Santa Barbara Art News

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  • 25 Apr 2018 12:14 PM | Peter Otte (Administrator)

    The Jurkowitz Center for Community Engagement, a program of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts (SBCPA), is inviting local artists from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties to submit a proposal for a large scale work of art to be displayed on The Granada paseo wall.

    “Day in and day out, whether they’re coming to the Granada Theatre or just to State Street, there are thousands of people throughout the week that will have the opportunity to enjoy this work of art,” says David Grossman, Director of Community Engagement for the The Jurkowitz Center. “There are only so many vehicles, so to speak, in Santa Barbara that allow you to create something so unique in size, with the ability to reach as many people as that alleyway does. The Funk Zone has had its canvases, but this part of upper State Street has very limited opportunities for that kind of exposure.”

    The Granada paseo wall, currently 91 feet in length, connects State Street with The Granada Garage. As a part of the project, a 46-foot extension wall will be added. The artists’ “canvas” will therefore include the 8 feet, 10 inches from the ground — up to the visible ledge —  on the existing wall, as well as the newly created, 8-foot tall wall, for a total of over 1000 square feet.

    Artists are asked to submit proposals that communicate and promote the performing arts within the ‘character and spirit’ of Santa Barbara through the use of design, color, and subject matter appropriate for public viewers of all ages. Submissions must be artistically engaging and sufficiently stimulating so as to start conversation, foster interaction, and evoke appreciation by the general public.

    “We do not want to limit anybody’s creative energy in terms of how they would interpret this direction. If you know Santa Barbara, you know how it feels to be a part of this community — focusing that towards the performing arts will create or elicit the artistic juices in whichever way the artist chooses,” Grossman continues. “Be true to yourself. Submit not what you think those making the final decision may want, but what you’re all about and what best reflects your vision for the artwork.”

    A selection committee composed of stakeholders of the neighborhood, the city of Santa Barbara, local business owners, and the SBCPA has been assembled for the project. Members will review all completed proposals and invite up to three semifinalists for an interview. From there, one finalist will be selected for the commission.

    All proposal materials must be submitted electronically by 6:00 PM on May 13. For more information on the The Plaza Granada Mural Project, click here.

  • 11 Aug 2017 1:08 PM | Anonymous

    As summer draws to a close, one of Santa Barbara’s most hotly anticipated events is nearing.

    The 16th Annual Santa Barbara Studio Artists Tour is scheduled for its usual Labor Day Weekend slot. This year, that falls on Saturday through Monday, September 2-4. The unique event gives visitors the opportunity to go behind the scenes as local artists pull back the curtain, revealing their private spaces to the public. In total, 45 artists — whose studios dot the map from the Funk Zone all the way to Buellton — will participate. 

    While painters comprise the bulk of the hosting artists, everything from printmaking to digital media is represented.  Among the open studios are those of Santa Barbara mosaicist Betsy Gallery, whose one-of-a-kind mosaics are inspired by nature, legends, traditions and antiquity; mixed-media artist Kimberly Pratt, who works with everything from acrylics to glass; Erika Carter, a folk artist inspired by 19th-century Mexican art known as Ratablos and ex-votos; and cultural painter Holli Harmon, a self-proclaimed "contemporary traditionalist."

    Betsy Gallery in her studio.

    Other featured artists in the Santa Barbara and Montecito areas include Karin Aggeler, Donna Ayscough, Dorothy Churchill-Johnson, Danuta Bennett, Kathleen Elsey, Ann Shelton Beth, Karen Fedderson, Liz Brady, Peggy Fletcher, Wendy Brewer, Benjamin Brode, Rick Garcia, Pat Balonne, Ruth Ellen Hoag, Annie Hoffman, Lena Savage, Cynthia James, Francis Scorzelli, Masha Keating, Susan Tortorici, Pamela Larsson-Toucher, Dorene White, Cynthia Martin, Michele Zuzalek, Virginia McCracken and Rob Robinson.

