Spring for the Outdoors at 1st Thursday in April!

Visit Downtown Santa Barbara for 1st Thursday, an evening filled with FREE art, culture, music and fun! The April 7th event will include more than 30 cultural art venues eager to show off exciting new exhibits, welcoming artist receptions, intriguing demonstrations and energetic live music.

The Spring season is here and the artwork in this month’s 1st Thursday programming highlights the beauty of Mother Nature. Begin your outdoor evening stroll at Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro where the exhibit Earth, Wind, Fire, Water is on display, featuring photographer Phillip Van Nostrand and his photos from a recent trip to Bolivia. Next, check out Jay Tyrrell’s Wind Army at Wall Space Gallery. Much can be said about Tyrrell’s possible intent, to remind us of the power of energy, the harnessing of nature and the strategy of warfare. Head over to the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum to catch the Forum Lounge performance of The Live-Long Day, an adventure into deep waters as a story of submarine dwellers unfolds. Continue on to the Jane Deering Gallery for the Nell Campbell exhibition Duck Blinds. Campbell’s vivid photographs capture the originality and poetry of these camouflaged huts, each blind possessing a character all its own. Venture down the same street to Blue Lotus and see why the Gaviota Coast is worth conserving. Through his passion for fine art conservation photography and endangered landscapes, Gregory Christman will feature an exhibition of his Gaviota Coast photos.

The splendor of the great outdoors continues with the Lotusland Photographs by world renowned artist Barbara Rogers at Encanto. This collection of images of Ganna Walska’s uber eccentric garden has proven to be a huge inspiration for Rogers’ work as an artist. Stop by Santa Barbara Arts for Whispers of a Soul, an exhibit that reflects the beauty and peace found in Alice Keck Memorial Garden near Downtown Santa Barbara. Visit prAna at Santa Barbara Outfitters to view en plein air oil paintings by local artist Rebecca Stebbins, who states that nature has always held an allure for her as an artist. Finally, move along to NeoImages at Coffee Cat for Caring for Calves: The art and science of understanding Hawaii’s humpback whales; a refreshing photographic essay focusing on the Hawaiian humpback whale population and like many of our great whale populations, is a conservation success story.

While 1st Thursday offers extraordinary exhibits and paintings indoors, be sure to check out the performance art and live music outdoors. Local band Kalinka will dish out their Eastern European Klezmer Gypsy madness on the corner of State and Anapamu Streets. Poetry Month will be highlighted at 900 State Street with The Poetry Booth, an interactive public art installation and collaborative workspace for experiencing and creating poems.The Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theatre will perform a selection of songs from the legendary American musical West Side Story in front of the Lobero Theatre while the Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy will have two bands perform in Paseo Nuevo Center Court. The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative will lead a curated Art Crawl through the 1st Thursday festivities which begins at the Channing Peake Gallery at 5:30pm.

All of these attractions and many more are FREE during 1st Thursday on April 7th. With over 30 stops on this month’s 1st Thursday map, there is sure to be something for everyone. For more information and a complete listing of the specific programming offered at each gallery as well as all public performances and interactive exhibits, go to www.santabarbaradowntown.com.


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