Local Dish: Smithy Kitchen + Bar

The outdoor patio at Kitchen + Bar is a beautiful place to dine, day or night. Photo courtesy Smithy.

The outdoor patio at Kitchen + Bar is a beautiful place to dine, day or night. Photo courtesy Smithy.

There’s nothing better than good food in a beautiful setting, and the new Smithy Kitchen + Bar (7 E. Anapamu St.) has both! I’ve dined on the lovely outdoor patio—under its gorgeous canopy of 100-year-old olive trees—twice in the last few weeks—once on a cold night and once on a warmish one—and the well-placed heaters make it a comfortable and cozy spot to be in almost any weather.

Designer Steve Hermann has redone the former Somerset space in an upscale yet approachable style, with a more “Santa Barbara” vibe and every day price point. Originally a blacksmith shop, hence the name “Smithy,” this prime downtown location (near the Granada Theatre, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Public Library and Sullivan Goss Gallery) is now a great spot for lunch, dinner with friends and family, nighttime drinks and bites or a leisurely Sunday brunch. There’s also a special Easter Brunch menu, if you’re eager to check it out this weekend.

Smithy's "Baby I'm a Star" cocktail and roasted sunchokes with chanterelles, brown butter hazelnuts and butternut squash puree, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Smithy’s “Baby I’m a Star” cocktail and roasted sunchokes with chanterelles, brown butter hazelnuts and butternut squash puree, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Chef Lauren Herman’s new menu is delicious, and nothing is over $20. We loved the mussels and clams with shallot, garlic, crispy pork belly, and bok choy served with grilled toast. The sauce was so savory we asked for extra toast (homemade) to lap up every last bite. The pastas were also terrific. Try the Cavatelli combined with pork ragu, mustard greens and tomato confit for a hearty dish. The squid ink casarecce in lobster bisque with uni and nori breadcrumbs was also fabulous.

The vegetables really shine as well. We loved the fried delicata squash with cauliflower, bagna cauda, calabrian chili and anchovy aïoli, as well the roasted rainbow carrots with spiced cashew butter, coconut yogurt and carrot top pistou. I also enjoyed the sunchokes, roasted with chanterelles, brown butter hazelnuts and butternut squash puree. Overall, everything was tasty and ideal for sharing.

Smithy's Polenta Dumplings and Mushroom Flatbread. Photo by Kay Cheon, courtesy Smithy.

Smithy’s Polenta Dumplings and Mushroom Flatbread. Photo by Kay Cheon, courtesy Smithy.

Partners in life and in the kitchen, Lauren Herman’s wife, Christina Olufson, is a terrific pastry chef.  The flourless chocolate cake with crushed honeycomb was amazing, as was the butterscotch pumpkin cake. Our friends at a nearby table also raved about the brioche doughnuts, so those are definitely on my list to try next time. 

The cocktails are also worth noting, with creative names like “Ortega Undead II: The Resurrection”  (tequila blanco, lime , thai chile, wild elderflower, falernum and chili-salt rim), “From Tokyo to Mars” (iwai japanese whiskey and bittered grapefruit cordial) and “Baby I’m a Star” (pear and fennel, vodka, fino sherry, absinthe, lemon and peychauds bitters) that are just as delicious as they are irresistible for wordsmiths.

One of several communal dining tables at Smithy Kitchen + Bar, courtesy photo.

One of several communal dining tables at Smithy Kitchen + Bar, courtesy photo.

While I loved the aesthetic of Somerset, Smithy is definitely a more welcoming space, not to mention significantly less expensive. The building’s original exposed brick walls with white weathered board and batten walls, rustic reclaimed table tops, and original school house chairs create a beautiful restaurant that is both airy and open, yet still feels intimate. As is becoming a trend, there are three separate communal tables and bar seating, as well as an additional 130 seats located inside and out, offering a myriad of dining possibilities. The nights I was there, there were large groups of people (both young and less young), lots of couples and smaller groups, as well as some solo diners.

Smithy's Kale Salad. Photo by Kay Cheon, courtesy Smithy.

Smithy’s Kale Salad. Photo by Kay Cheon, courtesy Smithy.

“We want Smithy to provide a dining oasis in the heart of Santa Barbara,” states owner and designer, Steve Hermann.  “We hope to become that bar/restaurant that feels like home for all of our guests’ dining and drinking needs, whether small or large.  Our food is delicious yet accessible, and our environment is welcoming and comfortable.  We’d like to create a new history with Smithy that matches the history of our iconic Santa Barbara location.”

Smithy is located in downtown Santa Barbara at 7 East Anapamu St.  Call 805/845-7112 or visit Open Table for reservations. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday for lunch from 11:30 – 2:30 p.m.; dinner from 5p.m. – close; and Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Happy hour runs daily from 4 – 6 p.m.

