Last year, a group of ambitious young artists joined forces to shake up Santa Barbara’s contemporary art scene. They called themselves Rumble Art, and their mission was to bring cutting-edge, international art to town while raising funds for global and local organizations. This year, Rumble is back, starting Thursday, February 4, and stretching through Sunday, February 14. Swing by 9 East Figueroa Street any one of those days to check out work by leading contemporary artists hailing everywhere from Argentina to London, Prague to Nashville. This year’s theme, Sex and Politics, is sure to stir up a healthy dialogue, and more than 500 guests are expected to attend the opening-night festivities on Friday, February 5. Below are three reasons to show up ready to rumble. And for more information and a full list of events, visit rumbleart.com.
1) The Art: Among those exhibiting work in the fair is ProyectArte, an artists’ collaborative based in Buenos Aires that will be bringing their fresh take on portraiture to Southern California for the first time. Meanwhile, established multimedia artist Emma Ferreira will attend opening night with a film crew (they’ll be working on her mid-career documentary). Carlos Mascherin’s larger-than-life female nudes will hang alongside Clinton K. Hollister’s up-to-the-minute political commentaries. Rumble aims to tackle contemporary social issues and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Expect irony, humor, and sober reflection on 21st-century society.
2. The Events: In addition to displaying visual art throughout the fair, Rumble will offer a number of events for those who like to mix their art with something social. On Friday, February 5, opening-night festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. and run until midnight. There will be live music, as well as wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. On Sunday, February 7, at 11 a.m., there’s a chance to take a yoga class in an art gallery, courtesy of Yoga Soup. Then, on Tuesday, February 9, from 8-11 p.m., Rumble hosts a night of salsa dancing as a fundraiser for Haitian disaster relief.
3. The Cause: The organizers of Rumble believe that art is a vehicle for social change, and in order to prove it, they’re finding a number of ways to fundraise for charitable causes. A portion of the art sales from the fair will go to benefit art therapy programs at an orphanage in Tanzania, while other proceeds will go to Santa Barbara’s own Unity Shoppe. Those who purchase a $20 ticket to Tuesday’s salsa event can dance the night away knowing that they’ve contributed funds to Direct Relief International’s current efforts in Haiti.