    In west Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch, Goleta, and beyond, visitors can go to the studios of Pamela Benham, Patricia Post, Kris Buck, Tom Post, Rosemarie C. Gebhart, Cathy Quiel, Kevin Gleason, Ann Sanders, Kerrie Smith, Mary Ince, Marlene Struss, Marilyn McRae, Gerry Winant and Karen McLean-McGaw. Larry R. Rankin’s studio in Buellton is open as well. 

    Studios are open from 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, Labor Day, studios open at 11am and close early at 2pm.


    Tickets can be purchased online or in person at 10 West Gallery (10 W. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara). If you're on the fence about purchasing a ticket, know that proceeds from ticket sales benefit the local William Sansum Diabetes Center — a worthwhile cause.  

    You can pick up your ticket at the  opening reception, on the evening of September 1. Located at 10 West Gallery, the event officially kicks off the weekend. From 5-8pm, you can preview work by each artist and plan your tour for the weekend.

    Click here for complete artist listings.

  • 07 Jul 2017 1:15 PM | Anonymous

    Two new Santa Barbara exhibits shine the spotlight on a locally based artist known for her keen observations of everyday life. 

    By A. Van Houten

    Although Nell Campbell is based in Santa Barbara, many of the photographs in her two new solo shows feel more at home alongside the work of noted Southern Gothic photographers Walker Evans and Clarence John Laughlin than with any of her central California contemporaries. 

    "bearing witness: the photography of nell campbell"

    Organized by the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture and the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, “bearing witness: the photography of nell campbell” celebrates the work of the documentary photographer who for over 40 years has documented the lives of people met during travels and political gatherings. 

    Her projects, often concerned with issues of cultural representation and social justice, have featured topics like anti-war demonstrations during the Vietnam and Iraq wars and the organizing drives of the United Farm Workers Union form 1976-77. However, her photos also capture the quotidian: panoramic landscapes of Louisiana wetlands and street photography in Havana comprise a substantial portion of her oeuvre, as well. 

    "Nell Campbell: About Face"

    Located at the Channing Peake Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara, "bearing witness" is presented in conjunction with another display at UCSB’s Art Design & Architecture Museum. “Nell Campbell: About Face” — the artist’s first solo show in her home state — features many never-before-seen images from some of her well-known series. 

    Ranging from New Orleans Mardi Gras to political demonstrations, the subjects include early photographs of family and friends, shots of migrant workers from Campbell’s time as a staff photographer with Cesar Chavez, hunters from Louisiana and even activists at the recent Women’s March in L.A.  

    The linking thread? Each selection depicts an individual who caught the photographer’s eye. Campbell’s photographs at UCSB are complemented with prints of other photographers whose practices resonate with her own, including Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and fittingly, Walker Evans.

    A current resident of Santa Barbara, Campbell’s upbringing yields a clue as to her interest in the South. She was born in Biloxi, Mississippi and grew up alternately in New Orleans and Lake Charles, Louisiana — the birthplace of the aforementioned Clarence John Laughlin . Now, her photographs can be found in the permanent collections of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orlean. 

    The UCSB show will remain on view through August 20; museum hours are noon-5pm from Wednesday through Sunday and noon-8pm on Thursdays). The Channing Peake exhibit is open until December 1 at 105 East Anapamu Street, in the first floor lobby.

  • 26 May 2017 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    “Make it darker.” Inspired by the late Leonard Cohen, Santa Barbara artist Nancy Gifford took this sentiment to heart for her latest work. Including paintings like “Heaps of Trouble” (pictured above), Gifford’s contributions to a new exhibit in downtown Santa Barbara explore unexpected edges of her oeuvre. 

    Upon visiting the artists’ studios, curators Hugh Margerum and Giulinana Mottin were pleased to discover a wealth of work that extended beyond the artists’ typical styles. This abundance of art—whether it was an exploration of unfamiliar artistic territory, a side project in different media, or an entirely new subject matter—reaffirmed the notion that often the bounds of creativity extends far beyond the familiar, manifesting itself in surprising ways.  It was this idea that became the foundation for "Disorderly Construct," a new exhibit at The Arts Fund Gallery.

