ON Culture | Six Degrees of Conner Coffin, Iration, Kevin A. Short, and KULE

From "805 Authenticos" to Kevin A. Short to Indy Book Club

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on August 12, 2022. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.

ON the Stage

Reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration and underground hip-hop titans Atmosphere bring their co-headlining Sunshine & Summer Nights Tour to the Santa Barbara Bowl on Aug. 25. | Credit: Chris Colclasure

There’s so much great live entertainment coming our way this month, I hardly know where to start. I just interviewed the incredible global guitar virtuoso Jesse Cook, who is coming to the Lobero on August 24 (look for the story in next week’s Independent), and I can’t wait to see PCPA’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at the newly renovated Solvang Festival Theater. There’s also a huge slate of new works at the Ojai Playwrights Conference (read Maggie Yates’s story here). The Santa Barbara Bowl’s got a little something for every musical taste, with Trombone Shorty on August 13 (with what’s sure to be an awesome after party with Budunkafunk at SOhO later that night), My Morning Jacket on August 16, Robert Plant and Allison Krauss on August 17, The Head And The Heart on August 18 (read my interview with lead singer/songwriter Jonathan Russell in this week’s Independent), and Isla Vista reggae alt-rock faves Iration on August 25.

One of the great things about live events is you never know who might show up on stage with the headlining artist. Legendary songwriter/producer David Foster joined Josh Groban at the Bowl recently (here’s my review) and check out Joni Mitchell doing “Both Sides Now” with Brandi Carlile at a recent show.

ON the (Big) Screen

Credit: Courtesy

Firestone Walker doesn’t just make beer; they also make sports documentaries. Pro surfer Conner Coffin recently joined the roster of “805 Authenticos” that also includes pro surfer Nate Tyler, pro skater Greyson Fletcher, professional motorcycle riders Tyler Bereman and Vicki Golden, pro mountain biker Ryan Howard, and off-road racer Jessy Nelson, among others. Mind Surfing,

directed by local filmmaker Keith Malloy (Fishpeople, Come Hell or High Water) follows Coffin’s journey starting at the age of 4 surfing Rincon Beach and touching on his surfing influences, his relationship with his father, and his path to becoming one of the world’s top surfers. The film features interviews with Coffin’s family and surfing legends like Shane Dorian, Lakey Peterson, Rosy Hodge, and more. 

ON the (Small) Screen

The writers of Grey’s Anatomy commissioned Carpinteria-based artist Baret Boisson to create this painting in honor of producer/writer Shonda Rhimes’s adoption of her daughter Beckett. | Credit: Courtesy Baret Boisson

In the less than six degrees of separation category, Bachelorette fans may recognize a familiar face this season. A frequent visitor to S.B., Bachelorette contestant Tino Franco is best buddies and college roommates with Tyler Benko, the guitarist and vocalist for the alternative/indie rock band False Puppet, who recently rocked the Fiesta Mercado stage. Longtime locals may also recognize Tyler and his brother/bandmate, Brennan, from the adorable old Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch commercials.

Local artist Baret Boisson recently shared a painting that the writers of Grey’s Anatomy commissioned her to do in honor of creator Shonda Rhimes’s adoption of her daughter. “She loves it. For someone who makes a living writing, she was at a loss for words,” shared Baret, who has also done commissions for a slew of celebrities — from Drew Barrymore to Jimmy Fallon, Kathy Ireland, and Elizabeth Taylor, among others. Baret, who I had the pleasure of meeting years before she moved to town, is also known for both vibrant abstract pieces and folk art style artwork of influential thinkers that reinforce her belief in and work toward a better tomorrow. 

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ON the Walls

“Sunburning” by Kevin A. Short, currently on view at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. | Credit: Courtesy SBMM

“I am truly bursting with joy to be showing in the Maritime Museum,” artist Kevin A. Short told me, in this story about his new solo exhibit. His ocean-inspired landscapes speak volumes about the Santa Barbara coast and his influences. On view 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 and went on to become a nationally renowned artist.

