A few weeks ago, two major group art shows opened in town, the annual Small Images show at Atkinson Gallery and Reflections and Projections: 20 Years of the Individual Artist Awards at the Channing Peake Gallery. Between them, they included more than 80 artists from the Santa Barbara area. These were not put on by well-intentioned amateurs: Small Images was juried by Julie Joyce, curator of contemporary art at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and Reflections and Projections was curated by respected academic and curator Anette Kubitza. Both shows, which together give a good sense of the work being done these days by many of the area’s more interesting artists, were reviewed in the News-Press. Neither was reviewed by The Independent.

It would be nice, when asked about the health of the Santa Barbara art scene, to be able to point to The Independent as a positive rather than a negative factor.

I should add that I had work in both shows, but this letter is written in sorrow rather than in anger. – Philip Koplin


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