Skip to page body Home The Ontario Plan E-Government Services Departments Public Officials About Ontario


Prohibition, Detroit, 1919, black-and-white photograph, courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.

North Wing Gallery Exhibit

Spirited: Prohibition in America
November 28, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Spirited explores the history of Prohibition, from the dawn of the temperance movement to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment in 1933. What made the country go “dry” and how did America change during this period in history? Admission is free.

This exhibition is made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Spirited: Prohibition in America is based on the exhibition American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, organized by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA, in collaboration with Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.


Carlson Gallery Exhibit

December 3, 2015 - Sunday, February 7, 2016
Cloth Dolls Tell Their Stories showcases artists exploring remembrance, heritage and celebration through cloth dolls. Traditionally, dolls were created to represent a miniature human form, often used as children’s toys. These artists are transforming the meaning of the plaything by pouring tales and imagination into each doll while emphasizing the fun and whimsical.

Doll Exhibit

Image courtesy of Patti Culea.

Admission is free. For more information call (909) 395-2510 or visit

Love Always (2014) by Lisa Cabrera. Courtesy of the Ontario Museum of History & Art.

Día de los Muertos: Sharing Traditions
October 1, 2015 – November 8, 2015
Explore Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a vibrant celebration of life and loved ones, through our annual exhibition showcasing contemporary work in painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and ofrendas (altars). Admission is free.

Artist Reception
Día de los Muertos: Sharing Traditions Saturday, October 3, 2015 (1 PM to 3 PM)
Meet the artists, enjoy live music, and participate in a drop-in art workshop. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free.


pamphlet cover

Your Family Survival Plan pamphlet cover, 1963, ink and paper, 7 x 4 inches, private collection. Image: E. G. Schempf.

Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965
Thursday, June 18, 2015 through Sunday, August 9, 2015
Explore the ways that Americans experienced the atomic threat as part of their daily lives – at school, in the home, and even at play with more than 75 original objects from the era, as well as large-scale graphics, radio broadcasts, and film.

For more information please call (909) 395-2510

Ontario Open Art Exhibition
Museum of History and Art, Ontario Associates present the Eighth Biennial Ontario Open Art Exhibition. The exhibit runs Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, May 24, 2015. This juried exhibition features artwork in a variety of media by dozens of local and regional artists. The exhibition juror will be Rebecca Trawick the Director/Curator at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the campus of Chaffey College. Since 2012 Trawick has served as a Founding Board Member and Secretary for Arts Connection: The Arts Council of San Bernardino County. Trawick served as juror at the 2014 National Orange Show Exhibition, the 2012 43rd Annual Student Exhibition at RAFFMA, CSUSB; and Chaffey College Temporary Art Park in 2008. 


January 8 – March 8, 2015                                                                                             BLACK WINGS: AMERICAN DREAMS OF FLIGHT



“Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight” chronicles the story of African Americans who, despite facing racial barriers, attained great achievements in the world of aviation. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum presents this story of a powerful group of aviation proponents that emerged to challenge racial obstacles and create their own legacy in the world of flight. Some of the most important figures both past and present are chronicled in this exhibition. From Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to receive her pilot’s license, to Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to fly in space, “Black Wings” retells the stories of African Americans who dreamed of flight, left their mark and helped pave the way for those who would follow.

Exhibit Opening Reception & Film Screening
Friday, January 9, 2015
(4 PM to 5 PM) VIP and Members Only Reception
(5 to 6:30 PM) Public Reception and Film Viewing
Limited seating; for reservations call (909) 395-2510

Pioneers in Flight: Breaking Barriers
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 (5:30 PM – 7:00 PM)
Limited seating; for reservations call (909) 395-2510

The People Could Fly: A Writing Workshop Celebrating Black Wings
Sunday, February 22, 2015 (2 PM to 3:30 PM)
Limited seating; for reservations call (909) 395-2510

Aviation Family Discovery Day
Saturday, March 7, 2015 (12 PM to 4 PM)
Free admission, no reservations required.













October 2 to November 16, 2014

A Day of the Dead exhibition celebrating “remembrance” – Not just a Mexican or Hispanic event, cultures worldwide now honor ancestors during this time of the year, as does the Museum of History and Art, Ontario, with its large-scale annual exhibitions and events. Colorful, thought-provoking, sometimes irreverent, and always entertaining, this year’s El Día de Los Muertos exhibition again showcases contemporary talents expressing their personal beliefs about life and death through painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography and altar installations.

