Fast Pitch Santa Barbara Semi-Finalists Announced

Fast Pitch SBFast Pitch SB—a Shark Tank style competition for nonprofits to make three-minute pitches to a panel of judges and a live audience for cash awards, including a $25,000 Judges award and two $10,000 Coaches awards—is off and running.

Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara (SVPSB) has chosen the following semi-finalists out of  a field of more than 100 applications from nonprofits looking to receive personal coaching and communications training from experts in the field:

A Different Point of View, whose mission is to engage, inspire and transform underserved youth using flight lessons as a launching pad.

AHA! is dedicated to the development of character, imagination, emotional intelligence, and social conscience in teenagers.

American Indian Health & Services is committed to empowering our community delivering accessible, socially responsive, and culturally appropriate health care.

Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara places infants and toddlers in loving homes throughout Santa Barbara County.

C.A.R.E.4Paws works to reduce pet overpopulation and keep animals out of shelters in Santa Barbara County.

CASA of Santa Barbara County: The mission of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County is to assure a safe, permanent, nurturing home for every abused and/or neglected child by providing a highly trained volunteer to advocate for them in the court system.

Family Care Network, Inc. operates family-based treatment programs as an alternative to group home or institutional care for children and youth and  serves over 1,400 children, youth and families annually in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

Girls Incorporated of Carpinteria provides programs for girls 6 to 18 years old that focus on science, math, and technology; health and sexuality; economic and financial literacy; sports skills; leadership and advocacy; and media literacy.

Hospice of Santa Barbara, whose mission is to care for anyone experiencing the impact of life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one.

Just Communities advances justice by building leadership, fostering change, and dismantling all forms of prejudice, discrimination and oppression.

Leading From Within provides leadership development for the nonprofit community offering programs for executive directors, emerging nonprofit leaders, and helping to build the capacity of the nonprofit sector, nurture and sustain committed community leaders, and develop the next generation of engaged and involved citizens.

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, which advances creativity and inspires critical thinking through meaningful engagement with the art of our time.

Sama Group, a family of impact enterprises dedicated to ending poverty and promoting social and economic justice.

Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, a countywide advocacy and resource organization that promotes bicycling for safe transportation and recreation.

Santa Ynez Fruit and Vegetable Rescue (“Veggie Rescue”) redirects or “gleans” local produce from farms, farmers markets, home gardens, and orchards  and deliver it to charitable organizations and school lunch programs in Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and Santa Maria—all at no charge.

Sarah House Santa Barbara, which provides a home and end-of-life care for people with low income.

Solvang Elementary School’s Viking Cafe,  a brand new lunch program that is reforming the old school re-heated foods into farm fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, which provides financial and emotional support to families of children with cancer living in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties.

The Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens works to preserve and operate Fairview Gardens, the historic and educational farm in Goleta.

Sanctuary Psychiatric Centers of Santa Barbara has been providing a distinctive continuum of care for mentally ill and co-occurring disorders adults since 1976.

The ten finalists will be announced on May 9.

Those groups will present their three-minute “fast pitch” to a panel of judges at the Music Academy of the West on May 15. There will be a live audience populated with potential investors, donors and community members, as well as satellite voting and viewing locations set up throughout Santa Barbara. 

For more information about getting involved with Fast Pitch SB click here. To read a Santa Barbara SEASONS story about Fast Pitch SB click here.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 28, 2014.

Cocktail Corner: Green Drinks Earth Day Benefit

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

I love it when great causes join with fun events, and Tuesday’s 4th Annual Green Drinks benefit for the Community Environmental Council’s (CEC’s) Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival brings together two terrific things: Green Drinks and Santa Barbara Earth Day!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Green Drinks, you should be. Their slogan is “Meet Drink Talk Think,” which is definitely a concept  worth toasting, as well as the motto for Green Drinks, a fun monthly networking group that combines merriment and making the world a greener (better) place.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, well let’s just hope you’re new to town. The 2014 festival, taking place April 26-27 at Alameda Park, will promote the power of grassroots action in protecting the environment, with specific resources around CEC’s five core issue areas: “drive less,” “go solar,” “choose electric,” “ditch plastic” and “eat local.”


Graphic Design by Kirsten Frank.

The Green Drinks party—taking place on Tuesday, April 1, from 6-9 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre‘s courtyard (33 E. Canon Perdido St.)—acts as a kick off to a month’s worth of Earth Day-related activities. They’ll have music by Adam Phillips and Ray Pannell; food and drinks from Alma Rosa WineryNinkasi Brewing Co.Isla Vista Food Coop and JuiceWell/Harvest Santa Barbara; a great raffle that includes the opportunity to win Jack Johnson Concert Tickets, an Arbor Santa Barbara Skateboard; a Farm to Table Earth Day Dinner and products and services from Klean KanteenSimply StrawsDivinitree YogaSanta Barbara Gift Basket and more!

