Santa Barbara Art News

  • 22 Jul 2015 11:09 AM | Anonymous

    Are art and wine battling it out for your affection? If you can’t choose just one, you can satisfy both of those passions at Artiste, a winery that draws inspiration from the arts. Located in Los Olivos, Artiste looks to Impressionism for instructions. 

    When it’s time for a new batch of vino, the winery commissions contemporary Impressionists, like Steven Quartly, to create a one-of-a-kind painting. Each piece of art serves as a muse for the winemakers, who blend various wines in old European tradition to mimic the brush strokes of their namesake artists. These small lots of wine are what Artiste calls their signature cuvées, a composition of different wines. Each wax-sealed bottle is then labeled with the painting that inspired it, bringing the blending process of art and wine full circle.

    Even the Artiste Tasting Studio, a unique blend of traditional tasting room and communal art-making, is based on the Impressionist movement. The studio itself is modeled on Hotel Baudy, the epicenter of the Impressionist movement in 1880s Giverny, France. In the tasting studio, you can see works by renowned contemporary Impressionists, or make your own on their community canvases and art journals. 

    Each quarter, Artiste hosts two release parties where you can not only taste the fruits of their labor but also meet the artist who inspired it. For more information, please please visit Artiste online.

  • 16 Jul 2015 2:49 PM | Anonymous

    Things are getting a bit of a shake-up in downtown Santa Barbara. With Brooks Institute nearing the completion of their consolidation to Ventura, a long-term project that will ultimately allow them to offer film, photography, visual journalism and graphic design education all at the same location, this means the school and all its associated galleries will soon be relocating. If you’re feeling glum about the loss, however, no need to worry—there’s a new art space in town that’s sure to fill that hole in your heart.

    Galactic, Charlene Broudy

    GraySpace Gallery is the newest addition to the Funk Zone. Set to open its doors later this month, the gallery is located at 219 Gray Avenue, between Yanonali Street and Montecito Street. GraySpace will show contemporary abstract art by local artists and others, kicking off with their inaugural show 3 Melodies

    3 Melodies, running from July 24 through October 30, highlights a trio of home-grown Santa Barbara artists who draw inspiration from various sources. Artist and designer Charlene Broudy is known for her multicolored acrylic abstractions done on panel and canvas (pictured is Galactic). Her work is inspired by the vibrancy of Costa Rica, where she and her husband created the resort hotel Xandari

    Her fellow exhibitor Carolyn Fox looks to a different locale for inspiration, painting the lush landscapes of the Ojai Valley she calls home. Fox's new body of work “Roller Paintings” is the product of her experimentation with a new process that allows for luxuriously wide, flowing lines of color. She uses these large curves to create beautiful, elemental compositions. 

    Steven Gilbar, meanwhile, is a self-taught artist who was originally inspired by the collage work of iconic architect and artist Richard Meier (who designed the Getty in L.A., among other notable buildings). Gilbar has transitioned from his collage roots into mixed media and ultimately painting, but throughout it all he has retained his respect for those who came before him.

    3 Melodies opens on Friday, July 24 from 5pm-8pm, during the Funk Zone Art Walk. Once the gallery’s up and running, GraySpace will be open Friday through Sunday from 12pm-5pm and by appointment if you’re interested in checking out the new venue. 

  • 14 Jul 2015 12:25 PM | Anonymous

    Once the gymnasium on the center of UCSB’s campus, the Red Barn is now home to art rather than athletics. The project space houses student art, but it also serves as a sort of community center. At the moment, the Red Barn is home to We Remember Them, a student-run tribute to Isla Vista’s memorial efforts in the aftermath of last May’s tragedy.

    We Remember Them: Acts of Love and Compassion is an eight-room exhibit featuring over 6,000 square feet of artifacts and messages of support for the victim’s loved ones and community members. Included in the project are some of the creative products of grief: art created in tribute, and powerful photography that documents the healing process of a traumatized community. 

    Although this display captures the community’s many spontaneous acts of remembrance, the exhibit itself took a lot of planning. It was put on by an ad-hoc memorial preservation group consisting of UCSB faculty, students, administrators, librarians and alumni. This team, formed in 2014, collected and processed a portion of the condolence items that were contributed in hope of preserving them and reminding the public that the tragedy didn’t only produce violence—it brought out a tremendous amount of love and compassion as well.

    We Remember Them has been extended to stay up through August 13 at the Red Barn at UCSB. It is open Monday through Thursday each week from 11am-4pm (admission is free). If you can’t make it to the exhibit, you can view a selection of it online.

  • 09 Jul 2015 12:26 PM | Anonymous

    Santa Barbara’s nonprofit Museum of Contemporary Art is touted as the premier venue for contemporary art between L.A. and San Francisco, and it’s easy to see why. Their exhibits and programs, such as smART Talks, bring some of the brightest art minds to the forefront of the Central Coast art scene.

    smART Talks is an annual series of free lectures designed to shed light on Santa-Barbara based contemporary artists. If you haven't been yet, the final two lectures of the trio scheduled for 2015 are coming up within the next few weeks. First, artist and academic lecturer Elizabeth Folk will explore issues of class, labor, sexuality, communication and revolution via time-based media, sculpture and installation. She's known for staging dynamic public interventions and guerrilla performances that invite audience participation in social discourse, a penchant that's sure to make her presentations engaging wherever she is. Folk's smART Talk is this Wednesday, July 15 from 6-7pm. 

    Later in the month, UCSB’s inaugural artist-in-residence Sommer Roman will discuss her passions for the sensuous over the sensical, a path she believes has the potential to reveal alternate routes of being as well as self-understanding in the world. Roman's talk on Wednesday, July 29 will close out the smART Talks series for the year. 

    Smooth Mover and Orienteer by Sommer Roman

    Both lectures take place at 6pm at 222 Canon Perdido Street, home of the Incredible Children’s Art Network. iCAN, a local organization that brings high quality art programming to students throughout the county, plays host to all of MCASB's smART Talks this year.

    Formerly known as the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF), MCASB is an educational center that strives to support the arts of our time. However, MCASB is also an active social center in the Santa Barbara area—their summer soirée Shades of Blue is coming up on Saturday, July 18 at MCASB satellite venue Hotel Indigo (121 State St.), and it's an event you won't want to miss.

    For those that aren’t yet members, no need to worry—MCASB is hosting a membership drive now through July 18, and participants have a chance to win a one-night stay at one of a number of glamorous Santa Barbara hotels. While entrance to most of MCASB's exhibits and events are free, paid memberships help support the continued existence of the Central Coast's major center for contemporary art. For more information on any of these events, please visit MCASB online

  • 07 Jul 2015 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    If you’ve ever left an exhibit feeling so inspired you could plop down right there and start crafting the next Mona Lisa, then Studio Sundays are for you. Every month, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art hosts a free, hands-on workshop on their front steps, where attendees can peruse the museum before settling down outside to soak up the sun and get their hands dirty.

    SBMA Teaching Artists guide participants through the process, focusing on a different theme each session. The medium can be anything from clay to metal to photography, as long as it’s inspired by a work of art housed in the museum at the moment. The two upcoming workshops, on July 12 and August 9, draw on paintings in the current Moholy-Nagy exhibit The Shape of Things to Come

    July’s abstract composition workshop is inspired by Moholy-Nagy’s Untitled Space Modulator (pictured), and guests are invited to paint black and brightly hued acrylics onto clear transparencies to achieve a similar effect. Next month’s event, a collage workshop, takes inspiration from Moholy-Nagy’s collage Composition in the creation of bright metallic paper collages on dark backgrounds. 

    Both sessions take place from 1:30-4:30pm in front of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art at 1130 State Street. For more information on SBMA's public programming, please visit their website

  • 02 Jul 2015 11:01 AM | Anonymous

    The Visual Arts & Design Academy at Santa Barbara High School has just unveiled a series of bold new murals in the Funk Zone, adding to the funky artistic vibe of the well-trodden Urban Wine Trail. Twelve new four-by-eight-foot mural panels now adorn the exterior doors of several businesses at 137 Anacapa Street, the Yanonali Street side of the Anacapa Project. The revitalized storefronts include Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, The Guitar Bar and Area 5.1 Winery.

    Installed over the course of two weeks, the striking murals were created by VADA senior students and their mentors, Santa Barbara artists Michael Matheson and Chelsea Locatelli. The former, whose work can be seen at such places as The French Press and Municipal Winery, is a seventh-generation Santa Barbara native known for his folk-inspired painting and illustrations. In addition to his own work, he frequently collaborates with artistic partner Locatelli to create photo booth sets, hand-painted signage and cornhole games for their company, ART DEPTMNT. The pair served as artists-in-residence for the mural project, coming up with the designs which were then realized by the students.

    As the murals are on the doors of businesses, they will be on display after hours from 11pm-11am, for up to year. Upon their de-installation, the panels will be used to help fundraise for the VADA program, a creative program within Santa Barbara High School. VADA provides career-focused art and design instruction alongside rigorous academic coursework for 175 students. While the program as a whole is funded in equal parts by the California Department of Education, Santa Barbara High School and individual donors, this particular project was sponsored by the Community Arts Grant Program and the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

    For more information on VADA and their work in the community, please visit their website.

  • 24 Jun 2015 10:28 AM | Anonymous

    Last month, we filled you in on Drought Resistant, a summer series tackling the lack of local show space for contemporary art. It’s already time for the second installment, a solo show set to open on July 2 at Courtney Jane Miller Landscape Architecture in downtown Santa Barbara.

    Megan Meuller

    July’s exhibit will feature the work of Megan Mueller, a talented and innovative local sculptor. Mueller builds creative constructions using any and every medium—as long as an element is brimming with vibrant colors or patterns, it’s fair game. Mueller infuses her work with character, revealing her sense of humor and creativity through her art. These often surprising creations are sure to delight and amuse viewers throughout the month of July (and beyond).