An impressive lineup of California artists — including Kris Buck, Chris Chapman, James Chen, Rick Delanty, Camille Dellar, Marco Diaz, Ellie Freudenstein, Rick Garcia, Tammy Guerin, Derek Harrison, Wyllis Heaton, Tom Henderson, Annie Hoffman, Ray Hunter, John Iwerks, Irene Kovalik, Bill Mahan, Craig Nelson, Ken Pfeiffer, Richard Schloss, Ann Shelton Beth, Garrett Spiers, Fred Sweeney, Terri Tabor, Thomas Van Stein, and Ralph Waterhouse — have donated their talents in support of the Courthouse Legacy Foundation, which has an online art sale going on right now (see Ellie Bouwer’s story here) in support of preservation and raising awareness of this beloved historic landmark.

Another beloved historic figure, protest poster artist Robbie Conal, is back. When I lived in Los Angeles in the 1980s and 90s, I couldn’t wait to see what kind of fabulous visual responses he’d have to the state of the world, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it was the “Supreme Injustices” who inspired pissed off the 77-year-old artist enough to bring him back on the streets. Here’s the L.A. Times report by Carolina A. Miranda. 

ON the Catwalk

KULE founder/designer Nikki Kule at her new store in the Montecito Country Mart. | Credit: Courtesy

As someone with an inordinate number of stripes in my closet, I was excited to hear that KULE has opened a kewl new store in the Montecito Country Mart and it’s stocked to the rafters with stylishly striped fashions, as well as limited-edition glassware and other beachy-casual chic houseware items. When I asked founder/designer Nikki Kule why she decided to open her first West Coast store here, she said “I’m really drawn to the California lifestyle. My son moved out to the West Coast, and every time I visit, I always feel so relaxed.”

Her other boutiques are in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center and Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill, quite a different vibe from Montecito. Kule said, “I love that California laid-back energy; it’s so perfect for the KULE brand.” For more about the designer, who started her career in luxe children’s togs and now outfits the whole family, as well as the house, click here

ON the Page

Credit: Courtesy

While I was reading the beautifully written, incredibly complex and ambitious Apeirogon by Colum McCann for my own book club — named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides, it’s a fictionalized account of a real-life unlikely friendship between two fathers of dead children, an Israeli and a Palestine — I thought I’d lighten things up and listen to the the audiobook version of When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole, the Indy Book Club’s pick for August. It was certainly a faster and easier read, but I agree with our All Booked newsletter writer Emily Lee’s assessment: “It creeped me out from beginning to end.” But there was also lots of good conversation fodder. It’s not often that a commercial thriller addresses issues of race, gentrification, and violence in such a thoughtful way. I encourage interested readers (and listeners) to join the Indy Book Club, a collaboration between the Santa Barbara Independent and the Santa Barbara Public Library (where I returned my copy this morning) for a virtual discussion of When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole on Wednesday, August 31, at 6 p.m. Register at independent.com/indybookclub.

The book publishing world has changed so much over the last few years, and the latest upheaval is one of the largest antitrust trials going on right now — a proposed merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo had an interesting preview and NPR’s Chloe Veltman also did some analysis this week. 

ON the Calendar

Parties and Paint by Kate is part of the Wildling’s free summer family day. | Credit: Courtesy

It’s free Summer Family Day on Sunday, August 14, at the Wildling Museum in Solvang, featuring Parties and Paint by Kate, a fairy visit, eco glitter tattoos, and rock painting with teaching artist Kathy Badrak for the little ones. It’s also a great time to explore the museum’s current exhibits, including Fire & Ice: Our Changing Landscape, Recent Acquisitions, Prints from the Permanent Collection, and the ongoing and ever-changing Portals & Pathways installation by artist Kerrie Smith.

For a complete calendar of events this week and beyond, visit independent.com/events.

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