    Gifford and seven other local artists—painter Hank Pitcherpainter/paperworker Linda Danielsher husband, Karl Petrunak, a painter and videographer; multi-media artist Maria Rendon; photographer Richard Ross, and multi-media artist George Sanders, as well as exhibit co-curator Mottin—were challenged to create work that falls outside their normal practice. The result? A dark, edgy collection of work that will be on display at a community gallery.

    An opening reception with the artists will be held at The Arts Fund Gallery on Friday, May 26 from 5-8pm, during the monthly Funk Zone Art Walk. Located at 205 Santa Barbara Street, the Funk Zone space is dedicated to featuring artists of all ages and backgrounds who hail from Santa  Barbara County.

    “Disorderly Construct” will be on view at the gallery through July 16. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday-Sunday, from 12-5pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

  • 05 May 2017 3:31 PM | Anonymous

    A venerable institution in the Santa Barbara art world, Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery is known for its contemporary art program. Built over the course of the past 33 years—particularly in the last decade—their portfolio of culturally ascendant, albeit different, artists is what makes the gallery a Santa Barbara mainstay. As new owner Nathan Vonk takes the reigns, now seems like the perfect opportunity for the gallery to put on an exhibit that both reflects on the past and sheds light on what is to come. 

    Chosen by Curator Susan Bush, "Masterworks: The Art of Sullivan Goss" is comprised of one work from each of Sullivan Goss’ 13 represented artists, who are selected based on their quality, individuality, value, and art historical importance. From Phoebe Brunner’s poppy paintings to the daring, fractured paintings of architecture created by Angela Perko, each artist in the wide-ranging roster fills a unique niche in American art. 

    Developed by the gallery’s curators—who have tended toward realism, tonalism, magical realism and plein-air-style painting—the collection is also informed by the whims of collectors. For example, Sullivan Goss highlights Patricia Chidlaw’s nocturnes as a series that has sold exceedingly well for them.

    In addition to classics, such as John Nava’s Check Out (which debuted 12 years ago but continues to draw an audience each time it’s shown), eight of the art works shown  in the exhibition are brand new. Of these, one piece represents a new directions for the artist: Meredith Brooks Abbott’s Aloe seems both a departure and a promise of what might come next.

    The exhibition is open through July 30. Visit Sullivan Goss at 11 East Anapamu Street in downtown Santa Barbara and see what the future may hold.

  • 14 Apr 2017 6:03 PM | Anonymous

    “I hope to create images that surprise and intrigue,” says artist Jane Gottlieb, “drawing the viewer into my idyllic vision, ultimately uplifting them with vibrant color and evocative beauty.” 

    That she does. Open today, April 14, the inaugural exhibition of Gottlieb’s "Fantasy Gardens” features magical images from around the world that transcend the norms of both reality and color. Altering reality into a more romantic and fantastic world, she creates with composition, color and collage to express her idyllic and vibrant vision in a voice that is uniquely her own.

    As much painter as photographer, Gottlieb hand paints her prints, then scans them to digitally colorize and otherwise edit them. er work ranges from garden and classic automobiles to architecture, cityscapes, monuments and villas. She has traveled the globe, shooting the natural and man-made subjects that are the basis for her art. 

    The hosting venue, the Pritzlaff Conservation Center Gallery is a new 11,500 square foot building located at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. Designed by architect Doug Singletary, it houses conservation, research and administrative staff of the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens

    The exhibition is free with garden admission, and a portion of the proceeds from sales directly benefits the gardens. Open to the public during normal garden hours.

  • 04 Apr 2017 8:05 AM | Anonymous

    Santa Barbara’s monthly evening of art and culture is approaching. On the first Thursday of every month, participating galleries and art-related venues offer free access to visual and performing art, as well as lectures, wine tastings and hands-on activities, in a fun and social environment from 5-8pm. The theme this Thursday, April 5 is “Celebrate the Written Word” — check out our highlights below.

