Santa Barbara’s many inviting museums and galleries offer not only refuge from the chill in the air, but opportunities to experience people, places, and things through art. Photography decks the halls this winter, along with vibrant paintings, delicate assemblage, and intricate etchings.
Santi Visalli: Icons
The 40-year career of Santi Visalli, whose iconic photographs have appeared in the most important publications of our times and helped to define American visual culture worldwide, exemplifies photojournalism as fine art. Through Visalli’s lens, these famed personalities become not only glamorous celebrities, but accessible human beings.
Shows through Sun., Feb. 3; open daily, 10am-5:30pm. Sullivan Goss, An American Gallery, 7 E. Anapamu St. Call 730-1460 or visit sullivangoss.com.
Tradition and Transition:The California Missions
This exhibition contrasts the California Mission etchings of Henry Chapman Ford with those of contemporary artist Leonardo Nu±ez. Ford printed all of his etchings in 1883, and Nu±ez completed his series in 1999 as a complement to Ford’s work.
Shows through Fri., Feb. 15; open Mon.-Fri., 8am-6pm. Channing Peake Gallery, County Administration Building, 1st Floor, 105 E. Anapamu St. Call 568-3994.
Curiosities: New and Recent Works by Kofi Cole, Peter Cole, Ethan Turpin, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Pauline Wiertz, and Miriam Wosk
Made up mostly of small-scale objects and paintings, this group exhibition transforms the traditional gallery space into a room-sized Wunderkammern of nostalgia, memory, and rediscovery. The featured artists use a variety of methods and materials to explore concepts of identity and issues of cultural transference.
Shows through Sun., Feb. 17; open Tue.-Sun., 11am-5pm. Edward Cella Art+Architecture, 10 E. Figueroa St. Call 962-5900 or visit edwardcella.com.
Members Collect III
This exhibition showcases works depicting American wilderness, many with a modernist sensibility, from the collections of museum members. Such notable artists as Millard Sheets, Ray Strong, and Ludmilla Welch are represented alongside those whose work has never before been seen outside of these private collections.
Shows through Sun., Mar. 30; open Wed.-Sun., 11am-5pm. Wildling Art Museum, 2329 Jonata St., Los Olivos. Call 688-1082 or visit wildlingmuseum.org.
Westmont College Art Faculty Show
Featuring work by Westmont Art Department faculty in a variety of media, this exhibition showcases the work of these acclaimed artists and educators, demonstrates the depth and breadth of Westmont’s growing art program, and honors retiring professor and gallery director Tony Askew.
Shows through Fri., Feb. 29; open Mon.-Fri., 10am-4pm and Sat., 11am-5pm. Reynolds Gallery, Westmont College, 955 La Paz Rd. Call 565-6162 or visit westmont.edu/reynolds_gallery.
Art in Shape
Based on linear mathematical structures and designs and painted on irregularly shaped canvases, Jack Reilly’s compositions are often more evocative of wall sculptures than paintings. Each one consists of thousands of brushstrokes of multilayered, colorful acrylics. The exhibition features a selection of his newest, mostly large works, complemented by smaller pieces and explanatory drawings.
Thu., Jan. 24-Sun., Feb. 24; open Wed.-Sun., noon-5pm. Artamo Gallery, 11 W. Anapamu St. Call 568-1400 or visit artamogallery.com.
Meditations in Silver: Photographic Studies by Paul Caponigro
Landscape photographer Paul Caponigro, who has described his photographs as “dreams locked in silver,” has focused on the still life during the past decade, crafting his images from artifacts collected throughout 40 years. The exhibition features 25 elegant, contemplative works.
Sat., Jan. 26-Sun., Apr. 6; open Tue.-Sun., 11am-5pm. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St. Call 963-4364 or visit sbmuseart.org.
John King: encaustic paintings, drawings, prints
The first California exhibition of works by New York artist John King features drawings, prints, and encaustic paintings, along with a display of his noted “Hotel” drawings. Winner of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and an NEA Fellowship Grant, King was a featured artist at Italy’s Vicenza Art Fair 2005.
Mon., Jan. 28-Fri., Feb. 22; open Mon.-Thu., 10am-7pm and Fri.-Sat., 10am-4pm. Atkinson Gallery, Santa Barbara City College, 721 Cliff Dr. Call 965-0895 x3484 or visit gallery.sbcc.edu.
The Presence and Absence of Light
Invoking the work of Robert Irwin and James Turrell, California sculptor Ron Reihel investigates color, light, and space in his innovative, vivid sculptural pieces. From abstract linear patterns to translations of landscapes and plant life, the works evolve with the environment around them.
Fri., Feb. -Sat., Mar. 15; open Tue.-Sat., 10am-6pm, by appointment. East/West Gallery, 714 Bond Ave. Call 963-4041 or visit eastwest-gallery.com.
Roy Fowler: Paintings
Known for the marine and ocean themes in his elegantly stylized paintings, Fowler has exhibited in group and solo shows in New York and California. The works of this Santa Barbara native have drawn honors from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, and Artists Space.
Thu., Feb. 7-Sat., Mar. 29; open Tue.-Sat., noon-5pm. Patty Look Lewis Gallery, 25 E. De la Guerra St. Call 965-2525 or visit pattylooklewis.com.
Isaac Julien: Fant’me Afrique
In this three-screen projection, internationally acclaimed film artist Isaac Julien combines historical films with original footage of Burkina Faso’s bustling capital city and parched countryside. The resulting video triptych is a sumptuous cinematic display of urban architecture, rural landscapes, and dance.
Thu., Feb. 21-Sun., May 11; open Wed.-Sun., noon-5pm. UCSB’s University Art Museum. Call 893-7564 or visit uam.ucsb.edu.
Relics & Offerings
Contemporary surrealist Anne Luther expresses her mysterious and dream-like images through her whimsical mixed-media assemblage.
Sat., Mar. 1-Mon., Mar. 31; open Tue.-Fri., 10am-5pm and Sat., 11am-3pm. Frameworks-Caruso Woods Gallery, 813 Anacapa St. Call 965-1812 or visit carusowoods.com.
Setareh Shahbazi: Why Not Bazar? and Bloom Projects: Mickalene Thomas
Setareh Shahbazi’s longing for and misreading of California culture manifests itself in paintings, inkjet and silk prints, and large-scale, lacquered wood cutouts built onsite, while CAF’s Bloom Projects concurrently features Mickalene Thomas, whose depictions of African-American women celebrate and critique the black narrative.
Sat., Mar. 1-Sun., May 11; open Tue.-Sun., 11am-5pm and Sat., noon-5pm. Contemporary Arts Forum, 653 Paseo Nuevo. Call 966-5373 or visit sbcaf.org.
A Quiet America
Natan Moss’s photographs from his journey across America incorporate vignettes such as empty playgrounds with abandoned toys, symmetrical stacks of hay alongside the highway, and a congregation of houses after a rainstorm.
Thu., Mar. 6-Sat., Mar. 29; open Tue.-Wed., noon-5pm, Thu.-Fri., noon-8pm, Sat., 9am-2pm, and Sun. by appointment. Gallery Ocho, 1221 State St., Ste. 8. Call 965-3054 or visit galleryocho.com.