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Journey Into New Realms at November’s 1st Thursday

Art exhibits and Pianos on State will be part of Thursday's downtown attractions

Visit downtown Santa Barbara for an evening filled with free art, culture, music and fun for 1st Thursday on Nov. 4. The event will include more than 30 cultural art venues eager to show off exciting new exhibits, welcoming artist receptions, intriguing demonstrations and energetic live music.

Movement is the common ground in this month’s 1st Thursday programming.

Start your passage at Brooks Institute Gallery 27 to view “Construction & Reconstruction,” a selection of works from six groundbreaking photographers that ranges from the truly novel to reinterpretations of the familiar. Move along to the Wall Space Gallery for Kamil Vojnar’s “Flying Blind,” a collection of work that focuses on the contradictory world we live in, metaphorically focusing on the place where beauty and suffering meet.

Make a stop off the beaten path at Blue Lotus to view the art of Gladys Mills, whose oil paintings are inspired by her journeys from the tropics of South America to Santa Barbara and beyond.

Wander over to 33 Jewels to check out “From Marin to Santa Barbara, New Works by Sean Kirkpatrick,” featuring pastels of landscapes and a few cityscapes that moved the nomadic artist. Next, head up to the Canary Hotel to view pieces by Rumble artist Catherine Gee, who will showcase nuanced and hyper-realistic portraits of people from different regions of the world.

Continue your 1st Thursday momentum with a stop at Bella Rosa Galleries. Here you will discover the exhibit “Challenging Boundaries — Mixed Media Pop Art” by Marlene Ruvalcaba. Cross the street to Gallery 113, where “Awaken the Dreamer” will be on view. Powerful individual styles draw viewers into the unique vision and imagination of each artist here.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art will feature two of the five exhibitions in the series “Reframing America,” while Artamo Gallery displays “Intimate Spaces,” an exhibition of new paintings by Michael Kessler and Michael Moon. Some of the featured paintings are like metaphors reminding us of the patchwork of modern civilization that continuously takes over and others reflect in abstract images the pathways through time and life.

While 1st Thursday offers extraordinary exhibits and paintings indoors, be sure to check out the performance art and live music outdoors. Pianos on State, a collaborative musical experiment coinciding with the 2010 New Noise Music Festival & Conference, will host pianos placed at various locations up and down State Street. Amateur and professional musicians alike will be scheduled to perform and during open times anyone is welcome to sit down and play. For children ages 6 to 10 who want a creative outlet, the Prince and Fairy Art Contest returns this year at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art corner and Borders patio.

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.


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