iSociety: Rochelle Rose

The “Ranches Woodlands and Waterways” art exhibit was previewed recently at an opening reception for 1st Thursday in downtown Santa Barbara. Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (SCAPE) hosted the gala reception of the special juried art exhibit to benefit the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. Since it began in 2002, SCAPE has raised more than $100,000, benefiting the local environment for more than 10 years at events such as this.

SCAPE boasts more than 200 members, a diverse group that includes nationally known and local artists, students, patrons and gallery owners. Their goals are to have exhibitions to help raise money to protect open spaces, to increase public awareness of environmental and conservation issues, promote camaraderie and provide education for artists.

SCAPE’s Leigh Sparks worked diligently as the exhibit curator.

“This exhibit reflects a partnership,” she exclaimed. “The Land Trust and SCAPE are working toward similar goals. The artists are illustrating what we are both trying to conserve and protect — the beautiful open space of the South Coast.”

Similarly, the Land Trust works to preserve and enhance the county’s natural open spaces and agricultural heritage for present and future generations. Land Trust board president Warren Miller, membership and development director Morgan Coffey, and executive director Michael Feeney were there to support the art benefit.

“While there are many ways to measure a organization’s success, be it funds raised, acres protected, habitats restored or children taught about nature, the immeasurable asset of our people power is of greatest, value by far,” Feeney said.

The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County works to preserve open space, wildlife habitat, farms and ranches. The Land Trust has protected some of the county’s most beautiful areas, including Arroyo Hondo Preserve, Sedgwick Reserve, Carpinteria Bluffs and the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. On the Gaviota coast and in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Land Trust is using conservation easements and landowner incentives to protect agricultural and scenic open land from development.

Juror Bud Bottoms’ selections:

» Best Oil: Ridgeline by Larry Iwerks; Honorable Mention: Summer by Carole Carbine

» Best Acrylic: Chosing Reflections by Dalayna Christenson; Honorable Mention: Vickers Ranch by John Rindlaub

» Pastel: Goleta Wetlands by Carrie Givens; Honorable Mention: Rancho Arroyo Hondo by Anna Campbell

» Water Color: Serenity Mountain by Suemae Lin Willhite; Honorable Mention: Century Plant by Brenda Geneau

» Beneficiaries Choice: Campanile by Nancy Freeman

Artworks are available for sale with part of the proceeds benefiting the Land Trust. The show will be on display at the Santa Barbara Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery until July 31.

Some artists contributed their musical talents by performing live at the reception, including Rusten Slager, Lawrence Wallin, Andy Babcock and John Rindlaub.

Beneficiaries choice winner Nancy Freeman has been painting for 12 years.

“I was a potter for many years after I received my MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design,” she said. “After moving to Santa Barbara I started painting; I just love the scenery here.”

Click here for more information on SCAPE. Click here for more information on the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews, @NoozhawkBiz and @NoozhawkSociety. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook and Noozhawk on Pinterest.