Santa Barbara
The geographic similarities between Santa Barbara county and Andalucia, Spain are uncanny. It is no surprise that Felipe de Neve and his band of missionaries and soldiers built the mother-of-all missions overlooking the ocean, in 1786. Here in Santa Barbara, the Californio culture was strong, marrying Spanish, Mexican and Indio traditions into one. But when the Mexican-American war broke in 1846, things began to change.

Perhaps in an unintended shift of cultural power, newly arrived anglo residents and artists - including Helen Hunt Jackson and her novel Ramona - portrayed a romantic bygone era of adobe missions, consigning early Hispanic culture to the past.

The Spanish remains of Santa Barbara however, and the local residents that still walk down its cobblestone streets, remind us of a not so distant past where California and the West were ruled by others.

Today, the Hamptons of Los Angeles are coming to terms with a shared common cultural history, with new experimental art venues such as the Santa Barbara Art Forum and the Santa Barbara Museum exploring ways in which artists and cultural producers are viewing the future.

Highlights
John Divola and the Photography of Modern Ruin
The multi-venue exhibition "As Far As I Could Get" features the vacant, dilapidated homes of John Divola's photographic work.
The Odyssey Project: Transforming Lives of Incarcerated Youth Through Theater
The Odyssey Project pairs UCSB College students with young men from a minimum security detention facility to recreate Homer's "The Odyssey."
Santa Barbara's Chromatic Gate Restored
Santa Barbara celebrates the restoration of the large rainbow-colored sculpture dedicated to the artists of the town.
The Legal Street Art of Santa Barbara
The Legal Street Art of Santa Barbara
A.M.A.S.S (Artists Making a Street Scene) has been bringing a bit of edge and creative culture to Santa Barbara's most distinctly tourist-serving part of town since 2009.
Portrait Photography in the Age of Instagram
Portrait Photography in the Age of Instagram
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Karen Sinsheimer curates a big summer show called "Portrayal/Betrayal" comprised of portraits by photographers operating at the top of their games.
Around the Counties: Santa Barbara Art Venues and More with Charles Donelan
Around the Counties: Santa Barbara Art Venues and More with Charles Donelan
For this edition of Around the Counties, Artbound columnist Charles Donelan answers five questions about the Santa Barbara County art scene.
From Wall Street to Salvation: Chris Potter's Painting Marathon
From Wall Street to Salvation: Chris Potter's Painting Marathon
Know anyone who traded a high finance job for plein air painting? Probably not. But in Santa Barbara, one man did just that. Chris Potter is an everyday painter who paints every day.
Of Love, Surfboards, and Callused Hands: The Art of Function and Flow as Interpreted by Ryan Lovelace
Of Love, Surfboards, and Callused Hands: The Art of Function and Flow as Interpreted by Ryan Lovelace
Ryan Lovelace hand-builds surfboards, working with reverence to preserve and protect the power of surfing.
Santa Barbara's Art From Scrap Incubates Ideas
Santa Barbara's Art From Scrap Incubates Ideas
Started in 1990 as the reaction to cuts in the arts at the city's schools, a group of Santa Barbara parents started Art From Scrap. It functions as a teaching facility, a gallery, a store for reusable and new surplus art materials, and a community center, rolled into one.
section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline

Literature

Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline

Multi-Disciplinary

Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline

Music

A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline

Performance

Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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