Wednesday, December 13 , 2017, 2:47 am | Smoke 41º


Feria Andalusia Art Show & Garden Fair Showcases Beauty of Casa del Herrero

Annual benefit event raises more than $85,000 as works by 16 artists capture specific areas of the Montecito grounds


The captivating grounds of Casa del Herrero in Montecito were opened to the public for the Feria Andalusia Art Show & Garden Fair, one of two big fundraisers held annually at the legendary location.

Artworks capturing specific areas of Casa del Herrero were presented June 4 by 16 artists in the forms of oil, watercolor and pastel for bid around the gardens, surrounded by orchards and wooded areas and designed by landscape architects Ralph Stevens, Lockwood de Forest and Francis Underhill.

Guests enjoy appetizers on the spacious grounds. Click to view larger
Guests enjoy appetizers on the spacious grounds.  (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

A limited group of guests enjoyed a beautiful late afternoon while sipping on libations and enjoying sausages barbecued on the same grill used nearly a century ago amid the lush and well-kempt gardens.

“While the original owner, George Fox Steedman, was an industrialist, he was also a silversmith and artisan. His wife, Carrie, was very interested in gardens and won awards for her beautiful flower arrangements," said Jessica Tade, Casa del Herrero's executive director. “It seems only fitting that we would continue their interest in the arts by inviting local artists to exhibit at our summer event.”

The classic George Washington Smith estate was built in 1925 for George and Carrie Steedman on 11 acres and features Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, lush and gorgeous gardens, and a collection of 13th- through 19th-century Spanish furniture. Guests were led by docents throughout the grounds and home during the event to peruse this one-of-a-kind experience. Guests also were able to direct questions to the artists about their works and the sites chosen to capture in art.

The Steedmans moved into the house on the day of Santa Barbara’s 1925 earthquake, when much of State Street and the business district were destroyed.

Artist Ralph Waterhouse with wife Diane. Click to view larger
Artist Ralph Waterhouse with wife Diane.  (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

George Steedman graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in engineering and was president of Curtis & Co. in 1915, when the company was awarded an ammunition contract from the British government. Steedman designed a plant that was able to double production.

In 2009, the property was designated a National Historic Landmark — the most prestigious historical designation in the United States — and the estate is one of the best preserved and historically significant examples of 1920s Montecito estates.

"Our summer event is all about the passion we have for our architectural heritage, the inspiration we draw from our local artists, and the feeling of connection we share as a community,"  Tade said.

Casa del Herrero, House of the Blacksmith, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve the house, grounds and collection of antiques, books, drawings and horticultural records for public viewing with advance reservations and during select events.

Mother and daughter artists Meredith Brooks Abbott and Whitney Abbott Click to view larger
Mother and daughter artists Meredith Brooks Abbott and Whitney Abbott (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

"This year’s event raised more than $85,000, all of which will go to keeping the door of access open to all those wishing to engage with the Casa — to share our local history, to preserve our fine art objects and to keep George Washington Smith's architecture a vital, living presence in our community," Tade told Noozhawk.

Support for Casa del Herrero provides critical funding to maintain, preserve and restore the property and grounds. Membership levels begin at $75 for the Forger’s Guild, including a Patron level at $500 and up to the Director’s Circle of the Casa Society for contributions to $5,000 with benefits such as access to one private daytime or evening event at Casa.

"There are so many people to thank for supporting our event. We really could not do it without our donors and sponsors,” Tade said. “I am also grateful to our artists who donated a portion of their proceeds. They say a rising tide lifts all boats. Through their support, our donors lift us up so that we can do our good work even better."

Artists for the 2017 event included Meredith Brooks Abbott, Whitney Abbott, Nancy Davidson, Camille Dellar, Dennis Doheny, Pamela Enticknap, Priscilla Fossek, Rick Garcia, Wyllis Heaton, Ray Hunter, John Iwerks, Ann Sanders, Richard Schloss, Frank Serrano, Garrett Speirs, Thomas Van Stein and Ralph Waterhouse.

Artist Priscilla Fossek. Click to view larger
Artist Priscilla Fossek.  (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • 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.

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 >