In natural history’s golden age, art and science were inextricably intertwined through the disciplines of illustration and classification. Scientists like Charles Darwin were dependent on artists for the reference materials that made their theorizing possible. Without the painstaking efforts of thousands of artists, many crucial advances in science would simply not have been possible. Although today progress in imaging technology has altered the balance of this long-standing interdependence, the life sciences and the fine arts retain this spirit of mutual admiration, and there is nowhere that this is more evident than at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s annual Artwalk.
Beginning on the evening of Friday, September 25, with an artist’s reception in Fleischmann Auditorium, and continuing Saturday-Sunday, September 26-27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the auditorium and the museum’s grounds bordering Mission Creek will be the scene of a large juried exhibit known as Artists of Distinction. Respected dealer Ralph Waterhouse has chosen the most interesting recent work by 30 of the best landscape artists in the area for inclusion. Tony Askew, Rick Garcia, Thomas Van Stein, Cynthia Hamilton, and Nancy Davidson are just a few of the big names to make the cut, and the array of scenes depicted is sure to please lovers of our region’s many sources of natural beauty.
Stroll through the gallery constructed inside the museum’s auditorium, or take it outside and walk among the pictures that will be displayed along Mission Creek. Either way, Artwalk is certain to generate many powerful moments of recognition and inspiration, and, if you like, consider leaving with something more than a memory, as all the work will be for sale. Food and wine will be available, as well, so not having eaten yet is no excuse.