José González with Special Guest Bedouine

Jose Gonzalez, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Jose Gonzalez, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents José González with special guest Bedouine on Wed., Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall.

 A soulful songwriter with a deep, quiet power, González quickly gained a loyal following worldwide, wooing his audience with probing lyrics, intricate guitar melodies and a “beautiful yet haunting voice” ( Born in Sweden to Argentinian parents, González seamlessly integrates the sounds of his Latin American roots with sublime introspective folk punctuated by rock panache. “A spellbinding talent” (The Telegraph, U.K.), González returns by popular demand with special guest Bedouine, whose ‘60s folk meets ‘70s country-funk with a glimmer of bossa nova cool.

Watch the trailer for José González’s most recent album, Vestiges and Claws

Watch the video for Bedouine’s “Solitary Daughter

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or visit 

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 29, 2018.

SBIFF Fetes Allison Janney and Margot Robbie

SBIFF Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, courtesy photos.

SBIFF Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, courtesy photos.

I, Tonya stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney will receive the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) on Thursday, February 8, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St.

“Allison and Margot bring biting humor and an emotional resonance to their real-life characters in I, Tonya,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “We are proud to celebrate them and their incredible contributions to cinema.”

Janney and Robbie have received Critics’ Choice Awards for the film and both actresses have also received nominations at the BAFTAs and SAG Awards for their respective roles, and Janney was awarded with the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. The tribute will be moderated by Scott Feinberg, Awards Columnist for The Hollywood Reporter.

Janney and Robbie will join a renowned group of Outstanding Performer Award recipients, including Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet, and Charlize Theron.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 26, 2018.

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honors Saoirse Ronan

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan, courtesy photos.

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan, courtesy photos.

Golden Globe Award winner Saoirse Ronan will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Santa Barbara Award, presented by UGG, for her critically acclaimed role in Lady Bird. Given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film, she will receive the award at a ceremony on Sunday, February 4, at 8 p.m., at the Arlington Theatre (1317 State St.).

Saoirse Ronan, whose first name rhymes with “inertia,” has numerous film credits, including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hanna, The Lovely Bones and The Way Back. She has received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Atonement and Brooklyn, and recently was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her performance in Lady Bird.

“In Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan has once again proven that she is a force of nature and one of her generation’s most exciting young talents,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “She embodies her characters with a poignant accuracy and ease every time she appears on screen.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

Past recipients of the award include Isabelle Huppert, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Bill Condon and Naomi Watts. For more information, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 28, 2018.

SBIFF Unveils World Premiere Film Lineup

The 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) offers 200+ films representing 58 countries, 45 World premieres, and 53 U.S. premieres, along with tributes with the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

Below is the list of world premiere features at the 2018 SBIFF.


A Sniper’s War, USA, Ukraine, Russia

Directed by Olya Schechter

A Sniper's War, courtesy photo.

A Sniper’s War, courtesy photo.

Acid Horizon, USA

Directed by Ivan Hurzeler


Broke: The Santa Barbara Oil Pipeline Spill of 2015, USA

Directed by Gail Osherenko

Chasing the Thunder, USA

Directed by Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin


The Doctor From India, USA

Directed by Jeremy Frindel


The End of Meat (Eine welt ohne fleisch), Germany

Directed by Marc Pierschel


The Independents, USA

Directed by Greg Naughton


Living in the Futures Past, USA

Directed by Susan Kucera


Making Babies, USA

Directed by Josh Huber

Making Babies, courtesy photo.

Metamorphosis, Canada

Directed by Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper


My Indiana Muse, USA

Directed by Ric and Jen Serena


My Indiana Muse (official trailer) from Serena Creative on Vimeo.

