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February Marks Fifth Anniversary of 1st Thursday

An official after-party at Sullivan Goss will be part of the Feb. 3 festivities

Visit downtown Santa Barbara for 1st Thursday, an evening filled with free art, culture, music and fun. The Feb. 3 event will include more than 30 cultural art venues eager to show off new exhibits, artist receptions, demonstrations and live music.

Celebrate five years of local talent on display in this month’s 1st Thursday programming.

1st Thursday debuted in February 2007 as an opportunity to experience Santa Barbara’s rich cultural scene in a fun and social environment and has since grown into a downtown staple that has captured the attention of art lovers, first-time viewers, students and families alike. Several galleries highlighted this month have opened their doors to 1st Thursday patrons from the beginning.

Start your commemorative stroll at Brooks Institute Gallery 27 as it showcases two new exhibits: “An American Dream: Guadalupe, CA” and the Multimedia Arts and Design Academy exhibit.

Move along to the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum to participate in “Lucky Dragons,” a collaborative project that relies heavily on participation, openly engaging audiences and passersby in the creation of the artwork.

Once you have finished your contribution there, head over to Casa Magazine to see how Suemae Lin Willhite’s fusion of East meets West reflects her earliest memory of art and view the unique style that transmits a quality of peace and tranquility. Next, venture up to Gallery Ten-Twenty-Nine to take in photographs by Sarah Sinclair, whose work explores time, experience, contingency and abstraction.

Keep your anniversary art walk alive as you wander to Artamo Gallery for “Waterworld,” a show of works that are inspired and influenced by water and the ocean. Cross the street to drop by Sullivan Goss and share in the debut of its Spring Salon as well as the historic exhibit “40 Days and 40 Nights: Eighty Paintings by Lockwood de Forest,” “Hassel Smith: Upending Orthodoxy” and “100 Grand.”

Continue on to the Channing Peake Gallery for the last reception for the “Art Inspired by County Parks” exhibition, featuring the work of 22 artists, showcasing the beauty and diversity of some of the most picturesque parks and special places in California.

Finish up your February 1st Thursday at Sullivan Goss for an official after-party from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Here we will toast to the momentous occasion, the fifth anniversary, and celebrate how far the event has come over the past handful of years!

While 1st Thursday offers extraordinary exhibits and paintings indoors, be sure to check out the performance art and live music outdoors. M-E-Y-K (Made to Express Your Kinetics), a local artist-run company, will feature its DIY art kits in Paseo Nuevo Center Court. Folk/Americana singer-songwriter B Willing James will perform on the corner of State and Anapamu streets, and the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative will lead a curated Art Crawl through the 1st Thursday festivities. The Art Crawl will begin at Brooks Institute Gallery 27 and conclude at Sullivan Goss for the after-party.

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. 

— Ashleigh Davis is a marketing and events coordinator for the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.

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