Lux Art Institute is redefining the museum experience to make art more accessible and personally meaningful. At Lux, you don't just see finished works of art; you see the artistic process firsthand, engaging with internationally recognized artists in a working studio environment. As part of this mission, Lux works to: • Support artists in the development of new projects through a residency program, and share their discoveries with scholars, art patrons and a regional and national audience. • Educate and engage the community to foster an appreciation of the living artist and creative process. • Exhibit finished works from Lux residencies alongside the artist's other works and those of others who have influenced them. • Develop relationships with similar institutions to produce publications that interpret the work created in the residency program.
In 1998, a group of San Diego area art patrons and philanthropists joined with Reesey Shaw, the founding director of the California Center for the Arts Museum, to discuss how they might encourage a better understanding of visual art. They agreed that what was needed was something more than a museum--a place where visitors would be directly exposed to the artistic process in a way that was demystified and immediately engaging. The vision began to take shape when Ramona Sahm joined the board as president and donated one million dollars in seed money. The founders named the new endeavor Lux, Latin for "light," and began working to build a facility that would bring international artists to Southern California to realize commissioned works on site, and in the public eye. After choosing a scenic setting in coastal Encinitas as the home for Lux, the founders learned that the site was once named Lux Canyon, after the Lux family, who had settled the area at the turn of the century. They knew it was meant to be. Even as Lux worked to build its permanent facility, the institute's vision began to take shape as a "museum without walls." A series of permanent installations around the Lux grounds offered visitors a sense of the uncommon art experience to come. And in 2000, Lux initiated its educational outreach initiative with the Valise Project. In 2007, the institute's first permanent structure, the Artist Pavilion, opened to the public and welcomed its first resident artist.