They’ll also have live community painting with Whitney Castro and an “Outrageous Photo Booth” (can’t wait to see what that one is …) so don’t be an April fool, join us for Green Drinks and support Santa Barbara Earth Day on April 1.

All are welcome. Come thirsty, bring your friends. Great food and conversation is guaranteed. Just $20 gets you in the door and includes food and fun for a good cause (drinks are extra). RSVP at:


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Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 28, 2014.

Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

The Lobero Associates present The Golden Age of Hollywood Gala

Photo by by David Castillo Dominici,

Photo by by David Castillo Dominici,

Join The Lobero Associates on Saturday evening, April 5 at 6 p.m. for their annual fundraiser at The Coral Casino, 1260 Channel Dr.

For many, many years, The Lobero Associates—a venerable group of women who have tirelessly devoted themselves to fundraising efforts for the Lobero Theatre—have hosted a wildly popular event called “Hat’s Off.”  Traditionally it was a luncheon honoring a great artist who resided in Santa Barbara. Attendees donned their best hats to pay tribute, enjoy lunch in a beautiful venue and have fun.

However, this the hats are off and Hollywood glamour is in. The group has changed course to create an alluring evening event that will be sure to entertain and delight. This glamorous evening features a three-course supper, dancing, live music, photo booths and a silent auction. One of the silent auction highlights is a painting by the Jonathan Winters, a longtime local resident.

Painting by Jonathan Winters, available for auction

Painting by Jonathan Winters, available for auction

Old-Hollywood, formal evening attire is encouraged. Mix and mingle with the glitterati during cocktail hour from 6-7 p.m. and enjoy the strains of the beautiful harp performed by Rebekah Scogin. A no-host bar will be available throughout the party. A three-course gourmet dinner begins at 7 p.m., accompanied by music performed by saxophonist, Justin Claveria and a trio playing jazz standards. After dinner, Claveria’s band, Invier will perform dance covers. 

The Lobero Associates is committed to supporting the Lobero Theatre’s needs. Their efforts contributed toward the recent $7 million renovations and preservation of the theatre and they continue to raise funds through events like this for the Foundation’s operating budget to support its youth-oriented programs.

To purchase tickets,  contact Jessica Simon, Sponsorships & Special Events at the Lobero Theatre,, 805/966-4946 x 607.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 20, 2014.

National Charity League of Santa Barbara, Senior Presents Class of 2014

For more than 50 years, National Charity League of Santa Barbara (NCL) has brought mothers and daughters together working on philanthropic projects. This year’s NCL Senior Presents takes place on April 6 at 5:30 p.m. at The Fess Parker Resort.

The graduating seniors of 2014, along with their mothers, gave an impressive 5,856 volunteer hours over their six years in National Charity League to local nonprofits in Santa Barbara.  Nonprofits included Dream Foundation, Safety Town, Special Olympics, CADA, Storyteller Children’s Center, Children’s Creative Project, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Ridley Tree Education Center and more.

National Charity League Senior Class of 2014 (courtesy photo)

National Charity League Senior Class of 2014 (courtesy photo)

The graduating senior girls, known as “Ticktockers”  pictured include: (Top row from left to right) Sara Ashlin Doyle, Grace Copeland, Emma Eccles, Grace Jordan Woolf, Britten Barbara Ann Vilander, Clara Mae Madsen, Julia Rene’e McClintock; (Middle row from left to right) Madeleine Wall, Milana Rose Skiff, Sammi Schurmer, Rachel Rene Fay, Susan Madeline Marquis, Nicole Kristine-Marie Larson, Brenna Claire Geiger; (Bottom row from left to right) Hannah Rose Brisby, Olivia Jane Pickett, Olivia Belle Caesar, Kayla Zola, Caterina Jacquelyn Lafitte and Madeline Grace Frohling.

Says Ticktocker, Milana Skiff,  who has volunteered an inspiring 921 hours, “the Oncology Department at Cottage Hospital is my favorite place to volunteer.  I love it and everyone there is so kind.  It’s a good experience for me and because of it I will pursue a career as an oncologist in college.  My mom and I have also volunteered in the pasta booth at the I Madonnari every year for the past six years and we really enjoy it.  It gives us the chance to participate in community service together.”