Leslie Dinaberg 

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

Interior shot, courtesy Smithy Kitchen + Bar.

Interior shot, courtesy Smithy Kitchen + Bar.

Bar interior shot, courtesy Smithy Kitchen + Bar.

Bar interior shot, courtesy Smithy Kitchen + Bar.

Local Lowdown: The River’s Journey

Paintings in the Wildling Museum show The River’s Journey: One Year, Six Artists, 92 Miles include work by (clockwise from top left): Holli Harmon, Pamela Zwehl-Burke, Nicole Strasburg, Nina Warner, Connie Connally and Libby Smith.

Paintings in the Wildling Museum show The River’s Journey: One Year, Six Artists, 92 Miles include work by (clockwise from top left): Holli Harmon, Pamela Zwehl-Burke, Nicole Strasburg, Nina Warner, Connie Connally and Libby Smith.

ONE YEAR, SIX ARTISTS, 92 MILES

By Leslie Dinaberg

SIX LOCAL ARTISTS have pooled their talents around one very big idea—our communal connection to and responsibility for our water resources—uniting their unique points of view in a new exhibit, The River’s Journey: One Year, Six Artists, 92 Miles, on view at the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature through July 9.

Initially joining together to experiment with the lesser-known medium of gouache (an opaque watercolor paint), the group— which includes Connie Connally, Holli Harmon, Libby Smith, Nicole Strasburg, Nina Warner and Pamela Zwehl-Burke—is united in a quest to use their art to inform the public about how the Santa Ynez River and the watershed functions and our indi­vidual responsibility to protect its viability.

Rose Compass artists (L-R): Nicole Strasburg, Connie Connally, Libby Smith, Holli Harmon, Pamela Zwehl-Burke and Nina Warner. After the exhibition ends in July, it will travel later in 2018 to Santa Barbara City Hall and Sullivan Goss Gallery. Photo by Monica Wiesblott.

Rose Compass artists (L-R): Nicole Strasburg, Connie Connally, Libby Smith, Holli Harmon, Pamela Zwehl-Burke and Nina Warner. After the exhibition ends in July, it will travel later in 2018 to Santa Barbara City Hall and Sullivan Goss Gallery. Photo by Monica Wiesblott.

“Originally, I was just enthralled with the medium of gouache,” says Strasburg, who saw the potential through the work of artist Thomas Paquette, who had a wilderness-themed show at the Wildling and also has some paintings in The River’s Journey. As Strasburg dug deeper into the subject matter of the watershed, “it became about so much more than painting the landscape.…I just keep reading and researching and discovering new connections.”

The group, now known as Rose Compass (named for the flower-shaped figure on a map and “like the compass rose, our work reflects our individual points of view”), is very dedi­cated to the project. “The three devoted plein air artists have gone out every single Monday for the past two years to paint the water in the area,” says Strasburg.

Libby Smith, Measuring Stick, Alder Creek.

Libby Smith, Measuring Stick, Alder Creek.

They routinely post their musings and progress on the project on the website (rose-compass.com) and are working to secure additional venues to showcase the breadth and depth of their work on The River’s Journey, which visually brings to the forefront questions of stewardship, preservation and conservation.

“Art starts the conversation while providing education and information that can change behavior and expectations at a pivotal moment in our new paradigm of water resource management,” says their collective artist statement. “When artists, scientists and water managers work together, we create a powerful and compelling message that moves the community to make better ecological and civic choices. Awareness, conservation, stewardship and collaboration will all be key to the new paradigm of protecting this resource and ensuring the longevity and viability of our entire community.”

Wildling Museum of Art & Nature is located at 1511-B Mission Dr., Solvang. For more information, call 805/688-1082 or visit wildlingmuseum.org.

Connie Connally, Turkey Vultures.

Connie Connally, Turkey Vultures.

Nicole Strasburg, River Path, Santa Ynez.

Nicole Strasburg, River Path, Santa Ynez.

Holli Harmon, Yellow Kayak.

Holli Harmon, Yellow Kayak.

Nina Warner, Gibralter Dam.

Nina Warner, Gibralter Dam.

Pamela Zwehl-Burke, White Rock.

Pamela Zwehl-Burke, White Rock.

This story was originally published in the spring 2018 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

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.

Celebrate Kids Helping Kids’ 10th Anniversary

NeedtoBreathe (l) and Andy Grammer return to perform at the 10th Annual Kids Helping Kids benefit concert. Courtesy photos.

NeedtoBreathe (l) and Andy Grammer return to perform at the 10th Annual Kids Helping Kids benefit concert. Courtesy photos.

