Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 10:47 pm | Fair 66º


Santa Barbara Artists Put Best Work Forward for Open Studio Tour

Meet three of the 38 local artists who will showcase their art and their work spaces this weekend for the annual event

This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Studio Artists Open Studio Tour. The annual event showcases the work of local artists who open the doors of their private studios to the public.

Two receptions from 5 to 8 p.m. will be held Thursday and Friday, with the artists available to meet guests and talk about their work. The self-guided driving tour runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Studios from Carpinteria to Goleta, located in the foothills and along the coast, will be open for guests to explore. The tour offers a unique opportunity for art lovers to view and purchase work not currently in galleries open to the general public.

Thirty-eight artists will be opening their studios to show their work for this year’s tour. The work ranges from realistic landscapes of Southern California to collages and contemporary abstract paintings. Sculptures and mosaics also will be featured, made from handmade Italian glass, ceramics, found objects, porcelain and mixed media.

Tickets for the tour and opening exhibition are $25. Click here to purchase tickets online, or buy them at the Santa Barbara Frame Shop & Gallery, 1324 State St., Suite J.

Here’s more information about three of the featured artists:

Thomas Mann

Originally from West Virginia, Thomas Mann has been dabbling in art since childhood. At age 16, when Mann’s family moved to the Virginia coast, he began seriously exploring his talent and taking private art lessons.

He moved to San Francisco in the 1960s, taking an occasional class through the San Francisco Academy of Art. He has continued to take a workshop with an established artist at least once a year.

Mann’s work is impressionist in style, consisting mainly of landscapes with some portraits and interior work as well. Much of his work starts as photographs he has taken, which he then translates to canvas, making changes as he sees fit. Thomas says he paints simply because he loves it, and can’t imagine not doing it.

“When I get in a room and start painting, the time just flies,” he said. “You get lost in it.”

This marks his fourth year participating in the Santa Barbara Studio Artists Open Studio Tour.

Wayne Hoffman

Born in Memphis, Wayne Hoffman grew up around music, which has had an influence on his painting.

Recognizing a talent for drawing in his childhood, Hoffman did not begin to fully explore his artistic side until age 30. Having worked as an oceanographic engineer, Hoffman decided to commit to art, and he moved his family to Spain for a year. There he explored painting while living in poor rural villages, free from the distractions of the modern world. He returned to the United States with his family and resumed his career in engineering while taking art classes in the evenings.

Hoffman retired from engineering in 1992 to pursue art full time and began teaching art classes through SBCC Continuing Education. He has since retired from teaching to allow more time to travel.

Hoffman’s work is mostly contemporary or abstract, but also includes some realistic landscapes and portraits. He enjoys exploring composition, color harmonies and shapes, and their effect on emotions.

“When you’re doing realistic art you’ve got that umbilical cord to reality,” he said. “But in abstract art you’re painting things that haven’t existed, and never will.”

Hoffman has been involved in the Open Studio Tour since the beginning, having exhibited his work eight years out of the 10.

Jane Litchfield

Jane Litchfield has been a Santa Barbara resident for more than 50 years, but first discovered her talent for art while visiting her uncle’s plantation in Virginia when she was 5 years old. It was there that she sketched a number of drawings of the plantation house that caught the eye of her family.

Litchfield is a naturally gifted artist who can sew, sing and play the piano as well as she can paint or draw. She has designed and created costumes professionally, including designing costumes for Santa Barbara’s Fiesta parade.

Litchfield says she doesn’t like to label her style of art, and that she is constantly thinking of new ideas that she is able to manifest.

“I’m one of those people where, if you give me an idea, I’ll just take off with it,” she said.

Litchfield teaches art lessons and maintains a larger studio outside of her home, where she also works. She has taken part in the Open Studio Tour four years previously.

Noozhawk intern Nick St.Oegger can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here to see more of his photography. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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