Meet La Cumbre Plaza’s New Art Collective in Uptown Santa Barbara

Elevate, Fine Line, and Illuminations Galleries Spotlight 25 Local Artists

Marlyn Daggett in her studio space | Credit: Callie Fausey

An artistic experience is laid out in three separate showrooms in La Cumbre Plaza — namely Elevate, Fine Line, and Illuminations. These gallery spaces together make up the La Cumbre Center for Creative Arts (LCCCA), an art collective run by its 25 members, complete with a variety of studios and displays that act as portals into the artists’ worlds. 

With the three distinct galleries situated just yards away from one another, visitors can stroll through those worlds and have an idiosyncratic experience in each one. LCCCA’s Art Walk, an event the center holds every other month, is quickly becoming a tradition to take full advantage of their spacious venue. 

Three groups of eight or nine artists — a mix of painters, sculptors, photographers, and 3D printers — collaborate to independently pilot each space they occupy, bringing together different personalities, artistic styles, and mediums. 

Inside the Fine Line Gallery | Credit: Callie Fausey

Visual artist Marlyn Daggett is a member of the Elevate Gallery, alongside painter Nurit Ruckenstein, visual artist Sol Hill, photographer Kenji Fukudome, sculptor Jim Mechanic, and photographer Lydia Jablonski. No two artists have the same style, or background, or disposition.

But displayed together, their work creates a united composition of color and expression.

Daggett’s oil painting “Signature” embodies this, as it is literally an abstract blend of various artists’ personalized signatures that bleed into one another on canvas. 

“I feel like it speaks to what we do here,” Daggett said, pointing out the distinctive marks each signature made within the medley. Ruckenstein and Daggett shared plans to re-create the piece with the signatures of all the members of the LCCCA, adding on as artists come and go. 

This collaborative spirit was part of the vision LCCCA founder Mike Cregan had in mind when he created the collective in 2018. 

“So many of the artists, and myself, we were wondering how independent artists who are so individualistic are going to get along and work together,” Cregan said. “And then, about a month after we got going, the artists would come up to me and say, ‘Oh this is like family; this is so great; I love these people here.’ It was completely the opposite of what they expected and what I was a little worried about.” 

Cregan said he started the LCCCA not as a money-making venture, but simply because he wanted to create a new art destination in uptown Santa Barbara.

Now, with The Arts Fund of Santa Barbara joining their venue in La Cumbre Plaza’s outdoor mall, they’re creating a true artistic collective. During the Art Walk on September 16, the four open galleries will be on full display, backdropped by live music and hosted by the artists, including Ruckenstein, who said she is excited to meet new people while pouring glasses of complimentary wine.

LCCCA’s September 16 Art Walk will be held from 5-8 p.m. See lcccasb.com.


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