An affinity for the ocean obviously runs deep in Kevin A. Short, a renowned artist whose water-themed landscapes are the subject of a solo exhibition at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. On view from August 11 through the end of the year, The Peaceful Sea: Paintings by Kevin A. Short features more than 30 paintings by Short, who grew up in Santa Barbara County.

“I am truly bursting with joy to be showing in the Maritime Museum,” said the artist. “It was here, growing up, that I fell in love with the ocean. My treasured formational memories are here. The harbor, the wharf, the beaches — I learned to surf, swim, fish, and sail here. My brother and I, running, jumping, throwing seaweed and kelp at each other. Hearing people on the docks yell, ‘Hey, kids, slow down,’ or ‘Don’t throw that in the water’ — that’s here.”

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SBMM Curator Emily Falke described Short’s paintings as “imbued with narrative and emotion.” “Emily and her staff are wonderfully capturing those thoughts and feelings in how they are putting this exhibit together,” said Short, who is internationally recognized for his contemporary landscapes of the Pacific Coast, with previous shows at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Irvine Museum, the Carnegie Art Museum, and the California Surf Museum, among others.

“Seeing the glare on the water from the mountains, the hills, and the Mission is with me to this very day, in each of my paintings,” he said. “I am also powerfully moved that I am showing in the very place my father loved so much. His recent passing has amplified the wonders and joys of this place. This exhibit is a homecoming in a deeply personal way, superseding all sorrow or any melancholy. I am thrilled, just thrilled, to be here.”


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