    Pictured: Blue, Red and White by Olga Hotujac (Oil on canvas,  37” x 37” x 4", 2016)

    Te Amo presents Dispersive Colors

    Olga Hotujac’s collection of contemporary abstract paintings feature her bold use of color and texture on handmade canvases. The heavy textures of color—along with waves formed in the canvas fabric itself—blend seamlessly together into the structure of the painting.

    TE AMO ESTATE & FINE JEWELRY (811 State Street, Suite G, 805-845- 7558)

    Liquid Retrospect

    "Vibrant, dramatic, refreshingly different with a wandering touch of whimsy,” Cathy Quiel’s “Liquid Retrospect” is a luminous selection from four of watercolor series. This exhibition also includes ive music & wine.

    LADY MCCLINTOCK STUDIOS (1221 State Street #6, 805-845-0030)


    After the burst of color in their spring exhibition, Artamo now goes the opposite direction, showcasing minimalistic oil-encaustic paintings by Judy Hintz Cox, works from Rose Masterpol’s ‘Minimalism’ series, and the last available pieces of Jack Mohr’s ceramic wall sculptures (plus his new experimental “Playground” paintings).

    ARTAMO GALLERY (11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400)

    Wildly Diverse: Nine Contemporary Artists 

    Guest artists Marilyn Helsenrott Hochhauser, Joseph Castle and Joshua Berger join 10 West members Marlene Struss, Karin Aggeler, Sophie MJ Cooper, Karen Zazon, Laurie MacMillan and Marilyn McRae.

    10 WEST GALLERY (10 West Anapamu Street, 805-770-7711)

    Click here for more information about 1st Thursday. 

  • 28 Feb 2017 7:01 PM | Anonymous

    If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: social media is a must for marketing. However, just because you have accounts set up doesn’t mean you are using social media well. Successful social media marketing goes beyond simply posting pictures of your work online. But don’t be discouraged —  there are a few easy things artists can do on social media that go a long way toward building a loyal following. 

    Always Post Images

    Whether you're Tweeting, Instagramming, or posting on Facebook, analysis shows that posts with photos perform substantially better than those without. According to HubSpot, Tweets with images get 1.5 times as much engagement as those without, while the rate is even higher on Facebook, at 2.3 times as much [1]. You’re an artist, so use your aesthetic strengths to your advantage by accompanying all posts with interesting visuals. Bonus points if they're your own work!

    Build Community

    Social media is a wonderful ay to network and even connect with artists around the world. You can use Facebook and Twitter to build a supportive community among fellow artists or people otherwise involved in your industry. 

     Don’t be afraid to share other artists’ work — they may just do the same. Be sure to tag their pages so mentions get traced back to their own page. Likewise, curating an interesting feed of news bits and thoughtful articles related to art positions you as a leader within the artistic community whom people will begin to look to for content.

    Use Hashtags

    If you need a crash course, a hashtag is a word or series of words with no spaces preceded by a pound sign (for example, #vangogh is a hashtag). A hashtag automatically links to all other instances of the tag within Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (but only within the platform you’re using).

    Use the same hashtag for your work any time you post. Like a digital signature, a simple but distinctive hashtag can be a great of branding yourself on social media. It's a simple way for fans and potential collectors to aggregrate your work digitally. This is especially great for visually based mediums such as Instagram and Pinterest, where you can build digital galleries of physical pieces you've created and photographed.

    Create Facebook Events

    When you have an upcoming exhibition, lecture, or any other important event, use the Facebook events feature to create an online “event.” Unlike an event listing on a website or digital calendar, this method of event promotion takes on a life of its own.

     Once a fan indicates their interest on the event page, Facebook will continue to remind them if there are important updates, wall posts, and (most importantly) when the event rolls around. Facebook events are an easy way to snowball your efforts because they’re super easy for friends to share with their own networks. This viral capability means your event has the potential to reach many more people than just your own friends.

