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This small, friendly museum, anchoring an art and cultural center on a onetime 19th-century Red Line trolley stop, is Santa Monica’s artistic epicenter. As Southern California’s only museum without its own collection, it hosts intriguing and sometimes unexpected shows of contemporary local, national, and international artists, such as “Robert Swain: The Form of Color” and “Citizen Culture: Artists and Architects Shape Policy” in 2014. The browse-worthy gift shop, Gracie, sells unique and funny items. Visitors can park in one free lot and browse inventive installations in more than 40 galleries in the Bergamot Station complex.