Ticktocker Kayla Zola and Patroness Belinda Zola enjoyed volunteering together making flower arrangements for the Dream Foundation.  Belinda shares, “it feels more like we are sharing a hobby than anything else.  Kayla is very creative, and I have learned so much from her about just letting go and having fun!  Not only are we able to bring some joy to terminally ill people, but we can also share the joy of our efforts with other volunteers, with each other and ourselves!  This is just one example of how NCL has helped teach our three daughters how to get involved and give back to their community while strengthening mother, daughter and sibling relationships”

The NCL Senior Presentation Event is an opportunity for the girls not only be recognized for their service, but it is also the chance for them to share how these experiences have shaped their lives.  “It has been an privilege to work with the Class of 2014 NCL Ticktockers to help them achieve these outstanding goals,” say Luann Caesar and Ann Marquis,  co-chairs for the event.  “It has been an honor to work alongside our daughters for the past six years, to see them grow and mature while giving back through volunteer work to the the Santa Barbara community.”

Founded in 1962, the Santa Barbara chapter of NCL currently supports the works of 19 local philanthropies, often providing a valuable volunteer workforce for local organizations such as Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Direct Relief International, Santa Barbara Public Library,Unity Shoppe, Cottage Hospital, McKinley School and many more.  The local chapter is an “hours only” chapter, meaning that members donate their time only, and do not raise funds to assist the charities.   Each mother and daughter member is required to fulfill a minimum of both league and philanthropy hours, or community service.  Each Ticktocker is part of an age-level class that conducts a monthly meeting, has guest speakers on various age-appropriate topics, and often does an off-site philanthropy project as a part of their meeting.   For more information click here.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 20, 2014.

Cocktail Corner: Taste the Future of Wine at Les Marchands

Santa Barbara County Wine Futures TastingA spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg  |

After last year’s super successful first “Funk Zone version” of the Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding numero due, especially since an exclusive Friday evening event was added to the mix, taking place on April 18.

Unlike a typical Winemaker’s Dinner, this gathering will echo what has gone on for generations in Europe but was formally organized in the 1920’s by Count Lafon as La Paulee de Meursault with a celebration in Burgundy marking the end of harvest. With that in mind, this will be a harvest style celebration of bringing and sharing superb wines.  Les Marchands has invited several winemakers to participate and in generosity they have agreed to bring along Santa Barbara County wines from their cellars—fun, unique, aged, new, unreleased, large format—the variety will be truly memorable.

Confirmed winemakers and proprietors attending include Zotovich Cellars, Ojai, Tyler Winery, Wenzlau Vineyard, Sillix, Chanin, Storm Wines and Sandhi, with a few more in the works.

Expanding on the theme, Les Marchands is encouraging guests to bring a wine from Santa Barbara County to share since the evening is centered around sharing, enjoying, and learning about the expressive wines of Santa Barbara County.

SBCWFTDinner2014-2855The menu includes:

Farmer’s Market Crudite Platter with Seasonal Vegetables, Herbed Goat Cheese, Black Pepper Creme Fraiche, and Romesco Sauce

Roasted Cauliflower Soup, Chives and House-made Potato Chip

Grilled Tri-tip, Salsa Verde served with Rosemary Potatoes, Grilled Broccolini with Lemon Zest and Chili Flakes, Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad

Rori’s Ice Cream
Cost is $85 per person, and reservations can be made by clicking here.

That’s just the beginning of this delicious world of fun.

On Saturday, April 19, more than 50 of the hottest local wineries will gather for an exclusive tasting next door to Les Marchands at 131 Anacapa St., which will be transformed into an indoor tasting room. Attendees have the rare opportunity to be among the first to taste and purchase special cuvees available prior to release at a 20% discount off standard retail price. Historic producers like Au Bon Climat and Qupe are confirmed to attend, alongside upcoming stars like Tyler, Sillix, Zotovich, Tatomer, Habit Wine Company and Wenzlau.

Tickets for the 2014 Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant’s Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting are $70 with advance purchase on the Les Marchands website or $80 at the door. The event will take place from noon-4 p.m.


Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 21, 2014.

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

John Hodgman on Starring as John Hodgman

UCSB Student Appreciation Event Puts the Real John Hodgman Front and Center in Comedy Show I Stole Your Dad

By Leslie Dinaberg

Talking on the phone with John Hodgman while he’s on the set of The Daily Show is a bit surreal. The guy who usually trades witty bon mots with Jon Stewart is now bantering with ME! That same guy who plays the nerdy PC sidekick to Justin Long’s much cooler Mac, the whack-job Deranged Millionaire and the pompously Insane Academic Resident Expert turns out to be every bit as funny when he’s playing himself. He describes it as “doing my John Hodgman impersonation,” which is essentially what he’ll be doing in I Stole Your Dad, his new comedy show that is coming to UCSB Campbell Hall on April 1.