¡Oh Mamy Blue!, Spain

Directed by Antonio Hens


Off the Menu, USA

Directed by Jay Silverman


One Last Night, USA

Directed by Anthony Sabet


the public, USA

Directed by Emilio Estevez


The Push, USA

Directed by Grant Korgan


Scotch: A Golden Dream, USA

Directed by Andrew Peat


Silicon Beach, USA

Directed by Max Gold


Threesome (Le trip à trois), Canada

Directed by Nicolas Monette


Waiting for the Drop: Rise of the Superstar DJs, USA

Directed by Alexei Barrionuevo


The War in Between, USA

Directed by Riccardo Ferraris


We Are Galapagos, USA

Directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani


The White Orchid, USA

Directed by Steve Anderson


U.S. PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)


3 Things (3 ting), Denmark

Directed by Jens Dahl


A Land Without Borders, Israel

Directed by Michael Alalu and Nir Baram


Adventures in Public School, Canada

Directed by Kyle Rideout


Before I Forget (Antes que eu me esqueça), Brazil

Directed by Tiago Arakilian


Beyond – An African Surf Documentary, Austria

Directed by Mario Hainzl


Beyond Dreams (Dröm vidare), Sweden

Directed by Rojda Serkersöz


Big Wata, Netherlands

Directed by Jan Paul Van der Velden


Bingo: The King of the Mornings (Bingo: O rei das manhãs), Brazil

Directed by Daniel Rezende


Black Kite, Canada, Afghanistan

Directed by Tarique Qayumi


The Butterfly Tree, Australia

Directed by Priscilla Cameron


Cardinals, Canada

Directed by Grayson Moore & Aidan Shipley


Catch the Wind (Prendre le large), France

Directed by Gaël Morel


Darling, Denmark

Directed by Birgitte Stærmose


Daybreak (Dita zë fill), Albania

Directed by Gentian Koçi


The Double Lover (L’amant double), France

Directed by François Ozon


Edie, UK

Directed by Simon Hunter


The Eternal Road (Ikitie), Finland

Directed by Antti-Jussi Annila


Euthanizer (Armomurhaaja), Finland

Directed by Teemu Nikki


The Faithful Son (La part sauvage), Belgium

Directed by Guérin van de Vorst


Fence Your Best, Israel

Directed by Liat Mer


Fifty Springtimes (Aurore), France

Directed by Blandine Lenoir


Filthy (Spina), Czech Republic, Slovakia

Directed by Tereza Nvotová


Get the Weed (Misión no oficial), Uruguay

Directed by Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero and Marcos Hecht


Giant (Handia), Spain

Directed by Jon Garaño and Aitor Arregi


Grace and Splendor (Donaire y esplendor), Panama

Directed by Arturo Montenegro


Grand Cru, Canada

Directed by David Eng


Guerrero, Mexico

Directed by Ludovic Bonleux


Imposed Piece (Opgelegd Werk), Belgium

Directed by Brecht Vanhoenacker

Imposed Piece, courtesy photo.

Imposed Piece, courtesy photo.

