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Mount Wilson Observatory Plein Air Event: The Birthplace of Astrophysics

Saturday, October 15 at 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The California Art Club’s recently formed Cosmic Chapter is partnering with the Los Angeles Chapter and invites you to participate in a Plein Air event on Mount Wilson for a day that explores beauty throughout the solar system. During daytime, CAC artists are encouraged to paint and sculpt throughout the observatory campus and trails – and even paint into the evening! Unprecedented access will be given to CAC artists thanks to Mount Wilson Institute Trustee Dan Kohne.

Art enthusiasts will have a wonderful opportunity to watch artists at work, as they create new paintings inspired by the breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains that surround Mount Wilson Observatory.

In the evening, register for and enjoy the additional Mt Wilson Saturday Evening Astronomy Talk Painting The Universe with CAC members Laura Danly and William Stout. Please Note: This is a seperate program which requires registration via the Mt Wilson website.

Date: Saturday, October 15, 2022

Where: Mount Wilson Observatory; Mount Wilson, CA 91023 Google Maps Link

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
RSVP/Tickets: $10; CAC members





Mt Wilson Saturday Evening Astronomy Talk & Telescope Viewing

Time: 5:30 p.m.
Public Lecture Tickets: $40.00


Plan for a full evening at the Observatory.  The night begins with a lecture, given by Astronomer Laura Danly, PhD & fantasy artist William Stout of the California Art Club.

 After the talk, guests can view the night sky until midnight through the Observatory’s 60-inch or 100-inch telescopes.

Immediately after the talk, bring a picnic or purchase food (cash only) provided by a food truck, and dine al fresco at the tables provided.

The Los Angeles Astronomical Society will have its telescopes set up around the grounds for viewing different night sky objects.

The Museum of Photon Technology on the ground floor of the 100-inch dome will be open for guests before they move up, in groups of 20, to the telescope level for viewing through the 100-inch historic telescope.  Additionally, this year both the 60-inch and 100-inch telescopes will be open to lecture guests for observing until midnight.

Prior to the lecture, the Cosmic Cafe will be open until 5 p.m.

A free shuttle service will be provided to and from the parking lot for anyone who might need it.   It will run approximately every 20 minutes.

Please be advised the gate from the main road is closed shortly after the talk begins at 5:30 p.m. – latecomers won’t be able to enter.  Please allow yourself an extra few minutes so you don’t miss entry.



Plein Air Painting and Sculpting Highlights
• Beautiful vistas looking into the Los Angeles basin and San Gabriel Mountains
• Access to full observatory grounds
• Location from where Michelson made the first speed of light measurements from Mt. Wilson to Mt. San Antonio (adjacent to Mt. Baldy)
• Historic Monastery designed in 1910 by Myron Hunt for use as the astronomer’s dormitory has been visited by renowned scientists including Edwin Hubbell, Harlow Shapley, Albert Michelson, Walter Baade, and Albert Einstein
• Access inside the 60” and 100” telescope domes and more!

Artists will have a few more opportunities to create work on Mount Wilson through scheduled paint/sculpt-outs and the work created will culminate in a juried exhibition.

The California Art Club’s Cosmic Chapter was created by Club’s President Peter Adams on March 2021 in celebration of NASA/JPL’s Perseverance Mars Rover landing on February 18, 2021 as a vehicle to combine art and science. Chapter leaders include JPL Mars Rover Project Manager John Callas, Astronomer Laura Danly PhD, and fantasy artist William Stout.

For more information about this event, please contact the CAC Director of Artist and Education Programs at programs@californiaartclub.org

All RSVP, donations, and ticket sales help to ensure the California Art Club can continue to provide quality programming to celebrate the heritage and practices of traditional fine arts worldwide. Thank You!


Saturday, October 15
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Program Category:


Mount Wilson Observatory
CA United States


California Art Club


Artists, Art Enthusiasts
Los Angeles/Pasadena
Membership Categories
Artists, Artist Members, Associate Artists, Mentorship Program, Signature Artists, Student Artists