"UntitledNest" by Martha Day

"UntitledNest" by Martha Day

Small Images at Atkinson Gallery

Petite Paintings of the Week

The old adage “good things come in small packages” is exceptionally suited for the annual Small Things exhibition at Santa Barbara City College. As one of the oldest adjudicated exhibitions on the West Coast, Small Things has been showcasing regional artists for almost a quarter of a century, and has become an annual highlight in S.B.’s exhibition schedule. This year’s guest juror is renowned painter and Cal Poly professor Daniel Dove, whose international reputation and impressive pedigree (he received his MFA from Yale University) uniquely qualifies him for this particular task. Dane Goodman, director of the gallery, was first exposed to Dove’s work in a faculty show at Cal Poly and was struck by “a piece in there that really caught my eye-it was a really unusual painting.” Impressed by his painterly style, Goodman later met Dove at a show in Los Angeles and invited him to jury Small Things.

For this year’s exhibit, Dove had a daunting task: choose from a selection of 322 artworks and narrow them down to a manageable 53. And not only did he whittle down the submissions successfully, he did so in a mere couple of hours. “The adjudication process of this exhibition is unique,” said Goodman. “Artists are invited to submit as many as three pieces-not bigger than 18 inches in any direction-to the gallery from 9 a.m.-noon on a Saturday, and then the judge has from 2-4 p.m. to make his decisions.” The exhibition is then opened the following Friday, where nine prizes and a total of $1,200 are awarded.

The large age range of participants-19-90-also showcases the regional depth of artistic talent and the long-running role the exhibition plays in our community. “Much of the artistic history of Santa Barbara is this Small Images show-there are some artists who are still around who were a part of this show 15 or 20 years ago,” said Goodman. The 23rd annual Small Images show will be on display through Friday, December 12, at SBCC’s Atkinson Gallery. Call 965-0581 x3484 or visit for details

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