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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 8:52 am | Fair 48º


Let Your Words Escape You at April’s Poetic 1st Thursday

Get inspired as downtown Santa Barbara venues honor National Poetry Month

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

Poetry is not only for the young or old, nor big or small. Poetry comes in all shapes and sizes and is a perfect outlet to let your imagination run wild. Get inspired at this month’s art walk as many venues highlight poetry in honor of National Poetry Month.

Embark on your stroll throughout downtown at Lola Boutique to explore the work of Dan Levin, who gravitates toward materials extracted from beaches, streams, mountains and deserts as he comments on the mysteries of the natural world. He is driven to orchestrate relationships between objects, forming a singular composition or metaphorical device.

Walk on over to the Channing Peake Gallery, where Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Paul Willis will host a poetry reading that will include an array of poets that is a must see. Cross the street to visit the Faulkner Gallery East at the Santa Barbara Public Library, where Loree Gold invites you to enjoy a visually poetic and colorful body of work that explores the collective memory of road trips past. Get into the poetic spirit and write your own words that will be collected at the end of the month.

Continue your 1st Thursday trek as you stride over to Artamo Gallery to meet artist Janet Bothne while her “Driving Force” exhibit will be on display. Bothne layers scraps of paper from divorce papers, wrappers, personal documents and paint sample chips as the work becomes an unintentional journal, like map pins plotting out her recent experiences.

Next, walk through La Arcada Court to Santa Barbara Arts to explore artist Christopher Clark’s “Amused” exhibit, which features his edited images of an amusement park outside the city limits of New Orleans, abandoned after Hurricane Katrina, which is poetic in itself. Make sure to stop at Jodi House, too, for live music and to support a local nonprofit and local artists, surrounding the theme of poetry.

While 1st Thursday offers extraordinary exhibits and paintings indoors, be sure to check out the demonstrations, performance art and live music outdoors. Stop by the corner of Anapamu and State streets to experience “The Lexicon of Sustainability Exhibit,” a unique pop-up art show of visually packed collages created by the students in the SBCC Projects in Sustainability class that gives the tools and knowledge necessary to create a healthier safer food system in America.

Want to join in the poetic fun? Visit The Poetry Booth on the Marshalls Patio at 900 State St., where you can contribute to an interactive public art installation and collaboration space for experiencing and creating poems. The poetry booth provides all the resources; all you need to do is sit down and share some words.

Carry on and venture over to the El Presidio Chapel at 123 E. Canon Perdidio St. for a viewing of the next installment of The Travelbooks series, Paris. These films are poetic chronicles of world capitals and their citizens projected onto a wall-sized screen. Draw a close to your evening at the Paseo Nuevo Center Court to listen to The Wha Wha’s, who are growing quickly as Santa Barbara’s newest upcoming teen band.

All of these attractions and many more are free during 1st Thursday on April 5. 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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