Stone Soup at Arts Fund

StoneSoup11x17posterMost people have heard the story of Stone Soup, where “weary travelers enter town with nothing in their pockets and hunger in their bellies, but their pleas to local residents for food are rejected. Undeterred, they fill their pot with water and submerge a purported “magic” stone into it to attract the attention of the residents. The curious townsfolk are allowed to join the feast, but must contribute ingredients to supplement the dish. Before long, as residents bring food from their stores, a hearty soup has been created, and all are well fed and nourished.”

This age-old folk tale involves creative thinking, a con job and community sharing with disparate items brought together to create something for all to enjoy. The same is true of The Can(n)on Art Studios and the five studio mates— Elizabeth Folk, Rafael Gaete, Kimberly Hahn, Marco Pinter and James Van Arsdale—who created the work on view in this exhibition.

Established in 2010, The Can(n)on Art Studios in Goleta provides an affordable, open-floor-plan studios for local artists and a community-minded workspace. Periodically, the Can(n)on showcases guest artists, lectures, and open studios. Though there is this collective aspect to The Can(n)on, each artist produces unique work in diverse media, styles and conceptual frameworks that engage in the contemporary art dialogue. The show will include Folk’s video and sculptural work, Gaete’s abstract oil painting, Hahn’s photographic and Pinter’s interactive installations, and Van Arsdale’s mixed-media works and opening night sound/music performance. This exhibition features the work of active artists involved in the Santa Barbara contemporary art scene.

A public reception will be held at the Arts Fund Gallery (205-C Santa Barbara St.) on Friday, April 1 from 5-8 p.m. during the Funk Zone Art Walk, with a special performance by Heavy Cosmic Kinetic. The exhibition will be on view until May 21. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday-Sunday from noon-5 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on March 29, 2016.

Editor’s Pick for Fall: On Edge Festival

Microscope Toy Theater, Still from A Real Elephant, 2010, Courtesy the Artist.

Microscope Toy Theater, Still from A Real Elephant, 2010, Courtesy the Artist.

Thanks to support from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara‘s (MCASB) popular Forum Lounge celebrates its 10th anniversary evolution into On Edge Festival, a four-day extravaganza of performance art, artist-commissioned projects and ancillary educational activities that embrace the spirit of diversity, experimentation and inquiry in contemporary art. Internationally renowned performance artists present their new works in what promises to be a landmark cultural event that embraces the experimental and unconventional.

The Green Surround Teaser from Performance Space 122 on Vimeo.

“We’re thrilled to have the continued support of the NEA for Forum Lounge’s exciting transition into the On Edge Festival,” says Heather Jeno Silva, Forum Lounge and On Edge curator. “The festival is both a glimpse into the future of what MCASB will become and a nod to MCASB’s rich history of supporting cutting-edge performance art over the last 30 years. This will be an landmark cultural event that embraces the experimental and unconventional, rivaling programs from larger, like-minded venues in metropolitan areas.”

From puppetry to dance to animation and interactive works, this festival has something for everybody and, with the exception of a couple of ticketed events, all performances are FREE.

Participating artists for the 2014 premiere of On Edge Festival include: Annie Dorsen, Faye Driscoll, Sarah Elgart, Elizabeth Folk, Janie Geiser, Heather Kravas, Microscope Toy Theatre, Miwa Matreyek and Surabhi Saraf.

The On Edge Festival will be the first event of its kind on the Central Coast, bringing internationally renowned performance artists to Santa Barbara to present their new work over one weekend.

“With this crucial funding, MCASB will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the successful Forum Lounge series by presenting four diverse days of emerging local and international performance artists,” says MCASB executive director Miki Garcia. “The On Edge Festival exemplifies MCASB’s commitment to providing world-class, accessible programming as a stalwart of cultural happenings in the Santa Barbara community.”

On the Edge Festival is Sept. 18–21, 653 Paseo Nuevo, 805/966-5373,

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on September 1, 2014.