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Spotlight On… Whistle Stop Studios


by Mary Vanderpool

Many artists say they need absolute quiet to work. That’s not the case at the Whistle Stop Art Studios, located within spitting distance of the train tracks at 115 Kimberly Avenue in Santa Barbara. There, when the train chugs in with its whistle blowing, it’s accepted as a welcome sign of daily life by the artists who work there.

Since the studio opened in October nearly a year and a half ago, it has served as an ideal workspace for Ruth Ellen Hoag, Mauricio Arcesio, and Josepha DiRado. Each of the three friends had been in need of a good studio space for quite some time, and when a sunny space opened by the tracks it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Now, the gallery is a colorful and vibrant display of their talents, as well as a good place to watch their art take form on the canvas.

“We each have our own style; what ties us all together is that we all work in the figurative, even though our approaches are different,” said Hoag of the dynamics in the studio. And their pieces complement each other perfectly as they rest against every available surface in the studio, filling it to the brim.

Aside from using the studio to create and display their own work, the artists also teach workshops from time to time. The next is coming up this June, and will focus on color and composition. As always, visitors are welcome to watch and browse.

Whistle Stop Studios is located at 115 Kimberly Ave.



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