The Wildling Museum and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Collaborate on Grand Opening Exhibit at New Solvang Location

Rarely Seen Patrick O’Hara Original Artworks Featured in Inaugural Celebration

The community is welcome to attend a FREE Open House Celebration on Saturday, August 24, 10am until 5pm to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Wildling’s new location. There will be free admission all day, with special activities 11am until 3pm including storytelling, family craft activities, music, and more!

Just as wildflower season is winding down, the public is welcome to view some of the most iconic flowers found at the Garden – as works of art. The Wildling Museum’s new space – at triple its former size – provides an excellent venue for art displays. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden in partnership with the Wildling Museum presents Patrick O’Hara’s Art of California Natives, an exhibition of botanic watercolors and porcelain sculptures commissioned by the Garden in 2006 and not shown publicly for a number of years. O’Hara’s “Wildflowers of California” is part of the Blaksley Library Special Collections at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Limited-edition giclee prints of his California Wildflower series may be purchased in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Gift Shop.

“This show marks the beginning of what we hope will be an on-going collaboration between our two institutions that will only grow stronger,” said the Garden’s Executive Director, Dr. Steve Windhager. “This partnership really made sense, as our missions are both so closely in line with one another.”

A native of Cork, Ireland, O’Hara studied botany, zoology, and geology before attending Malvern School of Art in the late 1960s. His exquisitely detailed botanical art is represented in museums and private collections around the world. Even at age 78, O’Hara continues to create his nature-inspired art pieces, and professes to have a constant yearning to go out into the wild to find flowers he has never seen before and watch butterflies and bees.

“I went up to the shores of Galway Bay (in Ireland) and marveled at the thousands of wild orchids in the sea-side meadows,” said O’Hara recently. “Coordination of hand and eye might not be quite the same as it used to be, but I still draw and paint every week and plan to develop some more new ideas in ceramics next winter.”

Patrick O’Hara’s Art of California Natives: Selections from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden will be on view at the Wildling from August 24 through October 14, 2013. For the duration of the exhibit, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Wildling will offer a reciprocal membership benefit allowing members of both institutions to visit the other free of charge.

Additional exhibits on view for the Wildling Museum’s Grand Opening include:

Wilderness in Art: A Retrospective

August 24 through September 29, 2013 A stunning sampling of wilderness in art. Looking back at the Wildling’s exhibition history and the beautiful works of art that have graced the museum’s walls: Ansel Adams, Ray Strong, Dick Smith, Diane Orr, Clyde Butcher, James Swinnerton, Conrad Buff, Marion Wachtel, Carl Oscar Borg, and museum founder Patti Jacquemain.

The Nature of Water

August 24 through September 29, 2013 An exhibit featuring works from the winners of the Wildling Museum’s annual nature photography competition.

Sculptures by Bud Bottoms

August 24 through November 30, 2013 Several of the works of this internationally-celebrated sculptor and environmental activist will be on exhibit.

Visions of the Night Sky

August 24 through October 14, 2013 Featuring artwork created by third grade students from the Santa Ynez Valley.

“We are thrilled to provide a temporary home for such important works, as those of Patrick O’Hara,” said Stacey Otte, Executive Director for The Wildling Museum. “We are very fortunate to be able to present these watercolors and sculptures to the community and, in keeping with our mission, to work alongside institutions such as the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.”

The Wildling Museum, where art and nature meet, is now located at 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang. Museum Hours (beginning August 24) are Monday, and Wednesday through Friday 11am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday 10am- 5pm; closed on Tuesday. For more information about the museum, please visit or call (805) 688-1082.

To arrange interviews or request high-resolution images please contact Joni Kelly, Communications Manager, at 805-682-4726 ext. 132 or via cell at 805-886-1869. For more information about the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, please visit


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