In Love and In Hate (Los que aman, odian), Argentina

Directed by Alejandro Maci


The Island, Israel

Directed by Adam Weingrod


The Last Suit (El último traje), Argentina

Directed by Pablo Solarz


Maracaibo, Argentina

Directed by Miguel Angel Rocca


Mary Goes Round, Canada

Directed by Molly McGlynn


Meditation Park, Canada

Directed by Mina Shum


Modified, Canada

Directed by Aube Giroux


The Order of Things (L’ordine delle cose), Italy

Directed by Andrea Segre


Sad Hill Unearthed, Spain

Directed by Guillermo de Oliveira


Secret Ingredient (Iscelitel), Greece

Directed by Gjorce Stavreski


Soviet Hippies, Estonia, Germany, Finland

Directed by Terje Toomistu


Sunshine That Can Move Mountains, China

Directed by Qiang Wang


Star Boys (Kaiken se kestää), Sweden

Directed by Visa Koiso-Kanttila


The Swan (Svanurinn), Iceland, Estonia, Germany

Directed by Ása Hjörleifsdóttir


The Unseen (Los últimos), Argentina

Directed by Nicolás Puenzo

Unwanted (T’padashtun), Kosovo, Netherlands

Directed by Edon Rizvanolli


Wall, Canada

Directed by Cam Christiansen


While We Live (Mens vi lever), Denmark

Directed by Mehdi Avaz




All You Can Eat Buddha, Canada, Cuba

Directed by Ian Lagarde


Angels Wear White (Jia nian hua), China, France

Directed by Vivian Qu


Arrhythmia (Aritmiya), Russia, Finland, Germany

Directed by Boris Khlebnikov


Back to Burgundy (Ce qui nous lie), France

Directed by Cédric Klapisch


Beartrek, USA, Canada, Indonesia, Peru

Directed by Chris Morgan & Joe Pontecorvo


Blue, Australia

Directed by Karina Holden


Borg vs. McEnroe, Sweden, Denmark, Finland

Directed by Janus Metz


Breath (Nafas), Iran

Directed by Narges Abyar


Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, USA, Canada, China

Directed by Dave O’Leske

Elish’s Notebooks, Israel

Directed by Golan Rise


The Essential Link – The Story of Wilfred Israel, Israel

Directed by Yonatan Nir


Faces Places (Visages, villages), France

Directed by JR and Agnès Varda


The Future Ahead (El futuro que viene), Argentina

Directed by Constanza Novick


The Gospel According to André, USA

Directed by Kate Novack


Gutland, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium

Directed by Govinda Van Maele


Holy Camp! (La Llamada), Spain

Directed by Javier Ambrossi & Javier Calvo


Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan), India

Directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani


Icarus, USA

Directed by Bryan Fogel


In Syria (Insyriated), Belgium, France, Lebanon

Directed by Philippe Van Leeuw


The Insult (L’insulte), Lebanon

Directed by Ziad Doueiri


Just Like Our Parents, Brazil

Directed by Laís Bodanzky


Killer Bees, USA

Directed by Ben & Orson Cummings


Kim Swims, USA

Directed by Kate Webber

Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy, USA

Directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer


The Line (Čiara), Slovakia, Ukraine

Directed by Peter Bebjak


Love Means Zero, USA

Directed by Jason Kohn


Miracle on 42nd Street, USA

Directed by Alice Elliott


Montana, Israel

Directed by Limor Shmila


Nelson Algren Live, USA

Directed by Oscar Bucher


Oh Lucy!, USA, Japan

Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi


The Party, USA

Directed by Sally Potter


Point of No Return, USA

Directed by Quinn Kanaly & Noel Dockstader


The Quartette (Kvarteto), Czech Republic

Directed by Miroslav Krobot


Racer and the Jailbird (Le fidèle), Belgium

Directed by Michaël R. Roskam


Scaffolding (Pigumim), Israel, Poland

Directed by Matan Yair


Scary Mother, Georgia, Estonia

Directed by Ana Urushadze


Skid Row Marathon, USA

Directed by Mark Hayes


Sky and Ground, USA, Serbia/Montenegro, Macedonia, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Austria

Directed by Joshua Bennett & Talya Tibbon


Something New (Qualcosa di nuovo), Italy

Directed by Cristina Comencini

Something New, courtesy photo.

Something New, courtesy photo.

Soufra, Singapore, USA, Lebanon

Directed by Thomas A. Morgan


The Starry Sky Above Me, (Le ciel étoilé au-dessus de ma tête), France

Directed by Ilan Klipper


Streetlight Harmonies, USA

Directed by Brent Wilson


The Third Murder, (Sandome no Satsujin), Japan

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda


Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle (Tulipani: Liefde, Eer en een Fiets), Netherlands

Directed by Mike van Diem


Triumph: The Untold Story of Perry Wallace, USA

Directed by Rich Gentile


Under the Tree (Undir Trénu), Iceland, Denmark, Poland & Germany

Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson


Wife and Husband (Moglie e marito), Italy

Directed by Simone Godano


You Disappear (Du forsvinder), Denmark, Sweden

Directed by Peter Schønau Fog



72%, Spain – US Premiere

Directed by Lluis Quilez


Abroad, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Zayn Alexandar


Aeris, USA

Directed by Paul Castro Jr.


