Local Lowdown: Beyond Borders

Image from UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum "The Schoolhouse and the Bus: Mobility, Pedagogy and Engagement," the work of Suzanne Lacy & Pablo Helguera. Photo by Suzanne Lacy.

Image from UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum “The Schoolhouse and the Bus: Mobility, Pedagogy and Engagement,” the work of Suzanne Lacy & Pablo Helguera. Photo by Suzanne Lacy.

The Latin America-Southern California Connection: Pacific Standard Time

By Leslie Dinaberg

An ambitious artistic celebration of the vibrant cultural linkages between Southern California and Latin America takes place across the state this fall, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, Santa Monica, Palm Springs and beyond.

Backed by more than $16 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, the series of thematically linked exhibitions—Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA—spans more than 70 institutions, including local exhibitions at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Historical Museum and UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum.

“We’re proud that the Getty is once again making it possible for institutions across Southern California to do justice to a vast and complex subject, with this exploration of the vital traditions of Latin American and Latino art,” says Jim Cuno, president of J. Paul Getty Trust, referring to the 2011-2012 iteration of Pacific Standard Time, a Southern California collaboration that focused on art in Los Angeles from 1945-1980. He continues, “Working together, as we did in the first Pacific Standard Time initiative, can we begin to encompass the richness and dynamism of an art created in multiple countries and on two continents.”

Valeska Soares, Any Moment Now… (Spring), 2014, courtesy Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo, on view at Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Among the local Pacific Standard Time highlights is “Valeska Soares: Any Moment Now,” a survey of the New York-based Brazilian artist’s work comprised of unique environmental installations combining sculptures, photography, video, and performances at Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Sept. 17-Dec. 17).

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara breaks new ground with “Guatemala from 33,000 km: Contemporary Art from 1960-Present,” the first survey of modern and contemporary art from Guatemala, exploring a previously unexamined rich period of artistic production that began during the “long civil war” of the late 1950s and extends to the present day. The three-part exhibition is presented at MCASB’s galleries, Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop (SBCAW) and Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art at Westmont College (Sept. 17-Dec. 17).

Darío Escobar, Untitled, 1998, Cardboard, plastic, gold leaf, and pigments, 7.875 x 3.5in, Courtesy the Artist. On view as part of "Guatemala from 33,000 km: Contemporary Art, 1960 - Present" at MCA Santa Barbara.

Darío Escobar, Untitled, 1998, Cardboard, plastic, gold leaf, and pigments, 7.875
x 3.5in, Courtesy the Artist. On view as part of “Guatemala from 33,000 km: Contemporary Art, 1960 – Present” at MCA Santa Barbara.

Sacred Art in the Age of Contact at Santa Barbara Historical Museum brings together, for the first time, a diverse body of objects from Santa Barbara-area collections exploring the relationship between art and spirituality in both Chumash and Spanish traditions. Also presented at UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum, “Sacred Art” highlights the themes of sacred geography, language, materiality and resistance. It also investigates the mutually transformative interaction between these traditions, which have immediate implications on the ways in which the cultural dynamics of Santa Barbara County are understood today (Sept. 15-Jan. 14).

Also on view at UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum is “The Schoolhouse and the Bus: Mobility, Pedagogy and Engagement,” the work of Suzanne Lacy & Pablo Helguera. This exhibition pairs for the first time the work of two leading practitioners of the Social Practice Movement, an art medium that focuses on engagement through human interaction and social discourse. This exhibition juxtaposes key examples of the artists’ works and incorporates installations, photography, drawing and performance, alongside archival documentation that serves to highlight overlapping themes, including immigration, race and social organizing (Sept. 16-Dec. 8).

For more information and a complete list of events and exhibits visit pacificstandardtime.org.

Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and The Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig

Spanish Colonial Style, photo by Matt Walla, courtesy Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Spanish Colonial Style, photo by Matt Walla, courtesy Santa Barbara Historical Museum

This retrospective exhibition, the first in 90 years, celebrates the publication of a monograph on the work of two seminal Santa Barbara architects, who happen to be husband and wife.

James Osborne Craig is widely credited with establishing the Spanish Colonial style in Santa Barbara. He left two buildings of such potency—even precocity, given his age—completed posthumously, that one suspects he would have given George Washington Smith ample competition if not for his premature death at the age of 33. One was Casa Santa Cruz, the house for Irene and Bernhard Hoffmann. The other was El Paseo, which set the standard for Santa Barbara’s architectural rebirth in the twenties and continues to be a reference today. His wife Mary McLaughlin Craig, indelibly linked with the houses of Plaza Rubio, followed in his footsteps and established her own identity as an architectural designer for 36 years.Spanish Colonial Style book

Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and the Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig, written by the Craigs’ granddaughter Pamela Skewes-Cox and architectural historian Robert Sweeney, was recently published by Rizzoli, in conjunction with the Museum. The exquisite book includes a stunning collection of contemporary photos by Matt Walla.

Experience the exhibition premiere with a cocktail reception, comments by noted architect and author Marc Appleton, and book signing by the authors, Pamela Skewes-Cox and architectural historian Robert Sweeney.

Opening Reception
October 22, 5:30 p.m.
Experience the exhibition premiere with a cocktail reception, comments by noted architect and author Marc Appleton, and book signing by the authors.  Reservation required.

