Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

If you grew up loving contemporary art, you likely experienced it through the glossy magazines that once dominated the discourse. Artforum, ARTnews, Art in America — these publications allowed us to learn what was happening in the museums and galleries around the world and acquire the ideas and vocabulary that made it all so exciting. 

Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Thanks to the husband-and-wife team of Debra Olin Herrick and Arturo Heredia Soto, along with a colorful roster of writers, the Central Coast now has its own version of one of these classic glossies. Begun in 2020 as a humble yet beautifully designed and illustrated 16 pages, Lum Art Magazine has grown throughout four issues to a robust 48, with articles by Madeleine Eve Ignon, Bay Hallowell, and Santa Barbara Museum of Art curator James Glisson. Some of the stories feature artists like Claudia Borfiga and Elisa Ortega Montilla, who will be familiar to readers of the Independent. In contrast, others focus on radical provocateurs, such as Dakota Noot, whom you may not yet know. The whole thing is edited with great skill by Herrick and designed with panache by Heredia Soto. 

On Saturday, December 4, the Lum Art gang will celebrate the impending publication of issue number five with a benefit ping-pong tournament and paella party at a private home on the Mesa in Santa Barbara. The ticketed event aims to raise funds to underwrite the issue and support two new initiatives to help underrepresented artists and arts writers. It’s also intended as an opportunity for like-minded arts people to gather in person and enjoy food, wine from Municipal Winemakers, beer from Topa Topa, and some friendly table tennis competition. For tickets and information about the event and to examine previous issues of the magazine, visit

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on February 16, 2024. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at


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