This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on October 21, 2022. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at

ON the Walls

Rod Lathim and Chris Gocong’s flier for their New York Gallery debut. | Credit: Courtesy

The intersection of theater and the NFL comes to the heart of the Big Apple this fall, when Santa Barbara–based artists Rod Lathim (well-known for his theater career) and Chris Gocong (former linebacker for the Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles) have their New York debut with the Let There Be Light exhibit at Kate Oh Gallery on Madison Avenue.

Curator Benji Su of Art Curation International says the show, which probes the interaction between light and matter, “is all about healing.” Their neon-transformed sculptures and paintings combine the ethereal dimensions of light art with the whimsical accessibility of pop culture, reinterpreting current styles through an organic lens and provoking a witty thesis about creativity and spiritual growth. Let There Be Light is on view from November 3-25.

Giraffe by Andrew Antone | Credit: Courtesy

Photographer Andrew Antone is based in Santa Barbara, but an exploration of Africa is the subject of his recently released first book, Africa, a 456-page large-format photography book that captures his recent expedition. A selection of his photographs are on view at the Santa Barbara Zoo, and 50 percent of the book and photo exhibit proceeds will go to the zoo! Fun fact: Antone’s safari trip was part of the zoo’s Adventure Travel program, and it also served as a honeymoon for him and his husband, Patrick, who is a S.B. Zoo employee.

“How Sweet It Is” by Lori Mole | Credit: Courtesy

Santa Maria artist Lori Mole’s work is currently at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in New York City, as part of the Chelsea Biennale exhibition, featuring award-winning, leading contemporary artists whose acclaimed works explore the abstract, figurative, and natural worlds. With a love of rock ’n’ roll and jazz, Mole’s chromatic art musically celebrates the joie de vivre of life with syncopated abstract musical reveries which reverberate with symphonic precision.

Aspiring artists won’t want to miss the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum’s Painting Workshop with Artist Kevin A. Short on Sunday, October 23. For everyone who has always wanted to study with a celebrated painter in a small class setting, this is the chance to learn from an acclaimed artist … and to join him for a wine and cheese reception afterwards.

ON the (Small) Screen

Joe Alwyn and Bella Ramsey star in Catherine Called Birdy | Credit: Amazon

I LOVED the Lena Dunham–directed Catherine Called Birdy, based on a book of the same title by Karen Cushman and now streaming on Amazon.  It’s a total feel-good, girl-power film set in 13th-century England. Lady Catherine (known as Birdy) is the youngest child of a destitute father who wants to marry her off to a wealthy man for money and land. She’s far cleverer than her dad and all of her suitors put together, and all sorts of hilarious hijinks ensue. For people who love Pippi Longstocking, Nine to Five, Lady Bird, and Downton Abbey (me, me, me!), this is your new favorite film.

Speaking of hilarious hijinks, I’m also really enjoying the series Reboot, a Hulu original starring Paul Reiser of Mad About You fame as a former hit sitcom show runner who reunites with his old cast (Judy Greer, Johnny Knoxville, Calum Worthy, Keegan Michael Key), as well as his estranged daughter, played by the excellent Rachel Bloom, who starred in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

ON the Street

Don’t miss today’s (Friday, October 21) free noontime Pianos on State show with Zach Gill. The ALO and Jack Johnson band member will be tickling the ivories at the corner of State and Anapamu streets in front of Old Navy. Lucky us, this particular piano, created by artist Lynx Lyn, happens to be the one adopted by the Santa Barbara Independent.

Zach Gill does Pianos on State. | Credit: Brandon Yadegari (from file)

Later that day, a host of performers are coming out to play in the second annual Masq(p)arade!a free event from 5:30-8 p.m. on October 21. Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop (CAW) presents a progressive performance parade, with 15-minute shows starting with Ed Baum at 5:30 p.m. at State/Figueroa (Pacific Premier Bank); followed by Cainan Birchim and Lynette Gaona Snow at 6 p.m. at State/Anapamu (Old Navy); Jackson Gillies and Connie Gillies at 6:30 p.m. at State/Anapamu (First Republic Bank); Opera Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. at State/Victoria (Starbucks); and Out of the Box Theatre Company at 7:30 p.m. at The Arlington Theatre.