Reception for the El Día de Los Muertos Artists
Saturday, October 4, 2014 (1 PM to 3 PM)
Open to the public, free admission

El Día de Los Muertos Family Discovery Day
Saturday, November 1, 2014 (12 to 4 PM)
Free to the public
Celebrate the cultural holiday, El Día de Los Muertos in this fun Family Discovery Day program. This event to include: artist-led workshops, storytelling and hands-on art stations throughout the Museum. Remember loved-ones and share in this artistic and cultural family event. For more information call (909) 395-2510.

Neighborhood Open House & El Día de Los Muertos Closing Reception
Thursday, November 13, 2014 (5 PM to 6:45 PM)
Join us as we welcome neighbors and members of the community to experience the offerings of both the Museum of History and Art, Ontario, and the Chaffey Community Museum of Art (CCMA). Docents will be available for your cultural enjoyment during the open house! At 7 PM, artist Karen Carlson will be featured as part of CCMA’s Second Thursday program.
June 26 to August 10, 2014

An installation of new paintings by Rebecca Hamm presenting themes of survival and transcendence. Hamm’s paintings depict local landscapes in flux. They are snapshots of the constantly shifting environment in response to both natural and manmade pressures. Wild Transcendence is a display that expresses states of ever-changing natural environments.

Opening Exhibits and Artist Reception – Saturday, June 28, 2014 (3 PM to 5 PM)

Wild Inspiration Painting Workshop with Rebecca Hamm
Saturday, July 12, 2014 (10:30 AM to 12:30 PM)
Limited seating; reservations required (909) 395-2510
June 26 to August 10, 2014
Thirteen of California’s foremost environmental artists collaborate to communicate a heightened connection to their natural surroundings through rich imagery using a variety of media from painting and video to unconventional forms, such as smog particulate matter applied to porcelain. Together, their approach is multidisciplinary, drawing on art, science, spirituality, and social justice.

Opening Exhibits and Artist Reception – Saturday, June 28, 2014 (3 PM to 5 PM)       

Robert Perry presents “Reinventing the Residential Garden”
Saturday, July 26, 2014 (10 AM to 12 PM)
Limited seating outdoors; reservations required (909) 395-2510

Sant Khalsa presents “A River Runs Through Me”
Thursday, July 31, 2014
6:30 PM galleries open/light refreshments
7 PM presentation
Limited seating; reservations required (909) 395-2510
April 10 – May 25, 2014
The Museum of History and Art, Ontario, Associates is presenting its seventh biennial “Ontario Invitational Art Exhibition,” a collection of contemporary artwork by local and regional artists. “Ontario Invitational Art Exhibition” features artwork by eight artists: Andrea Benitez, Mirla Bernasconi, Leslie A. Brown, Rick Cummings, Keith Klingonsmith, Joe Milazzo, Tony Radcliffe and David Rosales.

Artists’ Reception – Saturday, April 12, 2014 (1 to 3:30 PM)

An Evening of Poetry with Cindy Rinne– Thursday, April 24, 2014 (6:30 to 8 PM); Reservations required, please call (909) 395-2510

Illustrated Lecture with Daniel Foster – Saturday, May 10, 2014 (1:30 to 3:30 PM)
Reservations required, please call (909) 395-2510
Opening February 1, 2014

John S. Armstrong lived until a few months before his one-hundredth birthday in 1965. Arriving in the Model Colony of Ontario, California in 1889 with only twenty-three dollars to his name, Armstrong eventually created an enterprise that tapped into California’s bountiful landscape, established him as world famous nurseyman, and earned Ontario international recognition.

Opening Reception and Program – Wednesday, March 12, 2014 (6 PM) Jack E. Christensen, one of Armstrong's award-winning hybridizers and well-known newspaper columnist will present The Armstrong Legacy beginning at 7 PM. 

Free Family Program:

February 1, 2014                                                                                                           Chinese New Year Family Discovery Day from noon to 4 PM celebrating the YEAR OF THE HORSE!  This cultural holiday is celebrated through participation in artist-led workshops, storytelling, and hands-on arts and craft stations throughout the museum. Calligraphy Workshop is with Cheng Chao Hung. Storytelling is performed by master storyteller Karen Rae Kraut and horses on parade workshop led by artist Jessica Cruz.  Horses will be paraded through the museum property following the workshop!                                                                                                             --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

January 30 – March 9, 2014                                                                                                   El CABALLO: THE HORSE IN MEXICAN FOLK ART                                                        Mexico possess a rich history of popular art that reaches more than 2,000 years into the past and continues today in villages, towns and cities through the country.  This exhibit celebrates this enduring legacy through twenty-two examples of folk art, including ceramics, metalwork, paintings, paper art and sculpture.

