Visit downtown Santa Barbara for 1st Thursday, an evening filled with free art, culture and music. The Jan. 2 event will include more than a dozen cultural art venues, all betting you’re ready to head downtown for some fun to kick off the new year.
Meet not one but two author/photographers in January. Mark Robert Halper will sign and discuss his book Between Seer and Seen: Celebrating the Artists of Santa Barbara County at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St. The 71 artist portraits and 14 still life images included reflect on the creative interactions that transform the artist’s view of the world into the physical reality of art.
Then head across State Street to Bella Rosa Galleries, 1103-A State St., to join Thomas Kelsey. He’s on hand to discuss his latest work and sign his book, The Spirit of the West. Working as both a photojournalist and naturalist has allowed Kelsey the opportunity to capture many significant events on film.
Both books firmly tucked under your arm, make your way to Channing Peake Gallery at 105 E. Anapamu St., on the first floor of the County Administration Building, by 6 p.m. to join Cheri Peake (the widow of artist Channing Peake) and Elizabeth Rabe de Fernandez for “The Life and Times of Channing Peake,” a short gallery walk-through tour that includes highlights of his life, both ranching and artistic.
While 1st Thursday offers extraordinary exhibits and paintings indoors, be sure to check out the live music outdoors. Kalinka, a Santa Barbara-based acoustic quartet, will be in Paseo Nuevo Center Court to play a lively and eclectic blend of Jewish klezmer, gypsy music, vintage jazz and Eastern European folk music. You’re in for a treat!
Next, journey to Marshalls at 900 State St. to see Vic Moraga. An accomplished vocalist, virtuoso guitarist and award-winning songwriter, Moraga will perform songs from his CDs Born Ready and Cool Kind of Loving.
All of these attractions and many more are free during 1st Thursday on Jan. 2. With more than a dozen stops on this month’s 1st Thursday map, there is 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.
— Kate Schwab is the marketing and communications director for the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.