    It was Mueller who conceived the name “Drought Resistant” in the series’ nascence, and her strong body of work shows her passion and dedication to contemporary art. Originally hailing from rural Virginia, Mueller attended schools on the East Coast before earning her MFA at UCSB. Recently, she has shown in such galleries as the Long Beach Arts Exchange, Shangrila, UCSB’s Glass Box Gallery and (e)merge Art Fair with Transformer Gallery. 

    Come to the opening on July 2 from 5-8pm and enjoy complimentary refreshments as you browse Mueller’s show. CJM::LA is located at 300 East Canon Perdido Street, #C-2. 

  • 23 Jun 2015 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    A new exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art launches on July 5 with a special lecture by guest curator Joyce Tsai. Tsai, a scholar of modern and contemporary art, will discuss the exhibit The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shape of Things to Come, featuring the work of artist, theorist and Bauhaus professor László Moholy-Nagy.  The lecture will focus on Moholy’s later years, during which time the innovative painter and photographer tried to rectify his passions for traditional media and the promise of technology.

    Born in Hungary, Moholy was an expatriate for most of his life, notably living in Germany to teach at the Bauhaus in Weimar. He was an advocate for the integration of technology in the arts, believing that art had to become scientific, egalitarian and technologically advanced so that it would condition the viewer to respond to the challenges of modern life. Moholy encouraged artists to drop their brushes and instead pick up cameras, and abandoned his own painting in 1928 to focus entirely on developing an ambitious device meant to produce moving light displays. 

    Amidst the social and political turmoil of the 1930s and 40s, however, he returned to painting. Moholy ultimately founded the Chicago Institute of Design in the U.S. and it was there, in his final years, that he “attempted to rescue the technological promise of his age in the modest medium of painting” (SBMA), producing the subject of this exciting new exhibit. 

    The lecture takes place in the Mary Craig Auditorium (1130 State St.) at 3pm and marks the commencement of The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shape of Things to Come. For more details on this event, please visit our Events page. 

  • 16 Jun 2015 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    If you enjoy looking at local art and supporting those behind it, then feast your eyes on The Arts Fund’s fall exhibition and fundraiser. To support their community gallery space—the only one in the area—The Arts Fund is holding an exhibit for local artists at the Community Gallery in the Funk Zone.

    Feast Your Eyes!

    For ten dollars, artists can purchase an 11” x 14” canvas and a space in the show. During the event, from September 11-26, ticket holders can purchase the completed pieces for $300, with proceeds going toward the venue. In addition, everyone is invited to purchase tickets to the reception party on September 11 to launch the exhibit and further support the fundraiser for this great organization. 

    The Community Gallery provides a show space for the community as well as alumni of The Arts Fund’s Teen Arts Mentorship workshops. The gallery also gives guest curators professional experience putting on interesting exhibits. For the past 30 years, The Arts Fund has nurtured up-and-coming artists, and they intend to continue this legacy. If you’re interested in contributing to this event, as an artist or a guest, please visit The Arts Fund online for guidelines and more information about purchasing tickets.

  • 08 Jun 2015 11:45 PM | Anonymous

    After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Ray Strong Project has raised the funds to pay due tribute to the beloved California artist. Conceived in 2013, the Ray Strong Project includes the first-ever monographic book on his life and art as well as an online catalog raisonné, an extensive digital compendium that includes images, titles, dates, measurements, exhibition history, and provenance of every single painting and mural ever created by the prolific artist.

    Golden Hills, by Ray Strong

    Born in 1905, Ray Strong began painting en plein air in high school. After stints in San Francisco and New York, he returned to California in the early ‘30s to help found the Art Students League of San Francisco, where he studied and taught with Maynard Dixon, Frank Van Sloun, and George Post. Strong painted murals for the Works Progress Administration, and his “Golden Gate Bridge” was hung in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt White House.

    In 1960, Strong was lured south to Santa Barbara to complete commissioned works for the Museum of Natural History’s Bird Hall and some paintings for a local bank.  During his time in Santa Barbara, he helped establish a number of organizations, including the Santa Barbara Art Institute, the cooperative Gallery 113, and The Oak Group, an art foundation devoted to painting California’s open spaces and to preserving these beautiful inspirations from development. Strong lived a long, rich life, passing away at the ripe age of 101 in 2006.

    In celebration of this amazing artist, many local museums and galleries will be hosting exhibits this summer in partnership with the Ray Strong Project. While most of the exhibits are open at least through the end of the summer, be sure to catch the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s RAY STRONG: Beyond Santa Barbara before it closes on June 21. Other venues include Sullivan Goss, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and Casa de la Guerra, a remembrance exhibit put on by Strong’s own Oak Group.

    Stay tuned for updates as more events are announced in conjunction with the celebrations. If you are interested in contributing to this ambitious project—which is seeking everything from interns to venues to details of personally owned paintings—please visit their website.  

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