For hundreds of years, artists have sought to capture the spirit of horses ― from Leonardo da Vinci’s “study of horses” sketches to Edgar Degas’s oil painting “Before the Race.” Today, equines remain a popular muse; Santa Barbarans can see the great beasts depicted in myriad disciplines, including photographs, paintings, sketches, and sculptures in the Wildling Museum’s exhibit Wild Spirit: Horses in Art.
A collaboration between the museum and the wild horse sanctuary Return to Freedom, the show features works from historic and contemporary Santa Barbara artists, including watercolorist Douglas Parshall, cowboy artist Edward Borein, cubist Howard Warshaw, modernist Anders Aldrin, photographer Nancy Holly, and painter Suzan Hamilton-Todd. Also on view will be photographer Elissa Kline’s Ghost Herd installation, which offers an intimate look into the herd life of horses.
After art viewing at the Wildling, go see the real thing with a visit to Lompoc’s Return to Freedom, which offers tours of its sanctuary where rescued wild horses roam the vast acreage. To register for a tour, education clinic, or photo safari, see returntofreedom.org or call 737-9246.
Wild Spirit: Horses in Art runs January 17-June 1. Special events are scheduled for the weekend of January 24-25. For details, call the Wildling Museum (1511-B Mission Dr., Solvang) at 686-8315 or visit wildlingmuseum.org.