Afterwork, Spain, Peru, Ecuador – World Premiere

Directed by Luis Uson


The Artist & The Great Bear, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Jeff Mcloughlin


As Long As It Takes (Le temps qu’il faut), Canada

Directed by Abeille Tard


Audition, USA

Directed by Richard Van


Bargain, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Clifford Miu


Basha Man, China

Directed by Daniel Chein


Bigfoot’s Love Slave, USA

Directed by Heather Tom


The Cannonball Woman, (La femme canon), France, Switzerland, Canada – US Premiere

Directed by David Toutevoix and Albertine Zullo


Cascarón, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Casey McGarry


Catacomb, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Alex Z. Avila


Couch for Sale, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Takashi Doscher


Cowboy of Mount Laurier (Le cowboy du mont Laurier), Canada – US Premiere

Directed by Gabriel Vilandré


Crossing the Channel, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Ryan Slattery


Cuba: Music Revolution, USA

Directed by Juan Ponce de León


Dancing with Dragons, USA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Mexico, Belize

Directed by Mark Romanov


Don’t Mind Alice, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Maude Apatow & Olivia Rosenbloom


The Driver Is Red, USA

Directed by Randall Christopher


Field Song (Canción de Campo), USA

Directed by Brad Bischoff


Fern, UK – US Premiere

Directed by Johnny Kelly


Ferryman at the Wall, USA

Directed by David Freid


Fingerprints, USA

Directed by Don Hardy


From Golf Course to Wetland, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Michael Love


Hide and Seek (Bújócska), Hungary

Directed by Gábor Benő Baranyi


Home Shopper, USA

Directed by Dev Patel

Dev Patel directs Home Shopper, courtesy photo.

Dev Patel directs Home Shopper, courtesy photo.

Hybrids, France

Directed by Florian Brauch, Kim Tailhades, Matthieu Pujol, Romain Thirion and Yohan Thireau


Keep Calm and Tampon, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Claudia Lonow


Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs, USA

Directed by Camilla H. Fox


The Last Man You Meet, USA

Directed by Chris Bone


Long Term Delivery, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Jake Honig


Los Comandos, USA

Directed by Joshua Bennett


Lunch Ladies, USA

Directed by J.M. Logan


Mariela, UK

Directed by Victoria Romero


Martien, Switzerland

Directed by Maxime Pillonel


Me, My Phone and I, USA

Directed by Luke Mullen


Mott Haven, USA

Directed by Kyle Morrison


Negative Space, France

Directed by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata


Online Shopping, Iran

Directed by Ghasideh Golmakani


Out of the Ashes, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Hallie Brown


Poles Apart, USA

Directed by Paloma Baeza


Phototaxis, USA

Directed by Melissa Ferrari


The Red Flag, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Mike Winger


RFLKTR, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Matt K. Turner


Santa Claus, USA

Directed by Jeff Man


Sequin, Taiwan – US Premiere

Directed by Yachi Yang


Siren Song: Women Singers of Pakistan, USA, Pakistan, and India

Directed by Fawzia Afzal-Khan


Shadow Boxer (Skyggebokser), Denmark – World Premiere

Directed by Andreas Bøggild Monies


Shark Bight, USA – US Premiere

Directed by Stephanie Foster


The Shift, USA

Directed by Elivia Shaw


Simularity, USA

Directed by Ryan O’Nan


Soul of the City, USA – World Premiere

Directed by John Klein


Souls of Totality, USA

Directed by Richard Raymond


Space Butthole, USA

Directed by David Chai


The Take Off, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Ryan Kalil


The Tesla World Light, (Tesla: Lumière Mondiale), Canada

Directed by Matthew Rankin


Tigerstyle, United Kingdom, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Elliott Powell, Jordyn Romero, Paloma Young, Rachel Lattin, and Riani Singgih


