Santa Barbara Art News

  • 04 Nov 2015 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    The Abstract Art Collective produces and exhibits artwork in an abstract-only setting. The community-based organization is the creative force behind some truly beautiful pieces, but sadly, there are many people around the world who might never be able to see such beauty. That’s why the AAC is hosting ArtSEE, a charitable afternoon of music, wine, hors d’oeuvres and—most importantly—art. 

    Beth Schmor

    The exhibit of all-AAC pieces will benefit Surgical Eye Expeditions, a nonprofit organization that works to bring vision care to those without, regardless of their circumstances. Locally, SEE is the only nonprofit in Santa Barbara County that provides free comprehensive eye care to the uninsured, serving around 1,400 local people every year, while SEE International has screened the eyes of over 3.6 million people and restored vision to nearly half a million people!

    SEE’s network of in-kind medical suppliers come up with the majority of the equipment for vision restoration procedures, but the remaining $100 has to be sourced from fundraisers such as ArtSEE. Each work of art at the event—priced at $200 apiece—goes toward restorative surgery for two different people. 

    Interested in participating? Then head to the Faulkner Gallery at the central branch of the SB Public Library (at 40 E. Anapamu St.) on Sunday, November 8 from 2-5pm. One hundred works of abstract art will be available for purchase, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting SEE. 

     Additionally, an AAC exhibit judged by Dug Uyesaka will be on display, of which 40 percent of the proceeds will also benefit the charity. Sales begin on November 5 from 5-8pm to coincide with 1st Thursday downtown, but you can give the gift of sight through November 29.

  • 28 Oct 2015 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    October's Funk Zone Art Walk will feature some familiar faces—check out David J Diamant's "Uzemeum" at Seven Bar & Kitchen—as well as some striking new ones. One fresh face in Santa Barbara is Aline Smithson, whose Self & Others: Portraits As Autobiography will be on display at Wall Space Gallery.

    Smithson's series of painting-like photographs are simplistic yet vibrant, portraying women in the footsteps of classical portraiture. Her unique style may be a reflection of her interesting background—after a career in fashion, Smithson discovered an old Rolleiflex camera and became a fine art photographer who's since shown around the globe. On top of her art, Smithson also founded and continues to write for the blogzine Lenscratch and was a founding member of the Six Shooters collective. 

    To see her exhibit and a myriad of other art (like Charlene Broudy's Springdance, below, which will be on display at Gray Space Gallery), head down to the Funk Zone from 5-8pm on Friday, October 30 for the bi-quarterly Art Walk. For venue information, please visit our galleries page.  

  • 23 Oct 2015 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    “Make it creative, not criminal” they cry, and their motto reflects their mission: to encourage the perception of street art as, well, art.

    Comprised of local students, the “Street Art Movement” is a youth collective working toward creating a safe, alternative creative environment. Their affinity for street art is tempered by their intolerance for profanity and messages of hate and violence.  The group is led by about ten core members, but they have an attendance of about three times that at their meetings, where they discuss the aim of their manifesto: prompting youth to challenge and express themselves artistically, without resorting to tagging or other acts of vandalism. The Street Art Movement promotes a sense of unity and respect within the organization, as well as barring profanity and messages of hate and violence in their work. It’s a unique mission, and they need a unique support system to accomplish it. Enter, The Artillerist.

    A few months ago, two San Marcos High School students on a mission for more community mural space walked into Church of Skatan, where by chance an employee knew just who to contact. She connected the girls with Andi Garcia, a Santa Barbara native with a passion for making connections in the art world. With her “from the barrio to the boardroom” ethic, Garcia was the perfect fit to offer guidance to this group of passionate young artists.

    Garcia is the creative director behind The Artillerist,  a self-described “high caliber collaborative social resource” for artists. It connects artists and dealers around the world, as well as providing the logistical and practical support artists need to remain true to their visions. The group has affiliates spread from Switzerland to Los Angeles. Here in Santa Barbara, they’ve decided to lend their support to the students of the Street Art Movement.

    "My goal is to utilize all my collected resources and networks to provide them with the support they need,” says Garcia. “I will assist them with branding and community outreach and fine tuning their funding goals.” As a network, The Artillerist is using its collective resources to help raise awareness of the Street Art Movement’s goals, namely securing a fully funded mentor program. 

    They hope to pursue immediate projects, like a mural at San Marcos High or a mobile “Wall on Wheels” if they can’t secure the permanent wall space. They also wish to host a guest speaker series in the future as well as going on field trips to mural spots in L.A. and other cities where street art is the real deal. Such excursions might include visits to SPARC, the Broad Museum and other places.

    Street Art Movement is entertaining the potential for collaborative efforts with different high schools in area, such as the Cate School, a private boarding school in Carpinteria. But their scope is not limited to the Santa Barbara area—the students intend to spark a trend of art mentorship in schools globally. 

    To do this, however, the group needs donations of both time and materials. In order to perform outreach, they have to acquire booth supplies, like paints, panels, money  for printing literature about their efforts, transportation and meals. Without adequate funding for arts programs, Street Art Movement must be more resourceful in securing supplies and volunteers. If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact Andi Garcia at 805.696.5687 or

    If you want to see what they’re up to in person, the Street Art Movement students will be conducting outreach and doing live painting at the Dia De Los Muertos Music Festival at the Santa Barbara Bowl on October 30 and the Holiday Bazaar at DP Orchid Ranch on December 13.

  • 08 Oct 2015 11:50 AM | Anonymous

    Do you know what "uzemeum" means? No? Well, let David J Diamant explain. 

    After hearing fellow artists complain that the “muse” wasn’t coming to them and that they just couldn’t create, Diamant's discovery of a 1938 edition of Freud’s Basic Writings that he'd never opened sparked a consideration of the meaning of inspiratio. "I began to think about how I perceive the creative process," he explains. "And indeed, like those other artists, I too would almost blame the “Muse” for not inspiring me. I have always believed that choice dictates perception but have understood that it is much easier to philosophize about choice than be in the moment with one’s intention."

    Enter "Uzemeum," Diamant's new exhibition based on his anthro-pomorphization of the muse concept. The show will feature over 20 pieces of original work, including four limited edition prints. Almost all of the pieces were created in the past few months and have never been shown before. Mediums ranges from spray paint and acrylic on canvas to pieces made from recycled/found materials. 

    It seems the muse is ready and waiting, if you can only open your eyes. See for yourself at the opening this Sunday, October 11 from 5-8pm, or visit Seven Bar & Grill anytime through January to see Diamant's artwork. 

  • 07 Oct 2015 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    The Santa Barbara Tennis Club's 2nd Fridays Art will feature some familiar faces this month: Santa Barbara Artist Directory member Joyce Wilson is collaborating with her daughter Loree Gold for a new exhibit. "De Mi Sangre: Of My Blood" is an artistic exploration of family bloodlines, sweat and tears. The mother-daughter duo will use photography, painting and printmaking to celebrate life—and it's challenges.

    Rejoice by Joyce Wilson

    A longtime artist, Joyce Wilson has been in the business for over 50 years. Although she's primarily a fine art photographer, she's also become known for her interest in blending mediums. "I am passionate about alternative processes, and blend old world and contemporary technology to enhance and alter the photographic image to a subtler art form," says Wilson. "The camera is my sketchbook for the art that evolves." 

     Her more recent work—collections like "Visions" and "Reverence"— exemplify this type of genre-blending, a theme that's sure to crop up at "De Mi Sangre." You can see her collaboration with Loree Gold at the SB Tennis Club from October 9 through November 6. As usual, the public is welcome to attend the 2nd Friday reception from 5:30-7:30 on Friday, October 9.

  • 30 Sep 2015 10:58 AM | Anonymous

     What is one part art studio, one part gallery, one part boutique and one part creative community space? That could only be The Lower Lodge.

    Located in an old carriage house between the Mission and the Natural History Museum, The Lower Lodge is a seasonal artist studio, salon and boutique that emphasizes sustainability and creative community. 

    In addition to housing curated collections of artist-made items, vintage clothes and homewares, specialty art and craft supplies, tools found on travel and an apothecary, this fascinating institution is the home of contemporary artists Hannah Vainstein and Nathan Hayden. 

    The creative duo's contemporary art has been shown around the country, and they extend their talents to a wide range of projects, like Vainstein's Squeeze health and sex zine, copies of which are available in the shop. During their open studio on Sunday, the artists will be showing new paintings on felt and ceramics by Hayden as well as new weavings, ceramics and paintings by Vainstein. 

     You can visit The Lower Lodge on October 4 from 1-4pm for their autumn open house or throughout the year for various openings and workshops hosted by the salon, The LL's communal component. Don't miss a chance to see this unique project while it's open.

