Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 8:50 pm | Fair 67º

 
 
 
 

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Experience Summer Bliss with Downtown Santa Barbara’s 1st Thursday in July

Visit more than 30 venues to explore art, culture, music and more

Visit downtown Santa Barbara for 1st Thursday, an evening filled with free art, culture, music and fun! The July 7 event will include more than 30 cultural art venues eager to show off new exhibits, artist receptions, demonstrations and live music.

Vivid representations of summer shine in this month’s 1st Thursday programming as venues display artwork that captures warm landscapes en plein air, refreshing underwater scenes and everything in between.

Submerge into the world of art at Wall Space Gallery for the “Kanchi by Ryuijie” exhibition.

“The world beneath the ocean surface off the Central Coast of California is cold, silent and swarming with otherworldly life,” Ryuijie said. “The underwater world was my first source of inspiration and the birthplace of my first photographs. Thirty years later I have come full circle, back to the Big Blue, finding inspiration for images there.”

Continue the plunge at Jodi House with “Wild Blue Yonder,” a collection of works by local artists incorporating the color blue. The sun-kissed beaches of Santa Barbara complement the majesty of Yosemite in a special collection of en plein air oil paintings at 33 Jewels in El Paseo. Venture over to Sojourner Café for a last-chance glimpse at the archival Summer Solstice posters, and be sure to stop by Plum Goods for a chance to meet local artist Jennifer Boswell and view her lush renditions of local scenes.

Summer heat rises as Gallery Ten-Twenty-Nine serves up a “Taste of Summer,” a feast of paintings, collage and photography incorporating varied media to “kick it up a notch!” The feast will feature the artists of Step One, a local artists group with a mission to advocate, innovate and educate. Next, head to the Faulkner Gallery in the Santa Barbara Public Library for “Wilderness to Gallery: Painting to Protect the Los Padres National Forest” presented by SCAPE. This show features paintings that capture the limitless beauty of the regional backcountry.

Summer takes on multiple forms as Artamo Gallery presents “Summertime Blues,” a group show with summer-related abstract paintings by 13 artists. Local artist Bruce Birkland displays his colorful paintings of fantasy landscapes, influenced by his travels, at Ultimate Bagels in a show aptly named “Visions of Paradise.”

While 1st Thursday offers extraordinary exhibits and paintings indoors, be sure to check out the performance art and live music outdoors. Plein Air Santa Barbara, a friendly painting competition held in the heart of downtown, will feature 20 of the area’s best artists painting in various locations surrounding Casa de la Guerra and lower State Street. The Music Academy of the West invades Paseo Nuevo Center Court with a variety of ensembles. Featured players will include the academy’s renowned percussion and brass ensembles, among others. Finally, take a break to sit down for a caricature portrait from Entera, The Artist at the corner of State and Anapamu streets.

All of these attractions and many more are free during 1st Thursday on July 7. 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 at each gallery as well as public performances and interactive exhibits.

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

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