The Tipping Point, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Danielle Cohen


Toward the North (Hacia el norte), USA

Directed by Elivia Shaw, Jessica Chermayeff, and Joshua Bennett


Towards the Sun (Hacia el sol), United Kingdom

Directed by Monica Santis


Two Balloons, USA – US Premiere

Directed by Mark C. Smith


Under Her Wing, USA

Directed by Keenan McGuckin


Undiscovered, USA

Directed by Sara Litzenberger


Virtually Yours, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Andrea Lithner


Wildlife and the Wall, USA

Directed by Ben Masters


You Are Here, United Kingdom

Directed by Nicholas Jones


Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber, USA

Directed by Svetlana Cvetko


“Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber” Trailer from David Scott Smith on Vimeo.

For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events please visit and download the SBIFF app for the latest updates and schedule changes.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 25, 2018.



PuppetPalooza Kick-Off Fundraiser

Come play with the puppets this weekend when PuppetPalooza Central—Museum and Theatre  celebrates their opening with a fundraiser extravaganza on Saturday, January 27, from 4-7 p.m. in Paseo Nuevo.

The festivities  honor Santa Barbara’s beloved anchorman John Palminteri and the KEYT News Channel 3 team for going above and beyond with their coverage of the Thomas Fire and aftermath in Santa Barbara County. A special  “John Palminteri Puppet” will perform live with “The Palm.”

The Muppets will headline the Puppetpalooza Festival on Mar. 2 at the Marjorie Luke Theatre. Courtesy photo.

The Muppets will headline the Puppetpalooza Festival on Mar. 2 at the Marjorie Luke Theatre. Courtesy photo.

Guests also will enjoy a showcase of the puppetry attractions coming to PuppetPalooza, as well as live performances, and and light bites and beverages.

“We hope our joyous festival filled with music, puppets, families and fun can bring renewed hope and laughter to our entire community after a winter season that has been difficult for everyone and tragic for too many,” states festival creator Mitchell Kriegman. “Honoring those in our community who have been reporting about our tireless first responders and informing all of us about these pressing events seemed like the best way to kick off our festival.”

Featured at the fundraiser, and on display throughout the season at PuppetPalooza Central, is noted puppeteer—and Vice Chair and Director of Dance of the UCSB Theater and Dance Department—Christina McCarthy and her handcrafted puppets. 

The Paseo Nuevo headquarters also features the regional debut screenings of Handmade Puppet Dreams presented by Heather Henson, the daughter of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson. Handmade Puppet Dreams is a traveling film series that promotes independent artists exploring their handmade craft specifically for the screen. 

Fundraiser tickets are $25 and are available for purchase online here or at PuppetPalooza Central in Paseo Nuevo (301 Paseo Nuevo). For more information, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 25, 2018.

SBIFF American Riviera Award Honors Sam Rockwell

SBIFF American Riviera Award honoring Sam Rockwell, courtesy photos.

SBIFF American Riviera Award honoring Sam Rockwell, courtesy photos.

Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award winner Sam Rockwell is being honored with the 2018 American Riviera Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).

Rockwell’s tribute celebrates his acclaimed performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

“In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, audiences are treated to the kind of mesmerizing and extraordinary performance we have come to expect from Sam Rockwell,” states Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “We are long overdue to celebrate this tremendous talent who has lit up the screen for decades.”

The American Riviera Award was established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. Rockwell will join a prestigious group of past recipients, including Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Robert Redford, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke, Tommy Lee Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane.

The 33rd edition of the Festival runs from January 31 to February 10 and the American Riviera Award takes place on Wednesday, February 7, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St..