    Pull Back the Curtain

    Last but not least, pull back the curtain! Share behind-the-scenes snippets to reveal upcoming projects and get followers curious about what you’re working on at the moment. Posting unedited snapshots — as opposed to only showing the finished product — can help followers relate to and ultimately connect with your work on a more personal level.

    Instagram stories and Snapchat are great great apps to use for this purpose because your posts will disappear within 24 hours. Posting frequently keeps fans coming back for more, because they won’t want to miss an ephemeral story from you.



  • 20 Jan 2017 5:47 PM | Anonymous

    You probably recognize David Wiesner’s picture books. The Three Pigs, Tuesday, Flotsam... In fact, he’s only the second person to have won the Caldecott Medal thrice (for those three books, if you were curious).

    Now, he’s bringing his work to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art for a new exhibition this spring. “David Wiesner & the Art of Wordless Storytelling” kicks off on Saturday, January 28 with an author talk at 2:30pm.

    The internationally-acclaimed picture book artist will discuss his art and career, guiding the audience through his unique approach to storytelling sans text. Afterward, his celebrated picture books can be purchased in the museum store if you don’t already have a well-loved copy for him to sign.

    The exhibit, which runs from January 29 through May 14, contextualizes Wiesner’s work, placing his own art alongside pieces by three artists whom he cites as great influences: Frans Masereel (1889–1972), a Belgium-born painter and graphic artist; German Otto Nückel (1888–1955), a fellow pioneer of the wordless novel; and the American wordless-book specialist and artist Lynd Ward (1905–1985).

    The exhibit and associated catalogue also includes work by Salvador Dalí, Joseph Stella, and Charles Sheeler, as well as full-color plates of Wiesner’s original watercolors. These watercolors range from his earliest artistic successes to his most recent project, a graphic novel (his first) titled Fish Girl, which is slated for a March release.

    While you wait on that, however, this exhibit is sure to satiate your appetite for Wiesner’s beautiful illustrations. For tickets or more information, please visit SBMA online

  • 11 Nov 2015 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is ready to imagine more. An extensive and critical renovation will begin on Saturday, November 15 as SBMA breaks ground at a public ceremony. The “Imagine More” capital campaign will fund a new gallery and community spaces and improved layout and access to the galleries, as well as the resolution of critical needs such as structural and seismic reinforcement, replacement of roofs and climate control system, and the upgrade of other major systems. 

    At the free open house ceremony, to be held from 6-8pm at the museum, special guests will be on hand to aid with the wallbreaking around 6:15, as will architectural and museum staff. Attendees can enjoy refreshments, art-making activities and free gallery admission while learning more about the project and viewing computer-generated images of the final space. 

    SBMA has already received approval from the Planning Commission and the Historic Landmarks Association but is awaiting final building permits from the city to begin the first phase of construction. The renovation will begin in the McCormick Wing, a 100-year-old building that was once the Post Office. In 1941, a new wing was added to the existing building but, to save time and money at the expense of structural integrity, this relatively newer wing consists of only three walls tacked onto the original building. 

    Because of this, the building requires structural reinforcement and extensive seismic retrofitting. A fourth wall made of 12”-thick steel-reinforced concrete will be added and the existing walls will be reinforced with rebar and concrete, a process that will essentially construct new walls within the old ones. This first stage should take about 18 months to complete.

    To prepare for the renovations, the Asian Art Galleries on the upper level and the antiquities collections in Ludington Court have been taken down over the past few weeks to protect the art. Much of the ancient artwork from Ludington Court will be loaned to the J. Paul Getty Museum during the project for restoration and eventual display at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa

    Meanwhile, the empty space makes a prime canvas for the current Cayetano Ferrer exhibit, which displays fragments of antique columns and other architectural elements in the museum’s storage that can rarely be shown in the galleries. These pieces complement Ferrer’s Remnant Recomposition, a sprawling floor piece made with scraps of various casino carpets.

    To compensate for intermittent gallery closings during the ongoing renovation project, the museum will at times offer free admission. To see a schedule of gallery closings or RSVP for the wallbreaking, please visit SBMA online.

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