Students paint the beautiful landscapes near the Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach.

Kids enjoy brush with nature

Field trips teach science and history through plein air painting


The Irvine Museum is offering a unique opportunity for young students to learn science and history through its art collection.

The Art Meets Science field trip program lets elementary school children, third grade and up, view paintings of early California’s pristine landscape and share in the artists’ reverence for nature.

After the museum tour, they hop on a bus to visit the nearby Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach. There, they learn about the wetland habitat and its wildlife while creating their own plein air paintings.

“We are hopefully pointing them to a lifelong appreciation of nature,” said Dora James, curator of education at the Irvine Museum.

The museum runs the program in partnership with Irvine Ranch Conservancy, a nonprofit organization responsible for overseeing preserved open space throughout Irvine and Newport Beach.

The nonprofit Irvine Museum has dedicated itself to the education and preservation of California art of the impressionist period.

The museum has hosted more than 80,000 elementary school students on field trips, like the Arts Meets Science program, since it opened in 1993. It is now affiliated with UC Irvine but will remain at the current location on Von Karman until further notice.

Irvine Museum Collection at UC Irvine

18881 Von Karman Ave. Suite 100

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Admission is free (donations are appreciated)

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