Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 1:12 am | Fair 45º


Martha Ensign Johnson to Exhibit Wildfire-Inspired Artwork

Her creations, made with materials from the Tea and Jesusita fires, will be on display April 13-May 5 at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club

Martha Ensign Johnson, who has taught printmaking at Westmont College since 2008, will display her wildfire-inspired artwork April 13 to May 5 at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club, 2375 Foothill Road.

Martha Ensign Johnson
Martha Ensign Johnson

Johnson will be at a free, public reception of “3,” which includes works by artists Amber O’Neill and Michele Zuzalek, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 13.

Johnson created her artwork after collecting seed pods, vegetation and wood that were blackened and scarred in the Tea and Jesusita Fire. The exhibition includes etchings on metal of the vegetation and relief printmaking from layers of the wood.

“I’ve been incredibly inspired by the regeneration of nature in the surrounding area since the fires,” she says.

Johnson, who was professor of printmaking at Northwestern College for seven years before coming to Westmont, has studied and worked at the Santa Reparata Graphic Art Center in Florence, Italy.

She is a graduate of Florida Presbyterian College, which is now Eckerd College.

In 2008, the Tea Fire destroyed 210 homes in local community as well as eight Westmont buildings and 15 faculty homes, displacing 62 students, 18 faculty and nine staff members. A year later, the Jesusita Fire devoured 80 Santa Barbara homes and forced the evacuation of the Westmont campus and relocation of commencement ceremonies. The Santa Barbara Tennis Club, located between both blazes, skirted destruction.

The Santa Barbara Tennis Club’s gallery is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 805.682.4722.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >