Eyes of Spring at Carpinteria’s Galerie Eye

Vivi Teston

When you think of springtime in Santa Barbara, you can’t help but think lush gardens, green hillsides, and a microclimate so splendid that even us non-green thumbs can appreciate it. So it only makes sense that the first exhibit on display at Carp’s newest (and neatest) art gallery be an ode to all things blooming and blossoming.

Since opening its doors on Friday, April 25, Galerie Eye (located inside the Eye of the Day Design Center) has been offering up an inaugural collection, aptly named Eyes of Spring, boasting works from five horticulturally minded area artists, including Eliot Crowley, Renee Kelleher, Nancy Taliaferro, Rick Garcia, and Vivi Teston.

The group’s artistic offerings, which range from photo essays to live plant sculptures and quasi-impressionistic paintings, combine to create a picturesque and diverse look at nature’s beauty.

Highlights include Teston’s one-of-a-kind take on the art of floral arranging. The self-described mixed-media artist-and member of the prestigious American Institute of Floral Designers-has been honing her craft for more than 30 years. Her pieces, which combine straightforward arrangements with meticulous sculpting skills and a detail-oriented eye, incorporate fresh, locally grown plants, seasonal fruits and veggies, and handmade objects in ways that nearly defy description.

On the other end of the Eyes of Spring spectrum is Santa Barbara photog-and cactus collector-Crowley. His offerings, excerpts from his simply titled Santa Barbara Succulents collection, are a whimsical look at just some of the plants growing within our county lines. The images, which range from grainy and intentionally dated-looking close-ups to Warhol-inspired color-heavy photo collages, play with light and shadow in new and interesting ways that both highlight and add depth to his subjects.

And the fact that the show is being housed in one of Carpinteria’s most well-recognized and respected garden shops doesn’t hurt either. Galerie Eye is located at 4620 Carpinteria Avenue, and Eyes of Spring will be on display through Saturday, July 26. Call 566-0778.


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