Kids Helping Kids celebrates its 10th Anniversary at the beautiful Granada Theatre (1214 State St.) January 12-13 with performances by NeedtoBreathe and Andy Grammer.

Andy Grammer performs a benefit show for Kids Helping Kids on Friday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo.

Andy Grammer performs a benefit show for Kids Helping Kids on Friday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo.

Kids Helping Kids is an entirely student-run nonprofit organization lead by the students in the Advanced Placement Economics classes at San Marcos High School. The group works  to help children in need both locally and globally and has raised an amazing $2.5 million to date.

NeedtoBreathe performs a benefit show for Kids Helping Kids on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo.

NeedtoBreathe performs a benefit show for Kids Helping Kids on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo.

The annual benefit concert looks back on the legacy built by the students of San Marcos and the support of our community, bringing back two of the past favorite performers, Andy Grammer (Friday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.) and NeedtoBreathe (Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.).

Past artists who have performed at Kids Helping Kids benefit concerts include:

  • Toad the Wet Sprocket and Tyrone Wells (2009),
  • Five for Fighting (2010),
  • Mat Kearney and Tyrone Wells (2011),
  • Sara Bareilles and Tyrone Wells (2012),
  • Switchfoot and Brad Corrigan from Dispatch (2013),
  • Andy Grammer and Tim Lopez from Plain White T’s (2014),
  • Ingrid Michaelson and Jon McLaughlin (2015),
  • NeedtoBreathe and Johnnyswim (2016),
  • and Gavin DeGraw and Parachute (2017).

In addition to the local chapter, the Kids Helping Kids model to is now in place at two other high schools in Sacramento and Dana Hills, California.

For more information click here, and to purchase tickets, visit the Granada website.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 6, 2018.

A Day Away: The Charms
 of Carmel

California Market

The glorious view from California Market at Pacific’s Edge at Hyatt Carmel Highlands. Courtesy photo.

The peaceful s
eas
ide charms
 of Carmel are an eas
y four-hour drive from Santa Barbara.

Where to Stay

Vendange Carmel Inn & Suites (24815 Carpenter St., Carmel, 831/624-6400, vendangecarmel.com) is
 a charming wine-themed inn with the homey vibe of a bed & breakfas
t. Jus
t minutes
 away from res
taurants
, s
hops
, galleries
 and tas
ting rooms
, this
 boutique inn’s
 intimate gardens
 offer a lovely s
etting to enjoy a glas
s
 of wine or a cozy cup of tea. We stayed in the delightful Twisted Roots room. Other partnered wineries
 and themed rooms
 include: Blair Estate Wines, Cima Collina WineryDawn’s Dream WineryGalante VineyardsHolman Ranch WinesJoullian Vineyards, J. Lohr Vineyards & WinesManzoni CellarsMcIntyre VineyardsTudor Wines and Ventana Vineyards.

Nes
tled upon a s
cenic clifftop overlooking the s
tunning Big Sur coas
t and celebrating its
 100th annivers
ary in 2017, Hyatt Carmel Highlands (120 Highlands
 Dr., Carmel, 831/620-1234) offers
 spectacular views
 in an amazing s
etting. The legendary inn’s
 impeccable s
ervice was
 evident from the moment we arrived and were greeted with flutes
 of Pros
ecco to the umbrellas
 that magically appeared when raindrops
 s
tarted to threaten our departure. The gorgeous
 s
liding glas
s
 door views
 and wood-burning fireplace in our room made it hard to leave this
 relaxing, romantic getaway.

Where to Eat

At Whaling Station (763 Wave St., Monterey, 831/373-3778) in nearby Monterey, an old-s
chool s
teakhous
e with on-s
ite dry-age room, diners
 choos
e their own prime cuts
 of beef. As
 you s
elect your USDA Prime cut of aged beef from a s
ilver tray, then watch them s
lice Prime Rib from an antique s
ilver carving trolley, it’s
 eas
y to s
ee why Whaling Station has
 been voted the county’s
 #1 s
teakhous
e for 40 years
 in a row.

California Market at Pacific’s Edge at Hyatt Carmel Highlands
 (120 Highlands
 Dr., Carmel, 831/622-5450) has
 a newly remodeled 1,200-square-foot deck, featuring louvered roof and glas
s
-panel walls
 with dramatic views
 of the Pacific Ocean and the Big Sur coas
t. The food is
 jus
t as
 impres
s
ive as
 the views
, and the extens
ive menu features
 the wares
 of local producers
 s
uch as
 Bellwether Farms
 Creamery in Sonoma, Swank Farms
 in Hollis
ter and Monterey Abalone Company in Monterey.

Twisted Roots Winery

Twisted Roots Winery in Carmel Valley offers a lovely tasting room in an art gallery setting.