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 24, 2018.

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah, photo by Paul Mobley.

Trevor Noah, photo by Paul Mobley.

Trevor Noah, who was launched into the international spotlight in 2015 when he was selected to fill Jon Stewart’s shoes as host of The Daily Show, makes his Santa Barbara debut on January 19 when UCSB Arts & Lectures presents an evening of stand-up with Trevor Noah, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre  (1317 State St.).

Raised in post-apartheid South Africa by a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison, Noah brings a unique perspective to his stories and hit comedy specials, including Afraid of the Dark, Lost in Translation, African American and his award-winning memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.

Newsweek called him, “A cultural chameleon who has learned to mine his surroundings as much for survival and human connection as for comedy.”  Noah’s incisive humor slips from jokes to earnest insights for a moving, thought-provoking and hilarious experience. 

Noah continues to tour all over the world and has performed in front of sold-out crowds at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and the Sydney Opera House in Australia as well as many U.S. cities.

 For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 13, 2018.

Westmont Museum Raises Big $ With Small Artworks

 Large crowds flocked to the 5×5 exhibition in 2014, photo courtesy Westmont College.Large crowds flocked to the 5×5 exhibition in 2014, photo courtesy Westmont College.

An update from Westmont College : Small works of art from several hundred artists from around the country will be auctioned during “5X5: Celebrating Westmont College’s 80th Anniversary” at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. The online auction will begin Thursday, Jan. 11, at and last until Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. However, due to the destruction in the local community from mudslides, an opening reception will be delayed until Thursday, Jan. 18, from 4-6 p.m. The opening reception, which includes coffee and cake, is free and open to the public. This is the largest fundraiser of the year for the museum.

Several hundred small works of art from artists from around the country will be auctioned during “5X5: Celebrating Westmont College’s 80th Anniversary” at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art from Jan. 11-26.

The online auction kicks off with an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 4-6 p.m., and bidding will continue until  Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. The opening reception, which includes refreshments, is free and open to the public.  (Event delayed due to flooding) All proceeds from the event will go towards the museum.Artists were invited to create a unique work of art on a five-inch square piece of paper which they received and returned to the museum by mail.

The exhibition features renowned artists Christo, Charles Arnoldi and Chris Raschka along with local luminaries Tony Askew, Mary Heebner, Penelope Gottlieb, Dane Goodman, Richard Aber and author T.C. Boyle.

In the past, the auction has raised upwards of $20,000 for the museum.

“We have been looking forward to bringing the 5×5 exhibition back and Westmont’s 80th Anniversary is the perfect way to celebrate,” says Judy Larson, R. Anthony Askew professor of art history and museum director. “It’s a great opportunity to support the museum’s programs, meet new artists and connect with old friends.”

For more information, visit or contact the museum at 805/565-6162. Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art is located at 955 La Paz Rd. It is free and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 11, 2018.

The Books of 2017

So many books, so little time—part 11.

My son started keeping a reading list in third grade, so I did too. This is the 11th year we’ve done this.