ON the (Big) Screen

Adam Sandler at the Cinema Society screening of Hustle | Credit: SBIFF

Comedians who are also good actors don’t always get the recognition they deserve, so it’s great to see a genuinely nice guy like Adam Sandler get some well-earned critical kudos for his performance in Hustle, a basketball-themed drama now screening on Netflix. Lucky locals got to see the movie on the big screen at SBIFF’s Riviera Theatre earlier this month, followed by a terrific Roger Durling Q&A with Sandler, who also produced the film with a bunch of other people, including one you may have heard of — LeBron James! It goes without saying that Sandler’s a huge basketball fan, and it was obvious how much fun they had hearing him talk about the movie-making experience. Here’s the link in case you missed it. 

SBIFF also screened David O. Russell’s Amsterdam (starring Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, and John David Washington, among a slew of others) that weekend. Here’s my review, and here’s the link to Durling’s Q&A with Russell.

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ON the Stage

There are still two more chances to catch The Hitching Post Tasting Room’s “Summer Sets” later this month. On Sunday, October 23, electric guitar-centric international recording artist Adrian Galysh brings his fun, singalong friendly acoustified versions of classic rock and country songs to the Buellton tasting room from 2-4 p.m. At the same time on Sunday, October 30, poet, singer, andsongwriter Ruben Lee Dalton, acclaimed guitarist Grey Bear Erickson, and Clint Black band member Martin Young join together for an acoustic set. See

Ruben Lee Dalton | Credit: Courtesy

ON the North Side

After a two-year “pandemic pause,” Lompoc Chalks Festival is back at the city’s airport October 21-23. Come on out and watch the chalk artists in action, including featured artist Delphine Anaya, who travels around the country creating chalk art. Sure to be an explosion of chalk art masterpieces, live music, public art, and community engagement — it’s all a benefit for The Lompoc Theatre project. For the complete schedule, visit

Credit: Courtesy

Wildling Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang also has a number of cool exhibits on view: Central Coast photographer Bob Canepa’s Dunes: Visions of Sand, Light & Shadow, spotlighting black-and-white photography of the Oceano Dunes; Wildlife on the Edge: Hilary Baker, featuring new and recent acrylic paintings from Baker’s Predators series alongside a new series of animal portraits on birch wood; as well as the updated fall reimagining of Portals & Pathways by Kerrie Smith.

Bob Canepa, DUNEWORK: Classic #94, Oceano Dunes, 2022, Dye sublimation print on aluminum | Credit: Courtesy Bob Canepa

ON the Web

This new ad for Heineken is brilliant. Check it out here and #OpenYourWorld.

ON the Calendar

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has a fun fundraiser in store for Halloween weekend. Adults can crawl the Museum’s creepy halls and spooky woods in a progressive party on Saturday, October 29. “Creep the Halls: Midnight Circus” transforms the whole haunted place into a magical circus of spine-tingling surprises, ending in a spectacular finale under the big top, including libations, live music by Joystix, and other dazzling amusements. Tickets are available at

Credit: Courtesy

Earlier that day, Downtown Santa Barbara offers a safe Trick-or-Treat for the younger set, from 3-6 p.m. on October 29. Grab a map of all trick-or-treating locations, the week before Halloween at

Day of the Dead Altars | Credit: SBMA

Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s 33rd annual Day of the Dead Free Family Day is October 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Día de los Muertos–inspired art activities for all ages will be offered in multiple locations. On the Front Terrace, create skull charms and mini-altars. In the Family Resource Center, enjoy printmaking. In addition, experience interactive altar displays. For example, Santa Barbara Youth Poet Laureate Madeline Miller will be creating an interactive altar to honor the Earth and remembering the lives that have been lost due to climate change. 

For a complete calendar of events this week and beyond, visit

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