Things to Do

Wine tasting in Carmel Valley is
 a great way to s
pend an afternoon, with 24 wineries
 and tas
ting rooms
 to choos
e from. Be s
ure to s
top and s
ay hello to Jos
h & Julie Ruiz of Twisted Roots Winery & Vineyard (located in Lyons
Head Art Gallery, 12 Del Fino Pl., Carmel Valley, 831/594-8282), whos
e warm hos
pitality at this
 family-owned tas
ting room is
 jus
t as
 delicious
 as
 their old-vine wines
. We als
o enjoyed s
ipping on the patio at Joyce Vineyards Tasting Room (1 E. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, 831/659-2885). Golfers
 love Pebble Beach, and the famous
 17-Mile Drive is
 a s
cenic treat. Big Sur and Monterey Bay Aquarium are jus
t a s
hort drive away as
 well, offering more than enough entertainment for the entire family.

Leslie Dinaberg

This story was originally published in the Winter 2017-18 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

The Biltmore’s Amazing Gingerbread House

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara's Gingerbread House, courtesy photo.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara’s Gingerbread House, courtesy photo.

With the smoke starting to clear, we’re all in need of a little holiday cheer. I recommend you check out the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara‘s incredible gingerbread house!

To honor the Resort’s 90th anniversary, talented Pastry Chef Javier Franco and the rest of the pastry team created a stunning replica of the Resort out of gingerbread using 70 lbs. of powdered sugar. Pastillage, fondant, cooked sugar, royal icing, chocolate and gingerbread were the main components used for the construction and most of the pottery is made of pastillage, a type of icing that is similar to gum paste. This incredible creation took 1,500 roof tiles, all hand-made and hand-painted.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara's Gingerbread House, courtesy photo.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara’s Gingerbread House, courtesy photo.

Mini ice cream cones were used to make the pine trees, red hot gum sticks make the entrance driveway and pathways, the windows are made of clear sugar and the 140+ year old Moreton Bay fig tree is made of white chocolate. This masterpiece, along with a beautiful display of Christmas decorations are on display at the resort lobby until New Year’s Eve. All are welcome to stop by and view Chef Franco’s amazing creation.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara's Gingerbread House, courtesy photo.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara’s Gingerbread House, courtesy photo.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is located at 1260 Channel Dr.

Leslie Dinaberg

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara's Gingerbread House, courtesy photo.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara’s Gingerbread House, courtesy photo.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 21, 2017.

A Day Away: A Grape Escape

Allegretto Vineyard Resort

Allegretto Vineyard Resort evokes an Italian Estate, with views overlooking grape vines and olive trees. Photo courtesy Allegretto.

With more than 40,000 vineyard acres
 and more than 200 wineries
 in the region, Pas
o Robles
 is
 a perfect weekend destination for a wine lover’s
 getaway.

By Les
lie Dinaberg

CAB is definitely king in Pas
o Robles
 wine country, and rich, velvety, complex cabernet s
auvignon makes
 up almos
t half of all the grapes
 grown acros
s
 Pas
o Robles
.

The offerings
 range from boutique wineries
 to high-production facilities
, and with s
ome as
s
is
tance from the Pas
o Robles
 CAB Collective, we did our bes
t to s
ample as
 many CABs
 as
 we could.

Ancient Peaks Margarita Vineyard, photo by Matt Wallace, courtesy Ancient Peaks.

Ancient Peaks Margarita Vineyard, photo by Matt Wallace, courtesy Ancient Peaks.

Where to Sip

Five dis
tinct s
oil types
 are the key to the unique wines
 of Ancient Peaks Winery, whos
e es
tate Margarita Vineyard is the only one in Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. Originally planted by the Robert Mondavi family, the current ranch owners
—the Filipponi, Ros
s
i and Witts
trom families
—took control of the vineyard in 2005. In addition to a charming tas
ting room and the delicious
 food at Ancient Peaks Café, the winery offers
 pers
onally guided vineyard tours
 Wed.-Sun. mornings, followed by a private tas
ting and chees
e and charcuterie (reservations
 required). ancientpeaks.com

Hope Family Wines has
 a dis
tinctive lounge-s
tyle tas
ting room pouring five unique labels
: Liberty School, Aus
tin Hope, Treana, Candor and Troublemaker. Try the big, intens
e Treana red, a clas
s
ic Pas
o Robles
 blend of cabernet, s
auvignon and s
yrah. hopefamilywines.com

By appointment only (and worth it) is
 a vis
it to Hoyt Family Vineyards, where you can bring a picnic and feed the goats
 and chickens
 as
 you s
ip on s
ome amazing wine. Try the sophisticated 2012 cabernet s
auvignon, which won Bes
t of Clas
s in the San Francisco Wine Chronicle. hoytfamilyvineyards.com

Another lovely s
pot to s
ip is Brecon Estate, a boutique s
us
tainably farmed es
tate winery producing an old-vine cabernet s
auvignon. Brecon’s
 award-winning s
mall batches
 of premium wines
 s
ell out quickly and cannot be purchas
ed anywhere els
e. breconestate.com

DAOU Vineyards, photo by Zak Klobucher.

