Michael Louis Felcher

1950 - 2012, Santa Barbara

Michael Felcher passed August 3rd in Montpelier, Idaho surrounded by loved ones. He was 62 years old. Michael was born April 25, 1950, in Manhattan, to Jerome and Cecelia Felcher.

A profoundly gifted artist in painting, writing and music, Michael had a natural affinity to all that is beautiful and dedicated his life to this study and practice.

Michael loved everything of quality made by hand, and he sought to share these experiences and passions with all those he respected and loved.

Michael Felcher inaugurated the first Summer Solstice Festival at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1976, in concert with his work funded by a grant from the National Endowment on the Eichheim Collection of Oriental Musical Instruments. The event took place in the Oriental Galleries and featured musical demonstrations on the instruments and a performance by mimes Michael Gonzales and John Burnett.

In 1977, still under the auspices of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art under then Director Paul Mills, the Festival took place in the garden between the Museum and the Library. Felcher demonstrated music on the Shakuhachi flute in a tree above the garden and Gonzales and Burnett again gave a mime performance. Felcher created the first three posters for the Summer Solstice Festival.

By 1978, the Parade, originally begun on May Day to celebrate Michael Gonzales' birthday with a group of friends (The Mime Caravan) cavorting up State Street, joined the Festival and moved to the County Courthouse Sunken Garden. Thus was born today's Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration.

Michael lived in New York City, Great Neck, and Binghamton, NY; Santa Barbara, CA; Pompano Beach, FL; Reading, PA; and Montpelier, ID.

His artwork, exhibitions, and bio can be viewed on his website:

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