John Hodgman, courtesy photo

John Hodgman, courtesy photo

The show is a bit of a departure for Hodgman. “Ever since the world did not come to an end as I predicted it would in my last stand-up comedy special called Ragnarok (an apocalypse-themed stand-up comedy routine and NetFlix special revolving around his interpretation of Ragnarök, the Norse end of the world), I have been doing somewhat more personal kind of comedy, comedy where at least on the page I am not performing as an insane academic resident expert or a deranged millionaire but instead as John Hodgman, a person who has done those things, and other things, and is also just a normal human being with a normal family and two normal human children. So essentially I’m now doing my John Hodgman impersonation,” says Hodgman, who in addition to being a New York Times Magazine columnist, wrote the Complete World Knowledge trilogy: The Areas of My Expertise (2005), More Information Than You Require (2008) and That Is All (2011).

The 42-year-old writer/comedian says he decided to step away from the character concept and do his John Hodgman impersonation “mostly out of desperation.”

“To some degree I felt like I had told every hobo joke and fake history joke that I knew how to make, and to some degree I had made every deranged millionaire slash apocalyptic harbinger joke that I knew how to make. … At the same time I had started doing stand-up comedy, which you know I had been doing an imitation of for some years but usually reading portions of my book and/or performing little bits from it. But by the time I came out with my stand-up special for Netflix I really had given up using any scripts or nets—literal or figurative—and was really just doing comedy.  And I felt an interest in speaking a little bit more plainly and just being a little bit more vulnerable onstage,” he says.

“So part of it was, I had to make jokes about something and what else is there … oh yes, my real life,” he continues.

I Stole Your Dad includes Hodgmanesque observations on topics from how to dress like a young and relevant person to fax machines and other obsolete technology, to how to spend your time now that the world hasn’t ended, contrary to the Mayan prophecy. Also on the agenda: Downton Abbey, the state songs of Tennessee and the film criticism of Ayn Rand, done with an Eastern European accent, he promises.

When asked if it’s more or less difficult to be in front of an audience as yourself rather than being a character, Hodgman says, “The characters that I was playing were always exaggerated versions of myself, in the sense that I am someone who loves trivia and had picked up a lot of dumb knowledge along the way and then I loved pretending to be a deranged millionaire. It’s a little bit easier (to play John Hodgman) I suppose in that … characters have to be consistent whereas humans don’t have to be.”

He continues, “At no point when I am just talking on stage and telling stories am I ever forced to say ‘oh my character would never say that or say that in that way’ because it’s just me. And similar to the fact that you know those deranged characters are versions of myself, so it is also true that my real self is often somewhat deranged. Just because I will be telling more or less true stories from my life does not mean that I won’t get dressed up as Ayn Rand as she may or may not have appeared on Phil Donahue’s program in 1980 and rant in a vague Eastern European accent about Charlie’s Angels. That’s me too.”

A prolific writer as well as a performer, Hodgman claims that “my natural state is to avoid writing until the end of time,” but he tricks himself into writing “by booking small secret unannounced shows in a basement in Brooklyn that I call Secret Society, with a challenge to come up with something new to say at each one of these things. I would say that this has been a creative godsend, or if you don’t believe in god, me-send in so far as it allows me to pretend that I am not writing, just sort of sketching and drafting and coming up with things to say until the very last possible second—and the final writing happens on stage.”

Having appeared in guest roles as “the person wearing glasses” in a variety of films and TV shows, including Coraline, The Invention of Lying, Arthur, Baby Mama and Flight of the Conchords, as well as famously giving the Vulcan salute to President Obama at the Radio-Television Correspondents Association Dinner in 2009 (and receiving it back), Hodgman says, ” there’s not much left on the pop cultural bucket list.”

“I’ve pretty well wormed my way and insinuated myself into everything that I’ve ever wanted to be a part of from Battlestar Gallactica to Parks and Recreation and Community and all of my favorite things and projects, including The Daily Show for that matter. In many ways my career is just a series of times that I’ve insinuated myself into things that I love,” he says.

When pressed he does offer, “I was not consulted by J.J. Abrams on the new Star Wars movies, and I think rather than be offended, I think on balance I respect his restraint. If I were to push myself into the Star Wars movies in some way, it would be too much. The world is already struggling enough with the question of whether the new Star Wars movies are necessary. I don’t want to make J.J.’s fascinating task any harder.”