DAOU Vineyards, photo by Zak Klobucher.

One of the lovelies
t views
, in a region that’s
 full of them, is DAOU Vineyards and Winery. Brothers
 Georges
 and Daniel Daou s
earched all around the s
tate to find an unrivaled terroir for producing cabernet sauvignon, a ques
t that eventually led them to the gorgeous
 DAOU Mountain in the Adelaida Dis
trict. Res
ervations
 are recommended to sip excellent wine while overlooking the vineyards
, with panoramic views
 from 2,200 feet. daouvineyards.com

Where to Eat

Opolo Winery offers
 pairings
 on the patio, as
 well as
 delicious
 homemade s
aus
age and charcuterie, pizzas
, s
alads
 and s
uch. Idyllic vineyard tours
 are als
o available, which include the tas
ting room, distillery, Inn at Opolo, a walnut orchard and more than 70 acres
 of vines
. opolo.com

Offering excellent wine-country cuis
ine in a beautiful s
etting, Cello Ristorante & Bar features
 creative but acces
s
ible dis
hes
 made from regionally farmed and foraged ingredients
, alongs
ide an extensive wine list. allegrettovineyardresort.com/dining

A long-s
tanding farm-to-table favorite, Thomas Hill Organics s
ources
 a wide variety of ingredients
 from local purveyors
 to offer a dynamic array of bold, imaginative dis
hes
. thomashillorganics.com

Where to Stay

Nes
tled among 20 acres
 that include wine grapes
 and olive and fruit trees
, the eclectically elegant Allegretto Vineyard Resort brings
 owner Doug Ayres
’ s
ingular vis
ion to life. The impres
s
ive property evokes
 an Italian vineyard es
tate, with 171 gues
t rooms
 and suites, a wine bar featuring the res
ort’s
 own private wine label, a s
pa, a pool and cabanas
, manicured gardens
, a beautiful Abbey, hundreds
 of antiques
, a 12,000-s
quare-foot piazza, and art and artifacts everywhere the eye can s
ee. Allegrettoresort.com

This story was originally published in the Winter 2017-18 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

SBIFF Announces Virtuosos Award Winners

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award—honoring (clockwise from top left) Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman),
Hong Chau (Downsizing),
 Mary J. Blige (Mudbound),
Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick),
and John Boyega (Detroit)—takes place on Saturday, February 3, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre. Courtesy photos.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award—honoring (clockwise from top left) Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman),
Hong Chau (Downsizing),
 Mary J. Blige (Mudbound),
Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick),
and John Boyega (Detroit)—takes place on Saturday, February 3, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre. Courtesy photos.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award will once again honor many of the most notable performances in Hollywood this year. The award, presented by UGG, takes place on February 3 at the Arlington Theatre.

“2017 has seen a variety of breakout performances,” states Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “We are thrilled to celebrate this diverse group of actors who have earned their place as some of the most talented individuals working in the industry today.”

The group will be recognized for their breakthrough roles in 2017 and careers thus far. Daniel Kaluuya gives a star-making performance as the unsuspecting yet resourceful Chris Washington in the speculative thriller Get Out. Bringing to life the enduringly popular comic book character of the same name, Gal Gadot balances formidable prowess and a genuine sense of hope in her role in this summer’s critically praised, conversation-changing Wonder Woman. Hong Chau delivers an inspiring performance in the social satire Downsizing, in which she brings humor and compassion to the role of Ngoc Lan Tran. In Detroit, John Boyega gives a captivating turn as Melvin Dismukes, a security guard who is falsely accused of killing three men on one of the most horrific nights in American history. Based on a true story that he co-wrote, Kumail Nanjiani brings comedy, pathos, and dramatic stakes to The Big Sick as a man whose girlfriend falls into a mysterious coma. In Mudbound, renowned singer/songwriter Mary J. Blige delivers a powerful and solemn turn as Florence Jackson, a mother struggling to maintain land in 1940s Mississippi. In Call Me By Your Name, Timothée Chalamet gives a brilliant and heartfelt performance as Elio, a teenage boy who begins a relationship with his father’s assistant.

Prior recipients for the award include Dev Patel, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Ruth Negga, Alicia Vikander, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, Eddie Redmayne, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Andrew Garfield, John Hawkes, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, Ellen Page, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Brie Larson, Jared Leto and June Squibb.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 20, 2017.

