creating their own distinct art scenes that attract artists and spectators from all lifestyles. The scene is made up of independent art galleries, museums, murals, design shops, and coffeehouse exhibitions.
Phantom Galleries also plays a major role in the Long Beach art scene. Phantom Galleries’ mission is to advance the arts by offering exposure for local galleries, arts organizations, and non-profits. Many of these galleries and organizations help promote digital art and artists, even in the area of animation.
Long Beach is home to Long Beach Museum of Art, University Art Museum at California State, and the Museum of Latin America Art (MOLAA). All have been awarded grants by the Getty Foundation. Large art museums are a source of inspiration in Long Beach, but so are the towns art galleries and performance spaces. You can visit 2nd City Council Art Gallery for unique exhibitions, performances, classes and workshops or historic Long Beach Arts, where artists collaborate, show work in most media, and attend art classes.
To become a member of the Long Beach art scene whether you are a painter or animator, you’ll need talent and in most cases, an education. Fortunately, Long Beach (and nearby LA) has several schools that offer animation training programs.
Long Beach Animation Schools and Programs
California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is as good as it gets. This prestigious university offers an illustration/animation program that prepares students to work in all fields from film and video animation to visual journalism. The program is offered through the Department of Art and yes, it’s competitive.
For other top animation programs, you will have to travel to Los Angeles. Just a few top programs are offered at:
- UCLA Film School
- Otis College of Art and Design
- The Los Angeles Film School
- Gnomon School of Visual Effects
- California State University Los Angeles
- Loyola Marymount
UCLA Film school offers an MFA in animation and Otis College of Art and Design offers a degree in Digital Media, which includes courses such as 3D modeling and animation, 3D for storytelling, advanced 3D, and visual effects.
The Los Angeles Film School offers an undergraduate degree in computer animation and Hollywood-based Gnomon School of Visual Effects offers a full-time digital production program for entertainment. California State University, Los Angeles offers an art degree with an animation option. Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television offers a Bachelor of Arts in Animation.
More California Schools with Animation related programs:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Long Beach Animation Employer
If you are an animator living in Long Beach, chances are you’ve made more than a few trips to Los Angeles. After all, the Los Angeles area, along with northern California, is home to more digital artists than anywhere else in country. Aspiring animators and artists of all kinds can live comfortably in Long Beach while commuting to Los Angeles to work at area animation or production studios, display their art at other galleries and museums, and work at any of the area ad agencies or media firms. Drive a short 25 miles to Los Angeles and you’ll find ad agencies such as:
- Saatchi & Saatchi
- Foote, Cone & Belding
- J. Walter Thompson
- DDB Needham
- Ogilvy & Mather
Film and video animators can try Los Angeles and surrounding area studios such as:
- DreamWorks Animation, Glendale
- 20th Century Fox Animation, Century City
- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Century City
- Sony Pictures Animation, Culver City
- Warner Bros. Animation, Burbank
- Walt Disney Feature Animation, Burbank
Other Los Angeles animation studios include 6 Point Harness (6PH), Duck Soup, Acme Filmworks, Ka-Chew!, and Prana Studios.
Animation Careers at a Glance
Aspiring animators can expect job and salary growth to continue for years to come. Job growth in the industry is expected to average 14 percent between now and 2018, making animation the fastest growing career field in the art world. In 2006, animators averaged $51,350 overall. By 2009, the average salary for animators jumped to $58,510.
Although Long Beach lost a number of animators between 2006 and 2009, and the average salary decreased, Long Beach still has one of the highest populations of animators in the nation and at an average of $76,360 per year, it is still one of the top paying cities for animators.
For more information about the animation industry in the U.S., visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov.