'Built on Water' exhibit to open
at the museum next year

If you visit the Ontario Museum of History & Art these days, you might see a little dust and a lot of construction.


The main reason for this  -- there are other improvements going on at our facility -- is the construction of a new exhibit:  “Built on Water: Ontario and Inland Southern California.” 


The new exhibit has been made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services.  


“Built on Water,” due to open next spring, will be devoted to an examination of the history, present and future of water conservation in the region. 


The exhibit will focus on the regional relationship with water,  where it comes from, conservation measures under way and how we are dealing with underground pollution of water sources.  


During the construction, the museum will remain open to the public. 

Miriam Valle-Mancilla new
Museum education curator 


Miriam Valle-Mancilla has become the Curator

of Education for the Ontario Museum of

History & Art after spending much of her

education on the far side of the continent.


As the new Curator of Education, she oversees

public education programs for the museum’s

audiences, both young and old. 


Miriam, a graduate of Ramona High School in Riverside, traveled about as far away as you can in the United States when she spent her college years at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. 


It was there she began her museum career at the Colby College Museum of Art, both as a student and later as the Assistant for Access & Outreach and finally the inaugural Linde Family Foundation Coordinator of Academic Access.  


These positions prepared her well for her new position in Ontario collaborating with student groups, docents, faculty, and campus and community organizations to put on events using art and exhibitions to foster dialogue across social issues and a range of interdisciplinary topics.


“I am looking forward to meeting the

variety of audiences that seek arts and culture in their town and those who may be struggling in finding a way to connect with art,” she explained. 


Her tasks will be to plan and coordinate school tours, create educator and craft workshops and put on programs to engage the community’s rich diversity. She will also work on promoting the museum through various media and the city’s Ontario Living Magazine.


Museum Programs



Creating a New Legacy 

Women Artists of the Pomona Valley

    Through Sept. 4 


Exhibit features contemporary artists who have established a footprint in the Pomona Valley. It highlights the creativity of people with a variety of backgrounds and expertise in a variety of media.  It is a cooperative exhibit with the Chaffey Community Museum of Art. 

Día de Los Muertos:

Cempasúchil: Instruments of the Wind 

Oct. 6 to Nov. 27

Día de Los Muertos is a well-known Mexican holiday celebrated throughout the country, dedicated to those who have passed away. This year the Museum asked artists to interpret the roots of the holiday by highlighting the importance of the Cempasúchil  or the Aztec/Mexica marigold known as the “flower of the dead.”  It is tradition to place the Cempasúchil on altars (ofrendas) during the Day of the Dead celebration. Participating artists will pay homage to the traditions of the indigenous people of Mexico and present-day cultural customs through paintings, altars, sculptures, photography, mixed media and illustration.   





Ontario Art Walk:

An Evening at the Museum

Aug. 20, 6 to 9 p.m.


The arts come out at night during the quarterly scheduled Ontario Art Walks. We’re just one of many spots to catch in the evening. The museum will host vendors for you to enjoy. Also, make sure to check out the Emporia Arts District. There you can shop artisan vendors, tour the Lofts, and support local businesses throughout the evening. Information: OntarioArtWalk.org.


Workshop: Instruments of the Wind

Sept. 8, Ontario Sr. Center, 2-4 p.m.

Sept. 10, Museum, 1-3 p.m. 

Be part of our exhibit! Follow the sounds of the Mexican marigold in this community installation where participants will create their own "Instruments of the Wind" artworks using wind chimes and their imagination. Artwork created at the following locations will be included in the Museum’s upcoming annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition,. Spaces are limited at the workshop locations above. 

Open House Reception: 

Día de Los Muertos Exhibition 

Oct. 8, noon to 3 p.m. 

Celebrate the opening of our annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition, Cempasúchil: Instruments of the Wind. Meet the artists and learn more about the significance of the Mexican marigold, Cempasúchil. Folklorico performers, calavera face-painting and art-making activities will be available during the event.   


Art Cart Activity: Calavera Mask Making

                 Oct. 13, 5 to 8 p.m.                                                                                      

Stop by the Museum  and participate in this month’s Art Cart activity by making your own Calavera Mask in preparation for Day of the Dead observance. This is a drop-in activity and supplies are limited.  It's for those 5 and older.   Reserve a spot,  (909) 395-2222.

Ontario Festival of the Arts 

Oct. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The fourth annual Ontario Festival of the Arts is sponsored by Ontario’s Community Life & Culture Agency, the Ontario Museum of History & Art & the Chaffey Community Museum of Art. This one-day event will feature artwork for purchase from local artists, free entry to museums, food trucks, and a beer garden. Information: OntarioArts@OntarioCA.gov or (909) 395-2222. 

              Paint with Us: Art in the Dark                Oct. 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

                                                                         Thopse 18 and older can create black light reactive art.  Brave a spooky evening in the dark with local artists featuring Art By Mario Solorzano and Acidia. In this session, participants will paint with the artists in a UV light setting and experiment with neon paint. Space is limited.  Reserve a spot: (909) 395-2222

Community Talk: Mexica (Aztec)

           History of Día de Los Muertos                  Oct. 27, 6 to 7 p.m. 


Join us this evening for a community talk with professor Dr. Elisa Mandell, professor of art history at Cal State Fullerton. She will explore the Mexica origins of Día de Los Muertos which is nationally celebrated in Mexico.  

A live stream will also be available over Zoom found on the museum’s website.  

    Emerging Artist Meet-Up: Acrylics A-Z     Nov. 5,  10 a.m. to noon

                                                                  Calling all local artists ages 13 and older. Join us for a recurring series that offers emerging artists networking opportunities and resources. In this session, participants will learn fundamental information about Golden Acrylics, Williamsburg Oil and QoR Watercolor from Golden Artist Kathryn Elliot Duncan. We’ll discuss color theory, pigment reality and get inspired by iridescent and Interference colors. Learn more about products and a variety of application possibilities. 


         In the Vault: Foodways & Family           Nov. 6, 1 to 2 p.m


This series will look at the hidden treasures kept in the museum collection and introduce them to the public for interpretation. The artifacts and memorabilia displayed in this series will feature the theme of Foodways & Family. Items on display include family plates, recipes, and stories of families coming together through food. 

Ontario Art Walk:

An Evening at the Museum   

Nov. 19, 6 to 9 p,.m. 


The Museum is one of the many locations to catch in the evening, make your way to the Downtown Ontario Art District, shop artisan vendors and support local businesses throughout the evening.  The museum will host community Folklorico Dancers led by Maria Elena Alavarez as part of our Día de Los Muertos, Cempasúchil: Instruments of the Wind exhibit.