"Goleta Slough" by John Comer.

"Goleta Slough" by John Comer.

Three Reasons to Take a Stroll at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s ArtWalk

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s 20th Annual ArtWalk promises to be bigger-and better-than ever before. With two full days of live music, great food, art demonstrations, and works from more than 150 different artists, this year’s offering truly has something for everyone. Add to that the fact that all the proceeds from the event get filtered right back into the museum’s ongoing and innumerable programs and you’ve got yourself a weekend that’s just as action-packed as it is altruistic. The ArtWalk will take place at the museum (2559 Puesta del Sol Rd.) on Saturday, September 27, and Sunday, September 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8 general and $7 for museum members, and all children under 12 get in for free. For details, call 682-4711 x181 or visit And for a glimpse of some of the participating artists and events, check out our list of highlights below.

1) The Oak Group: This 24-person art collective will act as the 2008 ArtWalk’s featured exhibition. Since forming in 1993, these self-proclaimed “painters for preservation” have sold more than $1.5 million in artwork, donating half of their earnings to various conservation groups throughout Santa Barbara County. Works vary from urban and rural landscape paintings to abstract nature photography and picturesque pastel pieces. The Oak Group will also be featured in Friday night’s opening Artist and Patron Reception, held between 6 and 8 p.m. in the museum’s Fleischmann Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Museum League office.

2) For the Kids: Along with the indoor, juried art show and outdoor festivities, guests are encouraged to bring their children along to enjoy some of the many kid-friendly activities. On both Saturday and Sunday, the museum will present Children’s ArtWalk, featuring works from selected elementary schools in Santa Barbara, as well as the city’s Boys & Girls Club chapter. Various art and nature activities will also be available for the youngsters who want to get their hands dirty.

3) Enjoy the View: Anyone who has ever visited S.B.’s Museum of Natural History knows that the museum is sitting pretty on one of the most beautiful spots in the county. Tucked away just off Mission Canyon Road and perched on the banks of Mission Creek, the museum’s grounds are about as scenic as any landscape painting. And with live music from Bruce Goldish and Andrew Jackson and good eats courtesy of Tinker’s Summerland Catering all up for grabs outside, there’s no doubt you’ll walk away from this weekend’s show with a fuller appreciation of nature’s beauty.

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