Soaring temperatures and cloudless days have officially announced the beginning of a new season, and Santa Barbarans are dreaming of summer vacation. The artists in this version of Off the Wall are no exception. Theirs are visions of lazy days, laid out against a backdrop of peaceful beachscapes, towering palm trees, cool rooms, and quiet sunsets.
All Over Paradise
S.B. collage artist and UCSB graduate Andrea Beloff is showing up all over town these days-you can find her work in no less than three area businesses. I first ran into her work at Louie’s at the Upham Hotel, where a piece of her complex handmade paper collage hung next to my head for up-close and personal viewing. Beloff’s technique is unusual, combining Japanese papermaking methods to depict a variety of subject matter. One series of works with titles like “Sunset and Breeze” and “Daydreaming” depicts tropical landscapes so lush and utopian they would make a travel agent blush, but they are perfectly befitting to the tiki-themed Kalyra tasting room on East Beach. Beloff’s work will soon also be displayed at Emilio’s Restaurant.
Art Al Fresco
The many regulars that frequent Santa Barbara favorite Fresco have long been aware that the restaurant at Five Points has been serving alternative art on the side for the last 10 years. Now, with the opening of Fresco North in Goleta, the establishment has provided an additional venue to display the works of regional artists, including Michele Pascale Zuzalek, Malcolm Tuffnell, Amir Jabbari, and Nance Cole. While their works are distinctly diverse in style, their contrasting qualities are complementary. Zuzalek’s quiet nighttime scene in “Pacific Coast Highway,” depicting cars driving up the PCH, their tiny, bright taillights drowned out by the expansive black sky, is soothingly familiar yet mysteriously evocative. In contrast, Jabbari’s intense, Technicolor landscapes are visually overwhelming in their optimistic palette, while Malcolm Tuffnell’s Degas-inspired portraits of pastel-colored dancers nicely offset Nance Cole’s abstract, earth-toned monotypes.
Dip into a Print
Although libraries traditionally house art in its written form, it is always nice to have visual aids. The Goleta Public Library enhances its literary collection by featuring photos by area photography collective the f/nine group. Since its formation 22 years ago by Santa Barbara Adult Education students, f/nine has organized over 45 exhibitions featuring the photographic work of nine artists. The Goleta Library show combines straight black-and-white photography mixed with digitally enhanced works. “Moon on Wire” by Kate Connell transforms a mundane, backlit stop sign into a romantic portrait of a hanging moon, while Marilyn Ziemer’s image of a dilapidated beach bungalow in “For Rent” is reminiscent of a long-ago childhood vacation during a carefree summer.
While Daniel Landman’s pastel drawings at Reds are mostly figurative portraits in energetic colors and soft lines, he instills in his work an inherent calm that evokes summertime leisure. Over at Roy, the artist known as RAW take a more frenetic route, combining highly textured collaged techniques with elongated, semi-abstracted figures in the same alluring palette. Both artists lure the viewer into their work by creating a loose narrative where we can imagine ourselves as characters inhabiting their worlds.
Current Art Shows
Andrea Beloff (andreabeloff.com)
At Kalyra Tasting Room (212 State St.), Louie’s (1404 De La Vina St.), and Emilios (324 W. Cabrillo St.) indefinitely.
Michele Pascale Zuzalek (michelezstudio.com)
Malcolm Tuffnell and Amir Jabbari (amirpaintings.org)
Nance Cole (sb-studioartists.com/NCdig.htm)
At Fresco North (5940 Calle Real) through July 21.
the f/nine group
At the Goleta Public Library (500 N. Fairview Ave.) through July 31.
At Reds (211 Helena Ave.) through July 28.
At Roy (7 W. Carrillo St.) through July 14.