My favorite books of 2017 were probably The Mothers, by Britt Bennett; Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Commonwealth by Ann Patchett; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Anyway, I’d love to hear about other people’s favorite books this year.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Jesse Andrews
Home Again Kristin Hannah
The Bookseller Cynthia Swanson
Leave Me Gayle Forman
Suite 606 J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, Mary Kay McComas
The Mothers Britt Bennett
Big Girl Panties Stephanie Evanovich
The Wangs Vs. the World Jade Chang
The Nest Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
The Housewife Assassin’s Deadly Dossier Josie Brown
I Was Here Gayle Forman
Scrappy Little Nobody Anna Kendrick
There Goes the Bride Holly McQueen
Ship of Brides Jojo Moyes
The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead
Swift as Desire Laura Esquivel
Confetti Confidential Holly McQueen
The Weekenders Mary Kay Andrews
When I’m Gone Emily Bleeker
First Comes Love Emily Giffin
Three Wishes Liane Moriarty
Truly Madly Guilty Liane Moriarty
Save the Date Jen Doll
The Year of Voting Dangerously Maureen Dowd
Everybody’s Fool Richard Russo
Where She Went Gayle Forman
Two by Two Nicolas Sparks
Talking as Fast as I Can Lauren Graham
Unrivaled Alyson Noel
Nothing That is Ours DJ Palladino
Fangirl Rainbow Rowell
We are all Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
What Light Jay Asher
If Not For You Debbie Macomber
Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Who Asked You? Terry McMillan
Connect the Stars Marisa de Los santos & David Teague
The Knockoff Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
44 Cranberry Point Debbie Macomber
From Notting Hill to Love Actually Ali McNamara
The Postmistress Sarah Blake
You’ll Grow Out Of It Jesi Klein
The Awkward Age Francesca Segal
Queen Takes King Gigi Levangie Grazer
Into the Woods Tana French
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine Gail Honeyman
Bright Precious Days Jay McInerney
Being Mortal Atul Gawande
The Hynotist’s Love Story Liane Moriarty
Boys in the Trees Carly Simon
The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon
American Housewife Helen Ellis
Prejudice & Pride Rachel Anderson
The Bookshop on the Corner Rebecca Raisin
All the Bright Places Jennifer Niven
A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend Felicity Huffman & Patricia Wolff
The Girlfriend Curse Valerie Frankel
The Divorce Papers Susan Rieger
The After Party Anton DiSclafani
The Worst Day of My Life So Far M.A. Harper
It’s Always the Husband Michele Campbell
The Girl in the Spider’s Web David Lagercrantz
Commonwealth Ann Patchett
Lincoln in the Bardo George Saunders
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Jenny Han
The Jane Austen Project Kathleen A. Flynn
The Great Escape Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The Grown Up Gillian Flynn
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen Syrie James
We’ll Always Have Summer Jenny Han
The Sunshine Sisters Jane Green
The Time of My Life: A Novel Cecilia Ahern
The View From the Cheap Seats Neil Gaiman
What Happened Hillary Rodham Clinton
My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante
Winter Storms Elin Hilderbrand
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
What She Knew Gilly MacMillan
Irish Eyes Mary Kay Andrews
Carry On Rainbow Rowell

UCSB Art Design & Architecture Museum Winter Exhibits Feature Keith Puccinelli, Jane Gottlieb & Chiura Obata

Image: Chiura Obata, Grand Canyon, May 15, 1940, Watercolor on silk, Amber and Richard Sakai Collection, courtesy UCSB ADA&A Museum.

Image: Chiura Obata, Grand Canyon, May 15, 1940, Watercolor on silk, Amber and Richard Sakai Collection, courtesy UCSB ADA&A Museum.

UCSB Art Design & Architecture Museum has three terrific winter exhibits opening this month. Chiura Obata: An American Modern is on view Jan. 13-April 29 and features the work of Chiura Obata, one of the most significant Japanese American artists of the last century. Also on view during that same time period is Jane Gottlieb Photographs France, featuring the vibrantly colored, energetic cibachrome vision of Jane Gottlieb, a local artist whose work has been exhibited widely and featured in Santa Barbara Seasons.

Also opening on Jan. 13 and on view through April 1 is art by the late Keith Puccinelli, whose renowned work has been featured in Santa Barbara Seasons and who recently passed away.

The opening reception for all shows takes place on Jan. 12, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at UCSB Art Design & Architecture Museum, 552 University Rd., UCSB.

About Chiura Obata

Born in Okayama, Japan, and working primarily in California, Obata emigrated to the U.S. in 1903 and embarked on a seven-decade career that saw not only the growth of an international American art but also xenophobic laws and the mass incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Obata emerged as a leading figure in Northern California’s art scene, serving as an influential art professor at the University of California Berkeley for 22 years, and as a founding director of art schools at the Tanforan Assembly Center in California and the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah during the Japanese American Internment (1942–45).