Postcards from the Past

Cabrillo Boulevard, as it once looked. Note Los Banos del Mar pool in the foreground. Originally built in 1901, it was rebuilt with a Public Works Administration grant after the 1925 Earthquake and opened in 1939. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

You never know where story inspiration is going to come from.

When my brother-in-law, Eric States, casually mentioned that he was creating large-scale metal prints from vintage postcards that belonged to long-time local businessman and philanthropist Peter Jordano, I was intrigued. Especially when Eric said the collection was “impressive.”

The word impressive was definitely an understatement. It turns out that Jordano owns about 6,000 pre-1950 Santa Barbara postcards, all meticulously organized into photo albums that document the history of Santa Barbara’s waterfront and downtown development, as well as the leisurely lifestyle of days gone by.

A significant part of Jordano’s collection is from Osborne’s Book Store, a retail fixture on State Street until it closed in 1987, which published hundreds of Santa Barbara postcards. The postcard collection also parallels the Jordano’s history.

The Masonic Temple. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

Beach scene. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

Oil wells off the coast of Summerland. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

De la Guerra Plaza courtyard with cars. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

El Encanto hotel. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

A 1923 postcard of the beach at Castle Rock from the Osborne’s Book Store collection. The remainder of Castle Rock was removed to build the Santa Barbara Harbor, which was completed in 1930. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

El Paseo Restaurant during Fiesta. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

Santa Barbara street scene. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

Old De la Guerra mansion. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

El Paseo Restaurant. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

The Santa Barbara Mission, just after the 1925 earthquake. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

The family-owned business started in Santa Barbara in 1915, with four brothers, a family loan and a little grocery store on State Street. On March 1, 1915, the first Jordano Bros. opened at 706 State St., making deliveries by horse and buggy.

By the early 1970s, Jordano’s had weathered two world wars, the Depression and a number of minor recessions; had 18 stores throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties; and operated a distributing business stocking hotels and restaurants. One son from each of the original four brothers joined the family business, including our postcard collector Peter C. Jordano, who leads Jordano’s Inc. today.

Under Jordano’s leadership, the company diversified into what it is today: a distributing conglomerate including food and beverage distributors, a kitchen supply business and an institutional foods distributor. Now it’s a multi-million-dollar corporation with more than 500 employees.

Jordano’s postcard collection has also continued to grow and, with help from Eric’s painstakingly high-resolution reproductions, will be digitized and preserved for generations to come. Here is a selection of our favorite postcards from the past. To view more of the collection and for more information about metal prints, visit santabarbaraphotographs.com.

Santa Barbara State Teachers College on the Riviera, the predecessor to UCSB. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

Mar Monte Hotel and East Beach. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

Winter bathing on Miramar Beach. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

Winter bathing on Miramar Beach. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

 

An overview of State Street. Image from the collection of Peter Jordano.

Leslie Dinaberg

This story was originally published in the Winter 2017-18 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

The Funk Zone Gets Even Artier with New Public Art Installations

Silver Spoon #125, The Import by Leslie Lewis Sigler, 123 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Silver Spoon #125, The Import by Leslie Lewis Sigler, 123 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

By Leslie Dinaberg

The Arts Fund recently unveiled a handful of new projects for the Funk Zone Public Art Program, featuring new public works by Ken Bortolazzo, Chadillac Green, Ruth Ellen Hoag, Michael Irwin, Danny Meza, Leslie Lewis Sigler and Luis Velazquez. These works join existing projects by Chad Avery, Phoebe Brunner, Tofer Chin and R. Nelson Parrish. Each project is intended to be temporary and rotate every one-three years.

Maps are available at the Arts Fund Gallery (205-C Santa Barbara St.) to take a free, self-guided tour.

Artwork currently in the Funk Zone Public Art Program includes:

(Pictured at top) Silver Spoon #125, The Import by Leslie Lewis Sigler

123 Santa Barbara St.

Leslie Lewis Sigler is a still-life painter who explores the histories and lifespans of silver family heirlooms, their ability to reflect our own personal life stories and family histories, and the way they continue to connect us to one another. By composing portraits of these objects, she studies the character evident in their inherent design and ever-changing patina. Each singular object’s form, condition, and character transform an otherwise functional object into something rich with history and artistic beauty, with the power to reflect our own life stories and family histories in the process.

Thank you to The Squire Foundation for funding this project. Special thanks to PPG  Paints for materials and Max Torres and Manuel Unzueta for lending their time and expertise.

Hexad by Ken Bortolazzo, 116 Yanonali Street, courtesy photo.

Hexad by Ken Bortolazzo,
116 Yanonali St., courtesy photo.

