Beauty is all around us. And no one would argue that point more pointedly than the folks at Santa Barbara’s Contemporary Arts Forum (721 Paseo Nuevo). For the fifth year in a row, the downtown gallery space is playing host to Call for Entries, an exhibit which features works from six of the tri-counties’ most promising young artists. The annual juried art show takes nearly a year to curate and calls on the help of some of the West Coast’s premier artistic minds. (This year’s jurors included everyone from UCLA Hammer Museum senior curator Anne Ellegood and artist and professor Michael Barton Miller to curator Yasmine Mohseni and gallery cofounder Adrian Rivas.) Below you’ll find a short rundown of what 2010’s Call for Entries has to offer. To check it out for yourself, call 966-5373, or visit sbcaf.org for gallery hours. The show runs through October 3.
1. Graham Bury: A proponent of grand-scale ideas, Bury’s massive aerial photography prints are some of the most startling and captivating works Call for Entries has to offer. Shot from high above the agricultural zones of Santa Ynez, these black-and-whites are as visually affecting as their size is looming.
2. Alejandro Casazi: A multi-media artist in the greatest sense, Casazi uses everything from sculpture to drawings to get at the heart of his creative curiosity, emphasizing the details in life’s smallest—and oftentimes most unassuming—objects.
3. Madelaine Frezza: Frezza’s work, which ranges from vibrant watercolors to graphite drawings, exudes an air of uncomfortable exploration. Throughout, bodies are bent, twisted, and contorted in ways and environments that are both visually engaging and slightly disturbing.
4. Laura Krifka: Using mixed-media and sculpture as her vehicle, Krifka’s works focus on human relationships, even as they exploit cartoonish color schemes and expressions to do so. For “Ambush,” a small figure wraps itself around the neck of a larger female, forcing us to question whether we’re looking at an attack or a child’s playful affection.
5. Christine Morla: Meanwhile, Morla’s intricate, collage-like contributions provide beauty of a more subtle variety. Items like paper, candy wrappers, and acrylic paints are layered to create textured, brightly colored blossoms and designs.
6. Shane Tolbert: An avant textile artist, Tolbert’s pigment dispersion on fabric pieces are Call for Entries‘ most abstract, melding muted colors and organic patterns with bright graphic shapes to create startlingly simplistic contrasts.