Carnaval – Saturday, March 1, 2014 (1:00 to 3:30 PM)                                                 Kick off this season with a taste of Mexico’s heritage.  Bring your family, invite your friends and enjoy the museum’s free mini Mardi Gras with exuberant traditional entertainment by Sinfonia Mexicana – Mariachi Youth Academy, spicy refreshments and family oriented festivities.


December 5, 2013 – January 12, 2014
In the spirit which John Muir embraced the botanical world, “Nature’s Beloved Son” traces his travels to Canada, Indiana, the southeast, California and Alaska and presents vivid images and specimens of the actual plants that Muir held in his hands, carried in his pockets, and preserved for all time. Through the beauty of botany we ask ourselves how nature might inspire us as it did John Muir so profoundly and reflect on the status of the biodiversity of plants in today’s world.

Family Nature Walk –
Thursday, December 12, 2013 (beginning at 3:30 PM with refreshments)
Walk from the Ovitt Family Community Library to the Museum with City of Ontario Arborist Adrian Escamilla
Film Presentation: John Muir in the New World– Thursday, January 9, 2014
(Reception 6:30 PM/Film 7 PM)
Discussion with Pomona College Professor Char Miller
October 3 – November 3, 2013

This cultural experience explores the personal and artistic representation of local and regional artists as they celebrate the traditional holiday, El Día de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead. Contemporary artists produce two-dimensional and three-dimensional installation altar pieces and interpretative art works remembering loved ones who have passed away sharing their lives through their personal artistic talents.

Artist Reception – Saturday, October 5, 2013 (1:30 to 3:30 PM)
Meet the talented artists featured in the exhibition.
El Día de Los Muertos Family Discovery Day – Saturday, October 26, 2013 (12 to 4 PM)
Explore the history and meaning of the festive holiday and express yourself in hands-on learning stations and artist led workshops.
July 11 – September 8, 2013
SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION: Benjamin, Davenport Ford, Svenson and Zornes
Art pieces from the museum’s permanent collection featuring regional artists Karl Benjamin, Betty Davenport Ford, John Svenson and Milford Zornes.
July 11 through August 25, 2013

Popular songs about the State of California, dating from the Gold Rush through the vaudeville era, are celebrated in this exhibit which spotlights graphically striking sheet-music covers published from 1849 through the 1930s, along with other printed memorabilia relating to California and its early musical life. Developed by The Society of California Pioneers and toured by Exhibit Envoy, the exhibit is drawn from two exceptional archives: the Frederick Sherman Music Collection of the Society of California Pioneers and the private collection of James M. Keller, the exhibit’s curator.

Free Family Program: Enjoy a screening of the classic MGM musical Singin In the Rain, featuring music inspired by the time-period covered by “Singing the Golden State”. Starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Renyolds. Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 2 PM in the Fay Dastrup-Hamill Historic Council Chambers at the Museum of History and Art, Ontario. Movie snacks available. Please contact the museum at (909) 395-2510 for more information.
April 25 through May 26, 2013
The Ontario Open is a biennial open call for local and regional artwork presented in a community exhibition. A feast for the eyes, various media will be on display featuring: painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, mixed media and much more! Organized and presented by the Museum of History and Art, Ontario Associates. To learn more about entering this exhibit, please contact the museum at (909) 395-2510.
2/21/2013 through 4/7/2013
Featuring foods and tools important in the lives of Native Californians, including fish, shellfish, meat, vegetables, berries, fruits, flowers, nuts, seeds and salt, this delicious look at Native foods is based on the 2008 Heyday Books publication of the same name by Margaret Dubin and Sara-Larus Tolley. Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider: A California Indian Feast was developed by the Grace Hudson Museum & Sun House in Ukiah, CA, in partnership with Heyday Books and toured by Exhibit Envoy.
Free Family Program:
CHINESE NEW YEAR FAMILY DISCOVERY DAY from noon to 4pm is in collaboration with Pomona Valley Chinese Association and the Ovitt Family Community Library. This cultural holiday, the Year of the Snake, is celebrated through participation in artist-led workshops, storytelling, and hands-on arts and craft stations throughout the museum. Traditional Chinese musical performance is by Brian Chan, Kenneth Chan, Shean Chang, and Kimaley Tay. Calligraphy Workshop is with Cheng Chao Hung. Storytelling is performed by master storyteller Karen Rae Kraut. The colorfully cacophonous Children’s Lion Parade is a grand walking tour of the museum property.
12/6/2012 through 1/27/2013
Organized by guest curator, Theresa Polley-Shellcroft, this exhibition features current quilt trends and historical quilts from the Inland Empire communities. The quilts are exemplified by traditional patterns and contemporary artistic interpretations of the medium. Public events include a tea & tour and a hands-on quilting workshop led by Theresa Polley-Shellcroft.
10/12/2012 through 11/11/2012

The Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life (El Día de Los Muertos: Una Celebraci?n de La Vida) features more than 20 Southern California artists, many of them repeat participants in the popular annual exhibition, interpreting their own highly personal views of life and death in a diverse array of media, including painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography and altar installations.

DAY OF THE DEAD MASK MAKING CONTEST is first-time collaboration amongst intercity departments. The public was invited to visit the nearest Ontario Library or Community Center to make your own mask. Entries in three divisions were be due at those locations by October 29: Youth (6-12), Teen (13-18), Adult (19 or older). Two winners from each division were invited to a reception and slide show held at the museum on Thursday, November 1, from 6 PM to 7 PM. The winning masks are be included in the museum exhibit through November 11.
DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS FAMILY DISCOVERY DAY from noon to 4pm on Saturday, November 3, is an anticipated free event for children and adults alike. The cultural holiday is celebrated through participation in artist-led workshops, storytelling, and hands-on arts and craft stations throughout the museum.
7/12/2012 through 9/23/2012
“Lasting Light: 125 years of Grand Canyon Photography” is a traveling Smithsonian exhibition exploring nearly 125 years of photographic history in one of the most spectacular and challenging places on Earth, including 60 stunning contemporary color images from 26 photographers selected by representatives from Eastman Kodak and National Geographic, accompanied by their personal remarks and observations.
Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography was created by the Grand Canyon Association and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

Free Family Program: Individuals and families are invited to share their own favorite Grand Canyon photograph with the public. Bring one photograph (hardcopy, CD or flash drive) to the Museum on Friday, July 13 or Saturday, July 14, 2012 between noon and 4 p.m. Photographs will then be shown at an old-fashioned ice cream social on Friday evening, August 31, 2012, starting at 7:00 p.m.
3/23/2012 through 5/27/2012

The Museum of History and Art, Ontario, Associates is pleased to present its sixth biennial “Ontario Invitational Art Exhibition,” a collection of new artwork by local and regional artists. On view from March 23 through May 27, 2012, “Ontario Invitational Art Exhibition” features artwork by artists: John Harris, Anita Hunt, Keith Klingonsmith, Eric Myles, David Rosales, Froukje Schaafsma-Smith, Tim Stark, Karla Trujillo, Twyla Wardell and Jerry Weems. These artists were selected from the pool of over 100 artists who exhibited in the museum’s juried “2011 Ontario Open Exhibition.” The “2011 Ontario Open Exhibition” was adjudicated by Sant Khalsa, artist/activist, professor and Chair of the Department of Art at California State University, San Bernardino.
12/21/2011 through 2/26/2012

Two centuries of stories and traditions are preserved in The Working White House: 200 Years of Tradition and Memories, an exhibition developed with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the White House Historical Association. Archival and contemporary images, videos, as well as fascinating oral histories of workers who have served presidents from William Taft through Barack Obama convey the occupational culture of this private yet public place. "The Working White House" was developed and supported by the White House Historical Association with assistance from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The exhibit was organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Call for information on special holiday hours: (909) 395-2510.

9/25/2011 through 10/30/2011
This Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) showcase is a multi-faceted exhibition about the largest guest worker program in U.S. history, including both the exploitation and opportunity it brought to millions of Mexican nationals, examined through powerful photographs by Leonard Nadel, explanatory text, and audio excerpts from bracero oral histories.

The north wing temporary exhibition galleries are open to the public Thursday through Sunday from noon to 4pm.
Admission is free.
Call (909) 395-2510 for further information.

Last updated: 11/28/2015 9:09:56 AM