Hexad by Ken Bortolazzo

116 Yanonali St.

“Hexad” is titled for the six identical interlocking pieces that make up the sculpture. Bortolazzo’s early passion for complex puzzles evolved through his interest in Minimalism, Op Art, and Kinetic sculpture. Having spent the last 30 years working almost exclusively with stainless steel, he has created two main bodies of work, his Optikinetics that he currently pursues and before that his puzzle series. These puzzle works involve interlocking geometric shapes that exploit the radiance of burnished steel. From his studio in Santa Barbara, Bortolazzo has developed a national reputation in contemporary sculpture.

The Arts Fund thanks its amazingly supportive board member Joanne Holderman for funding this project. Special thanks to Sullivan Goss and Allen Strubing for lending his time and expertise.

Totally Awesome by Chadillac Green, 132 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Totally Awesome by Chadillac Green, 132 Santa Barbara St., courtesy photo.

Totally Awesome by Chadillac Green

132 Santa Barbara St.

“Totally Awesome” is inspired by Green’s memories of growing up in the 80s and early 90s, drawing from the work of Patrick Nagel and the motifs and imagery of daily life at the time. Green began his early days spray painting in the streets of Kansas, Missouri, and continues his love of creating as a “wizard of arts” through his work as a local tattoo artist, DJ, painter, and mural artist in Santa Barbara.

The Arts Fund thanks MichaelKate Interiors, the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture for funding this project. Special thanks to Milpas Rentals for the equipment, PPG Paints for materials, and Martin Diaz and Shane Tuthill for lending their time and expertise.

 

East of Yesterday by Ruth Ellen Hoag, 10 East Yanonali Street, courtesy photo.

East of Yesterday by Ruth Ellen Hoag, 10 E. Yanonali St., courtesy photo.

East of Yesterday by Ruth Ellen Hoag

10 E. Yanonali St.

“I was given the challenge to depict the history of the Funk Zone through current day. Hours were spent combing through the Gledhill Library, talking to long-time residents and businesses in the area. Never the glamorous part of town, little visual information was available. It was warehouses, boats and fishermen, airplanes, surfboards, skateboards and artists. Today, it remains an area for craftsmen and artists, plus tourists, food, wine, beer and the beach. Little by little it all became visible to me, and I’ve painted it as I see it. We live in the moment, as those portrayed along the lower portion of the murals, unaware of those who came before, those who walked the same streets.” —Ruth Ellen Hoag

The Arts Fund thanks Yanonali Partners, LLC and Santa Barbara Beautiful for funding this project. Special thanks to Milpas Rentals for the equipment, Impact Hub for hosting, and Gregory Beeman, Manuel Unzueta and John Hood for lending their time and expertise.

Tengoku by Michael Irwin, 205 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Tengoku by Michael Irwin, 205 Santa Barbara St., courtesy photo.

Tengoku by Michael Irwin

205 Santa Barbara St.

“‘Tengoku’ (Sky Country) is a combination of three of the many motifs that I’ve worked in. The atmospheric sky and clouds, the field, is from my meditational seascape series, the painted pole from my squeegee works and lastly, the tubular rectangular element is from my abstract illusionistic series.  The three components come together to create an intersection of whimsy and possibilities ~ hopefully optimistic and a portal accessible to all.” —Michael Irwin

This project was funded by The Arts Fund. The Arts Fund thanks to Art Essentials and PPG Paints for Materials, Milpas Rentals for the equipment and Max Torres and Shane Tuthill for lending their time and expertise.

Birds of a Feather by Luis Velazquez, 205 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Birds of a Feather by Luis Velazquez, 205 Santa Barbara St., courtesy photo.

Birds of a Feather by Luis Velazquez

205 Santa Barbara St.

“I was born and raised in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. My mother is a seamstress and my father a farm worker. One of my earliest recollections, from when I was six years old, is that of gathering flower petals to extract their pigment and color the walls of my home. I often got into trouble with my mother for picking flowers from her plants and cutting down branches from our lemon trees to make slingshot frames to terrorize local birds. For this particular piece, I was inspired by the many caged birds my mother kept when I was growing up and one of my favorite places to visit: the colorful city of Guanajuato, Mexico. The artwork I create is a combination of recollections of my past mixed with my present experiences. Bright colors and raw materials are hallmarks of my childhood memories and culture. My daily life is filled with unexpected, spontaneous, and sometimes random events. My work reflects this in my choice of materials and subject matter, mainly inspired by nature and social issues.”  —Luis Velazquez

Dark Waves Covering My Eyes by Danny Meza, 219 Gray Avenue, courtesy photo.

Dark Waves Covering My Eyes by Danny Meza, 219 Gray Ave., courtesy photo.

