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County Arts Commission Receives Gift of 10 Channing Peake Paintings

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to accept the generous gift of 10 Channing Peake paintings from Anne and Walon Green.

The paintings range from the powerful 1959 “Horse and Man” (Study for Don Quixote Mural) oil on canvas to a 1985 energetic abstract gouache on paper, “Cosmic Pathway.” The Green Collection represents a broad survey of artist Channing Peake’s works and is valued at $148,400.

“We are extremely grateful to the Greens for their generous gift to the County Arts Commission and the legacy it creates,” said Rita Ferri, visual arts coordinator/curator of collections for the County Arts Commission, which coordinated the acquisition. “This magnificent gift is significant to the county, not only because the Channing Peake Gallery bears his name but because Peake is a living link to the golden days of Santa Barbara.”

Peake’s Fiesta mural is featured prominently at the new Santa Barbara airport terminal due to the County Arts Commission’s long-term loan of this iconic work to the city. The downtown Santa Barbara Public Library features a large Don Quixote mural, painted by Peake and other Santa Barbara great Howard Warshaw.

The Greens’ gift of 10 paintings will serve to increase Peake’s presence and legacy throughout Santa Barbara County and beyond.

Peake’s name is linked with those of Pablo Picasso, Rufino Tamayo, Rico Lebrun, Man Ray and Diego Rivera, among other friends and artists with whom he shared thoughts on the arts. He is well known for his paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, and his works are in major museums across the country.

Peake was a founding member of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and a member of the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission from 1979 to 1989. Although he lived and worked in Europe, Mexico and New York, Peake, who was also a cowboy and rancher, called Santa Ynez Valley his home.

“This generous and unique gift from Anne and Walon Green of works by Channing Peake, a longtime Santa Ynez Valley resident, not only speaks of our regional culture and history, but now proudly belongs to all the citizens of Santa Barbara County in perpetuity,” Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr said.

The recently gifted Peake paintings will be on view in an exhibition at the Betteravia Gallery in Santa Maria in 2013 when the remodel of the County Administration Building is completed.

This is the second significant gift of art to the County Arts Commission. In 2005, the late Barry Berkus gifted a collection of more than 75 contemporary works of art all by regional artists and artists with a link to Santa Barbara County.

— Linda Gardy represents the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

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