Hodgman has never been to Santa Barbara before and says he looks forward to finding a good gin martini (I gave him some tips) as well as seeing the UCSB campus. When warned about the busy bike lanes and skateboard lanes on campus, a light bulb goes off. He asks, “Is there any way that I could arrange for students to sort of build a skateboard rickshaw to take me on a tour of the campus? … I don’t skateboard myself but it seems like a great way to see the campus. Maybe someone could build a skateboard sidecar for me or a trailer.”

I promise to pass the request on to the folks at UCSB Arts & Lectures, who are presenting the show as a UCSB Student Appreciation Event. By hosting free and low-cost Student Appreciation Events, UCSB Arts & Lectures expresses its gratitude to UCSB students for their ongoing support; including the quarterly student lock-in fees students contribute to help sustain the program.  For more information or to purchase tickets to John Hodgman’s I Stole Your Dad on April 1 at 8 p.m., call 805/893-3535 or visit

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 18, 2014.

Wine Cask and bouchon Award SBCC Students with Scholarships + Internships

(Wine Cask)

(Wine Cask)

Alejandro Guillen, Alexander Italia and Alejandro Martinez have each been awarded a $2,500 scholarship on behalf of Mitchell Sjerven, owner of bouchon and co-owner of Wine Cask.  The American Riviera Scholarship is a grant program Sjerven created on behalf of his Santa Barbara restaurants, bouchon and Wine Cask, awarded to several deserving students enrolled in Santa Barbara City College’s School of Culinary Arts.

Created in 2012, the annual American Riviera Scholarship is awarded to highly motivated students who demonstrate commitment and motivation to complete the major, as well as the potential for success as a chef.  Sjerven has taught the “Restaurant Ownership” course at Santa Barbara City College’s School of Culinary Arts for the past several years.  The scholarship aims to draw from the excellent pool of culinary potential at Santa Barbara City College and helps develop Santa Barbara’s reputation as a popular food and wine destination in California.  Originally awarded to two students, this year, an additional student was offered a scholarship after enough funds were raised at Wine Cask’s 30th Anniversary Dinner, celebrated in September.
bouchon logo“Santa Barbara is a high cost-of-living town and being a student at City College— no matter how affordable the education itself— is even more challenging,” Sjerven says. “My long-term vision is to see enough financial aid available so that each and every student in the Culinary Arts program can receive tuition assistance to some degree.  To that end I challenge every Santa Barbara restaurant that has ever had a student or graduate of the program in their kitchen to create a scholarship.  Our community provides unlimited possibilities to give but here is a meaningful way to give back directly to the institution that provides so many staff for so many of our local restaurants.”

In addition to the cash awards, recipients have the opportunity for a paid internship at Wine Cask and bouchon, where they can gain valuable hands-on training working for two of Santa Barbara’s critically acclaimed establishments. Sjerven says, “We are fortunate to be able to draw from this growing and valuable pool of prospective culinary professionals who show real promise in a challenging field.”

Wine Cask is located at 813 Anacapa St. Bouchon is located at 9 W. Victoria St.

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 16, 2014.


Archstone Foundation Grant Supports Hospice of Santa Barbara

Hospice of Santa Barbara logoThe Archstone Foundation recently donated $80,000 to support Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Spiritual Care Program in three areas: advance the integration of spiritual care into HSB’s non-medical, community-based programs that serve people with life-threatening illness and bereavement needs; decrease the spiritual suffering & isolation of residents of long-term care facilities in the greater Santa Barbara area; extend the reach of HSB’s trained spiritual care volunteers into long-term care facilities. In addition, a key component of the grant is funds for in-depth research on the impact of the program with the goal of publishing the findings in appropriate journals. This is the third year in a row Hospice of Santa Barbara has received this award, with the amount increasing from $50,000 in 2012 to $80,000 this year.

For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call 805/563-8820 or visit

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 15, 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.

Michelle Stuart: Drawn from Nature on View at SBMA

Michelle Stuart, Book of the Stone, 1984-85. Earth from Machu Picchu, hydrocal cover, brown wax, linen, muslin-mounted paper. Courtesy of the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Michelle Stuart, Book of the Stone, 1984-85. Courtesy of the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

Currently on view at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (through May 25) is an interesting contemporary exhibit, Michelle Stuart: Drawn from Nature.

Drawing, sculpture, photography, video and installation— Stuart has done it all, infusing her lifelong interest in the natural world into all of her pieces, and maintaining a dialogue with nature that is at times literal (smashing rocks and leaves into her art) and ethereal (creating her own imaginary landscapes). Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St. 805/963-4364,

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on March 9, 2014.