Santa Barbara Art Studios

Location: 709 E. Mason St. at Quarantina St.

Owners: Cheryn English and James Richards.

Date of Opening: November 16, 2006.

Focus: Entering Santa Barbara Art Studios is leaving the industrial section of town and walking into a perfumed and quiet cocoon-a shrine to imagination. The exhibitions aim to give expression to the commonplace in an exceptional manifestation: photos of the undersides of leaves, faces caught out of focus, boats listing haphazardly in the waves. A portion of all proceeds goes to the charity of the artists’ choice. The true delight is to walk upstairs to the studio above the gallery, where you find oils and watercolors not for sale, including Hugo Napier’s captivating pointillism portrait of his wife, and Simon Fraser’s painting of a girl leaning out of a window, oblivious of being watched.

Current Exhibition: Dancing of Light, by Virga. Santa Barbara artist Virga has created multidimensional gardens out of paper, with leaf and petal ringlets that trap the backlit illumination of afternoon.

Hours and Contact: Sunday 1-5 p.m., or by appointment. Call 637-6802.

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