Dark Waves Covering My Eyes by Danny Meza

219 Gray Ave.

“The best way I can describe this piece without talking about death is to say that this person is lost. Although it may be hard to see it, there is a person being caught in mysteriously dark waves, it wasn’t water, so it might not have been in the ocean. Sometimes as an artist, I don’t know what my paintings are about or always understand them but I always have a sense of what’s going on, like it’s telling me a story, fictional or non-fictional. In this case, what I see here is a person has no idea how they got there, so I imagine that they are frightened. As they look around to find out what’s going on, their insides start to glow bright like lights. The light from the left eye shines so bright it cuts a hole through a wave covering their eyes, finally being able to see that they are not going home after this.” —Danny Meza

This project was funded by The Arts Fund.

Previously Completed Projects

Long Days, Short Year by R. Nelson Parrish, 121 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Long Days, Short Year by R. Nelson Parrish, 121 Santa Barbara St., courtesy photo.

Long Days, Short Year by R. Nelson Parrish

121 Santa Barbara St.

Long Days, Short Year is a translation of color, motion and the passion for the hustle. Inspired by Minimalist artists, Santa Barbara light and geography, and the history of national parks, the pieces pull threads from disparate dialogues to weave an abstract narrative designed to engage and inspire. The first of the artist’s career, the mural was created solely using Montana Cans spray paint, purposefully to connect and challenge the discourse surrounding “street art.”

The Arts Fund thanks Mesa Lane partners for funding this project and being early supporters of the program. Special thanks to Milpas Rentals for the equipment.

Hurry Home by Phoebe Brunner, 127 Gray Avenue, courtesy photo.

Hurry Home by Phoebe Brunner, 127 Gray Ave., courtesy photo.

Hurry Home by Phoebe Brunner

127 Gray Ave.

“My mural, Hurry Home, is a personal fairy tale. The little red house, perched atop a giant tree stump, springs out of a tequila plantation. Many years ago, I lived in Guadalajara. While driving to and from Santa Barbara, I’d pass through the little town of Tequila, in Jalisco, Mexico. The infinite rows upon rows of magical blue tequila plants have stayed in my imagination. The little house seems like the perfect place to enjoy the view.  So climb the ladder and Hurry Home. By creating an alternative view to traditional landscape painting, my re-conceived landscapes of the American West and the coast of California, simultaneously real and surreal, invite the viewer to experience our surroundings with a new perspective and to lose oneself in an environment of nature enhanced and unexpected. Through the interplay of light and space, unorthodox colors, patterns and movement, a symbolic narrative with a mystical presence arises. Primal emotions and instinctive, intuitive forces from within the human psyche are accessed through awareness of our natural world. Derived from, but not documentations of specific places, these views are “re-imaginings”. The viewer is led to wonder where these landscapes exist—with a longing to visit, and at the same time search in their own subconscious to find a personal location.” —Phoebe Brunner

The Arts Fund thanks Santa Barbara Beautiful for funding this project. Special thanks to Joseph Garred for being an early supporter of the program.

Shift No. 1 by Tofer Chin, 118 Gray Avenue, courtesy photo.

Shift No. 1 by Tofer Chin, 118 Gray Ave., courtesy photo.

Shift No. 1 by Tofer Chin

118 Gray Ave.

Los Angeles based artist Tofer Chin creates geometric paintings, sculptures, and photographs that interpret his observations of urban and natural landscapes. He investigates images and patterns in locations around the world and represents them as minimalist forms and patterns. In addition to his gallery-scale works, he also paints large outdoor murals around the world, as well as site specific sculptural installations.

Shift No. 1 is a continuous investigation of view through a keyhole perspective while shifting one’s view away from the familiar by opening up a new architectural dimension of color and emotion.” —Tofer Chin

The Arts Fund thanks Mesa Lane partners for funding this project and being early supporters of the program. Special thanks to Milpas Rentals for the equipment.

Variable Door Style by Chad Avery, 121 Helena Avenue, courtesy photo.

Variable Door Style by Chad Avery, 121 Helena Ave., courtesy photo.

Variable Door Style by Chad Avery

121 Helena Ave.

“Over millennia, the door has become an inescapable icon of the human condition, simultaneously welcoming and reticent, able to bring you in or take you out. The mere outline of a door can trigger a variety of impressions limited only by the number of viewers. We are free to go as far as our minds can take us, or to go nowhere. Accordingly, a abstraction does not end at physical and mental boundaries, but extends beyond these dimensions into the realm of infinite possibility. Abstraction is a gate, and what lies on the other side is for everyone to discover for themselves.”—Chad Avery

This project was funded by The Arts Fund.

Funk Zone Public Art Project Map

Funk Zone Public Art Project Map

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 11, 2017.