  • 24 Sep 2015 1:21 PM | Anonymous

    Did you think VADA's murals in the Funk Zone deserve some kind of award? Well, so does Santa Barbara Beautiful. The local beautification organization is honoring the students and mentors of the Visual Arts & Design Academy  who were responsible for putting up a series of murals earlier this year. The team will be presented with the Hugh Peterson Award for Art in Public Spaces on Sunday, September 27.


    Santa Barbara Beautiful works to make the community attractive and clean by offering  programs, such as urban tree-planting and educational outreach,  as well as awards recognizing community beautification efforts. Their annual awards are nominated by the public and chosen by a team of local, independent judges. 

    The public is welcome to purchase tickets to the SBB Annual Awards Gala at the Music Academy of the West (1070 Fairway Rd., Santa Barbara) and honor all of this year's recipients.

  • 22 Sep 2015 1:52 PM | Anonymous

    The verdict is in on the Captured Photography ContestBlack & White Magazine's competition put on by 2nd Fridays at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club this month. Judge Henry Rasmussen, founder of B&W, selected one winner in each of three categories: Best of Show, Best Black & White and Best Color.

    Best of Show went to Alex Nye’s Window Seat 4D (pictured). The composite photograph is the result of an extensive, highly technical shooting and editing process. Judge Rasmussen shared his thoughts on the stunning photograph: 

     “On the one hand—at first glance—just to be able to share Nye’s dizzying window seat vision is a remarkable experience. On the other hand—after a second look—it’s even more remarkable to become transformed into the passenger of an airborne monster (the wing suddenly turns into the tail of a gigantic fish). It’s the extraordinary aspect of Nye’s image that it so eloquently exemplifies the unique dual capabilities of photography: its ability to record reality with scientific accuracy while simultaneously capturing another world—imaginary, fictional, surrealistic.”

    Best Black & White was awarded to Robert VoorheesShell Trona, a depiction of a desert-town gas station that evokes the spirit of America. “Gas station architecture has ever since been a source of inspiration for artists, from Hopper to Ruscha. Voorhees adds his own touch by allowing a glimpse of sky and power lines—and, of course, his choice of black and white adds  perfectly to the drama of the night,” says Rasmussen. 

    Finally, Jane Gottlieb earned the honor of Best Color photograph for Hollywood Dream, a digitally-edited image that is “both meaningful and highly decorative,” according to Rasmussen. The photo exemplifies Gottlieb’s penchant for bright colors and highly developed sense of form.

    You can see the winners in person, as well as the rest of the exhibit, through October 2 at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club (2375 Foothill Rd., Santa Barbara).

  • 16 Sep 2015 11:11 AM | Anonymous

    Like art? Love skating? Then check out Love & Guts, a unique art series coming to Santa Barbara County on Saturday, September 19. The event is based on the appreciation of skateboarding as an art form, and the understanding that those skating artists often extend their talents others mediums. 

    Founded in 2005 by prominent skateboarders Steve Olson, Lance Mountain and Pat Ngoho, Love & Guts has since partnered with Oakley and expanded from a series of small shows throughout the U.S. to an international collective that features artists from around the world in their events.

    Preceded by a skate session at the San Louis Obispo Skatepark from 11am-2pm, the art show will take place at Betteravia Gallery in Santa Maria (2540 Skyway Dr.) from 5-9pm. There will be a Q&A at 6pm with artists Steve Alba, Steve Caballero, David Hackett, Christian Hosoi, Lance Mountain, Pat Ngoho and Steve Olson. In addition, the show also features artists and skaters including Patrick Tuason, John Hood, Glenn Carlon, Inga Guzyte, Sasha Steinhorst, Jack Harold Misiaszek, Daniel Fuentes, Chad Ford, Inga Guzyte, Hagop Najarian and  Santa Barbara's own Peggy Oki

  • 08 Sep 2015 10:53 AM | Anonymous

    Throughout the fall season, exhibits at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art have a bonus on the agenda: the ceramic sculpture of Wesley Anderegg will be on display downstairs, beneath the main exhibition room.

    Man With the Magic Hat

    Lompoc artist Anderegg works with clay to produce charismatic earthenware ceramics. He draws and sculpts quirky characters that provide witty commentary on current social and political issues. 

    The opening reception for his collection at the Ridley-Tree takes place on Thursday, September 10 from 10am-1pm. Visitors to either of the museum’s fall events—tug and Saar, Serra, Surls, and more—will be able to view his quirky pieces through December 19.

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