Lecture
October 23, 11 a.m.
Pamela Skewes-Cox, author Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and the Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig, will give a presentation about the book and the lives of her grandparents.   Reservation required.

First Thursday
November 5, 5-8 p.m.
Join us to view the exhibition after-hours during Downtown Santa Barbara’s art walk.  Wine, music and family-friendly activities.

All events take place at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St., 805/966-1601.

—Leslie Dinaberg
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on October 16, 2015.

April 1st Thursday – Ode to Poetry Month

Sullivan Goss April

Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery celebrates local poet and artist Barry Spacks.

The Downtown 1st Thursday April 3 event includes more than two dozen cultural art venues, standing by with poetry, art, music and more, for National Poetry Month. Here are some of the highlights:

Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery (7 & 11 E. Anapamu St.) will celebrate the life and work of Barry Spacks, Santa Barbara’s first Poet Laureate and beloved artist. The Spacks’ estate provided 108 works of art that will be offered at $108, a number that is sacred in the artist’s Buddhist religion. Special poetry readings will take place throughout a not-to-be-missed evening.

Salt (740 State St.) has “Poetry in the Cave,” for a fun-filled evening of words and community in their.pink Himalayan salt caves. For another spoken word experience, the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (653 Paseo Nuevo Terrace) is presenting a performance by Julia Landois and Erik Sanden, Live Ballast at 7 p.m.

Award-winning plein air artist Jason Sacran is conducting a painting demonstration at Waterhouse Gallery (1114 State St., #9) and over at The Book Den (15 E. Anapamu St.),  Eric Kelley is celebrating his 35th anniversary as the proprietor of California’s oldest used bookstore (founded in 1902).

SBHM April

Henry Chapman Ford etching, Mission Santa Barbara, a gift of Leona Thomas on display at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.

Santa Barbara Historical Museum (136 E. De la Guerra St.) opens a new exhibition, “Impressions in Ink: Etchings from the Collection,”featuring artist Henry Chapman Ford. Learn how the Santa Barbara Art Foundry makes unique bronze sculptures in a step-by- step process on Marshalls Patio (900 State St.).

Join the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) from 7:30-9:30 p.m. for 1st Thursday: After Hours. Don’t miss une bonne soirée onstage: enjoy hors d’eouvres from Sojourner Cafe, wine from Roblar Winery and eclectic cabaret presented by Kerrilee Kaski.

For more information and a complete listing of the specific programming offered at each gallery, as well as all public performances and interactive exhibits, go to santabarbaradowntown.com/about/1st-thursday.

 

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on April 2, 2014.

LOCKWOOD DE FOREST’s SANTA BARBARA

Rincon Peak From Mission Ridge by Lockwood de Forest

Rincon Peak From Mission Ridge by Lockwood de Forest

Don’t miss “Lockwood de Forest’s Santa Barbara,” a new exhibition of  24 paintings of Santa Barbara, Montecito and Santa Ynez by Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) on view at Sullivan Goss Gallery beginning April 3, 1st Thursday, from 5 – 8 p.m. The work will be on view at the gallery, located at 7 E. Anapumu St., until June 29.

Painted between 1903 and 1922, these works relate a vision of the vast and undeveloped landscape that was once Santa Barbara.

Born to an old and prosperous family in Manhattan, de Forest began to draw from nature when he was just a boy. As a young man he trained under his cousin, Frederic Church, who was likely the most admired American landscape painter of his day. Returning home, de Forest decided to pursue a career in art and design and spent vast amounts of time reading, designing, and painting at Olana, Church’s home in the Hudson River Valley of New York. He also took up studio space in New York’s storied Tenth Street Studio Building, where he worked near luminaries like Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer and William Merritt Chase.

Subsequently, he married and embarked on a celebrated career in Orientalist design, though he never stopped exhibiting his paintings. At the dawn of the twentieth century, de Forest began spending months of the year in Santa Barbara. It was then that he refocused on his painting career.

De Forest retired in Santa Barbara and his son, Lockwood de Forest III, became a famous landscape architect in the area.

In 1994, Sullivan Goss began to buy and sell the paintings of an artist who was, by then, somewhat obscure. In the twenty years since de Forest has again become of the most recognized and sought after names in early California art. It has taken seven books and numerous museum shows on both coasts of the U.S. to reacquaint the world with the art of Lockwood de Forest, but at last, his star has reached its former brilliance.

Coming on the heels of the recent exhibition, Luminescent Santa Barbara: Lockwood de Forest, at Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Sullivan Goss will present 11 published works and 13 never-before exhibited paintings.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on April 1, 2014.

Impressions in Ink – Etchings from the Collection of Santa Barbara Historical Museum

"Mission Santa Barbara," by Henry Chapman Ford (1828-1894)

“Mission Santa Barbara,” by Henry Chapman Ford (1828-1894)

A new exhibit featuring prints by local Santa Barbara artists Henry Chapman Ford (1828 – 1894), Marian Hebert (1899 – 1960), Carl Oscar Borg (1879 – 1947), and Reginald Vaughan (1870 – 1958) at Santa Barbara Historical Museum (136 E. De la Guerra St.) opens March 20 and runs through October.

From the California Missions to local and desert landscapes, the exhibit will present a narrative focus on a history of the artists and their subjects, along with etching as a medium in printmaking.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 10, 2014.