Traditionally, much of art has been devoted to communicating an understanding of nature. For cycle after cycle in the history of art, new movements and aesthetics have sprung from imaginations fired by direct observation of the natural world. In the 21st century, this imperative for art to “go to nature” to renew itself has been complicated by the increasingly artificial state of nature itself. With mounting scientific evidence that such pervasive features of the natural world as global climate are in significant flux due to the activities of humans, it has become more and more difficult to separate out the natural from the artificial world. Fortunately, contemporary artists require no such firm distinction between the natural and the artificial landscape. This spring, Santa Barbara will host more art of every kind than ever before, spanning a range in every medium equal to the distance from the idyllic images of nature captured by Ansel Adams in the 20th century to the stunning large-scale photographs of nature transformed by industry that are the signature of contemporary artist Edward Burtynsky. In this bewildering era of the post-industrial landscape, it is good to remember that in art, going to nature can mean this new residual landscape as well, and what has been made of nature can be as beautiful to behold and important to understand as what has been created by it.


Classical Music by Charles Donelan

Books and Lectures by Felicia M. Tomasko

Visual Art by Allisa J. Anderson

Dance by Elizabeth Schwyzer

Jazz by Josef Woodward

Theater by Charles Donelan

Film by Max Burke

Pop and Rock by Nicole de Ayora


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