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Posted on 07.02.2012 3:05 p.m.

Enjoy Sun, Sand and Surf at 1st Thursday in July

Mayor Helene Schneider and Councilman Frank Hotchkiss will open their offices as part of the festivities

Source: Kim Mercado for the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization

Visit downtown Santa Barbara for 1st Thursday, an evening filled with free art, culture, music and fun! The July 5 event will include more than 30 cultural art venues eager to show off new exhibits, artist receptions, demonstrations and live music.

The sun is shining, the sand is crisp and the surf is crystal clear. Get your dose of vitamin D at the midsummer edition of 1st Thursday.

Start your summer evening at prAna at Santa Barbara Outfitters, where local artist Chris Potter will paint a small piece from 4 to 6 p.m. in front of the store. Make your way to Plum Goods to see the much-anticipated summer show by Tami Snow. Snow is known for her bold graphic style and innovative use of color as she utilizes a range of techniques including painting and hand printing.

Take in the summer sun as you carry on to The Project Fine Art Zone, where The Men’s Room will exhibit the recent work of Dug Uyesaka in summer’nstuff — assemblages and works on paper will be featured with a nod to the days of summer. Then, surf on over to City Hall from 5 to 6 p.m., where Mayor Helene Schneider will open her office to display the fourth series of rotating exhibits in her office of artwork by regional artists. Also, City Councilman Frank Hotchkiss will open his office for the event.

Continue to coast the waves and welcome new 1st Thursday destination Ergomotion, which will feature Ian Putnam, who addresses environmental disasters in his work as he examines these as transformative experiences, with hope and healing for the future along with live music by Sarah Vierherller. Before the summer sunset, make sure to swing by Couch to see all new works by Trent Ichiro Watanabe in his show “I’m Bringing Sketchy Back.” Watanabe’s love for natural history and his fascination for birds and fish have come full circle in alliance with his profession of art design. Also enjoy live music by the WOOLS and DJ Leon Murj Murray.

While 1st Thursday offers extraordinary exhibits and paintings indoors, be sure to check out the demonstrations, performance art and live music outdoors. Kat Devlin will perform at the corner of State and Anapamu streets. Devlin has been playing righteously and regularly along the California coast, rocking her country-hipster sound. The Marshalls patio will be full of summer fun. Surf Happens, California’s premier surf school will be out offering a raffle, an activity and spreading the word about the art of surfing.

Have some fun at the Sun, Sand and Surf Activity station. Put on your best smile and hop onto some Santa Barbara waves with a “1st Thursday Surf’s Up” photo all while listening to the sounds of Bobby & Steve, who will be playing some summer tunes from 5 to 8 p.m. Don’t forget to head on over to Paseo Nuevo Center Court, where the Music Academy of the West will feature their fabulous musicians that include the academy’s renowned percussion and brass ensembles among others. While enjoying the music, sit down with Blue Lotus for your very own feather hair extension that is the hottest trend this summer!

All of these attractions and many more are free during 1st Thursday. With more than 30 stops on this month’s 1st Thursday map, there is sure to be something for everyone.

Click here for more information and a complete listing of the specific programming offered at each gallery as well as all public performances and interactive exhibits.

— Kim Mercado is the marketing and event coordinator for the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.

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