Channing Peake: Mural Studies Opens January 24

City Hall Gallery Hosts

In January 2011, The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, with the City of Santa Barbara at the City Hall Gallery, recognizes Channing Peake’s impressive art history legacy, and presents the exhibition Channing Peake: Mural Studies. The work in this exhibition will be seen at City Hall in conjunction with the unveiling of the restored Peake Fiesta Mural at the new Santa Barbara Airport in April 2011.

The exhibition opens on January 24 and continues until January 20, 2012. The 1st Thursday reception will take place on February 3, 2011 from 5-7pm. At 6pm, Mayor Helene Schneider, and Karen Ramsdell, Airport Director will say a few words.

In storage more than a decade after it was removed from the section of the downtown El Paseo Restaurant (that is now the Wine Cask), the Fiesta mural will again find its rightful place in the hearts and minds of Santa Barbarans, as well as welcome tourists at the gateway to our beautiful city. Peake worked on several murals around our city and beyond.

First apprenticed to artist Diego Rivera, he worked on murals at the National Palace in Mexico City and in New York City on mural commissions for two major WPA projects. He went on to execute other important murals, often assisting artist Rico Lebrun at New York City’s Pennsylvania Station in the late’30s. In Santa Barbara, he painted the Don Quixote Mural with Howard Warshaw, now inside the Santa Barbara Library, a mural for the Santa Barbara Biltmore in 1978-79 (that was removed), and the last mural for the El Paseo Restaurant from 1984-85.

Mural studies have always been a rich source for discerning an artist’s process, and documenting their seminal thoughts through the many stages of a mural’s evolution. The trail of Peake’s journey from the beginning stages, with mural studies, is confirmed through this rich source of intention and creativity. Many of these studies are from Santa Barbara area collectors and family. This exhibition documents and honors the historic and artistic significance of these studies; and of Channing Peake as an artist of note in our community.


Dates: Jan. 24, 2011 – Jan. 20, 2012; Opening Reception: 1st Thursday, February 3, 2011, 5 – 7pm

Where: City Hall Gallery, Santa Barbara City Hall, De La Guerra Plaza, Santa Barbara

Hours: 8am – 5pm, M-F; closed on alternate Fridays

Funding support for this Channing Peake: Mural Studies exhibition has been generously provided by Dr. and Mrs. John Holaday, Joanne Holderman, Carol and Leslie Lopez, Bruce Taylor, and Seyburn Zorthian.


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