Chiura Obata: An American Modern surveys Obata’s rich and varied oeuvre, featuring more than 150 superb works of art, many of which have never been on public display. Drawing from private and public collections, the retrospective showcases representative works from every decade of Obata’s career and presents them under thematic groupings in a loosely chronological order.

The many smaller, never-shown works in this retrospective illustrate Obata’s tireless pursuit of better techniques and devoted appreciation of the detail of everyday life.

“With a prodigious and expansive oeuvre, Obata’s seemingly effortless mastery of, and productive engagement with, diverse techniques, styles, and traditions defy the seemingly incompatible categorizations of what we have come to define as ‘American/European’ and ‘Japanese/Asian’ art,” says Professor ShiPu Wang, curator of the exhibition. “Obata’s faith in the power of art, his devotion to preserving the myriad grandeur of what he called ‘Great Nature,’ and his compelling personal story as an immigrant and an American all make Obata and his art as relevant to our contemporary moment as ever.”

Jane Gottlieb, Brancusi Head, 2017, photo-based art, archival dye sublimation print on aluminum, 40 x 60 in.

Jane Gottlieb, Brancusi Head, 2017, photo-based art, archival dye
sublimation print on aluminum, 40 x 60 in.

About Jane Gottlieb

Jane Gottlieb is a photographer living in Southern California, where she was born and raised. In her early 20s she made her first trip by herself as a young professional to Paris. The images she took then, and in many subsequent trips, have been a touchstone of her life’s work. She has returned to them again and again in the last decades, changing them progressively to meet her vision of France as the technology available to her has advanced.

Gottlieb’s vision of France is not like anyone else’s. It is riotous in color, hyper-vibrant in energy, and deeply Californian, shot through with a purely Mexican palette. When she discovered the possibility of hand painting cibachrome prints she had the tools to change the world to match her vision. Printing from her library of color slides, she could brighten them up and give them a new exciting life. The possibility of saturated, unrealistic color was released from Pandora’s box, not to cause trouble but to irritate the eye like a grain of sand in an oyster, producing pearls of perception.

The exhibition includes 20 works by Gottlieb, which survey both the development of her techniques and the specific motifs she has concentrated on in France. The photographs range in date from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s, and the prints from the early 1980s to the present. In addition, the exhibition includes, by way of contrast, late 19th-century photographs and postcards, which express the typical way photographers and visitors have viewed France, and highlight the originality of Gottlieb’s images.

With the cibachromes and then her digital prints, the power of Gottlieb’s vision has been widely recognized. Her work has been exhibited internationally and locally, from Basel, Lisbon, London, Paris, Rome, and Milan, to New York City and Denver, and in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Gottlieb’s work resonates across a broad range of viewers and interests.

Keith Puccinelli, Chesire Cat, 1998, ink on paper, 6 x 4 in.

Keith Puccinelli, Chesire Cat, 1998, ink on paper, 6 x 4 in.

About Keith Puccinelli

To announce the extraordinary gift of works and an archive by Keith Puccinelli as well as the recent establishment of The Frances Garvin and Keith Julius Puccinelli Endowed Fund, the AD&A Museum is mounting a celebratory exhibition. Featuring Keith Puccinelli’s work and selections from the couple’s personal collection, this exhibition is a modest installation in anticipation of a larger, forthcoming presentation of this incredible donation. Including a selection of Keith Puccinelli’s drawings, sculptures, sketchbooks, graphic designs and art by local and international folk artists, this installation underscores how this couple, recently deceased, lived an inspired, creative life.

Admission to UCSB Art, Design & Architecture is always free. The Museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and open to the public from noon-5 p.m. daily, except Thursdays, when it is open from noon to 8 p.m.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 7, 2018.