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Santa Barbara Museum of Art Announces Upcoming Events

As the New Year quickly approaches, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art eagerly anticipates the second half of its winter season.

In addition to a trio of exhibitions on view — Looking In, Looking Out: Latin American Photography; Interventions: Cayetano Ferrer and Geometry of the Absurd: Recent Paintings by Peter Halley — the museum has a full docket of events scheduled for early 2016. 

Winter After School Classes

Join SBMA from from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 6 through March 23, for Re-Mixed Media: Inspired by Looking In, Looking Out: Latin American Photography, a workshop designed for kids ages 6-12.

In this 12-week after-school program, students will paint, sketch and construct art inspired by the Museum’s Latin American photography exhibition.

They can create a three-dimensional fabric version of Cuban photographer Raúl Corrales’s Blue Jean, Cuba (1948), paint a colorful portrait of Frida Kahlo as inspired by Lola Álvarez Brovo’s black-and-white photograph of her artist friend or layer everyday objects and combine with an abstract pastel painted landscape to create a personalized version of Leysis Quesada Vera’s photograph Cuba (2006).

A Ceramics After-School Class will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 7 through March 24, for ages 7-12.

Participants will learn the basic techniques of sculptural and functional ceramics, including hand building and wheel throwing, in a fun and relaxed environment.

Students can create simple clay forms and experiment with surface decoration and glazing techniques, inspired by the exhibition Piranesi: Architecture of the Imagination.

Both classes take place at SBMA's Ridley-Tree Education Center at McCormick House, 1600 Santa Barbara Street, and cost $300 for SBMA members and $350 for non-members.

To register, visit or contact Rachael Krieps at 805.884.6441 or [email protected].

Family 1st Thursdays

Bring the whole family and enjoy 1st Thursday together in SBMA’s Family Resource Center located across from the Museum Café on the lower level.

Museum teaching artists will assist families in creating special exhibition-based art projects in free workshops. Afterwards, enjoy galleries until 8 p.m.

On Jan. 7, design your own collage in textured and printed fabrics inspired by Cayentano Ferrer’s installation of Greek and Egyptian motif casino carpet remnants currently on view in Ludington Court.

Create a mixed media mini market vendor installation Feb. 4 by sculpting objects in terra cotta clay and pairing them with images and words, inspired by Eniac Martínez’s Herbal Medicine, Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico (1988).

On March 3, experiment with wet medium chalk pastel in a limited palette to create your own version of Jack Tworkov’s Sky (1954).

Studio Sundays

Visitors of all ages are welcome to participate in free, hands-on workshops with SBMA teaching artists on the museum’s front steps.

Each month explore a different medium — including clay, metal, ink, wood, photography and paper — and gain inspiration from works of art in the museum’s permanent collection or special exhibitions.

Starting with an air-dry clay class Jan. 10, reimagine architectural elements from ancient Rome by designing and sculpting the missing sections of 2000-year-old marble fragments in air-dry clay.
On Feb. 14, focus on texture and contrast by creating a mixed media cityscape collage using colored paper, chalk pastel and sandpaper.
The following month, render the changing quality of light on our local landscape by “painting” in short strokes of complementary colors using water soluble oil pastels March 13.

Chamber Music

The award-winning Shanghai Quartet returns to SBMA for the fourth time Thursday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the ensemble regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, Asia and North America (including numerous performances at Carnegie Hall) and performs at major festivals such as the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Their January 2016 program includes Mozart’s String Quartet No. 20 in D major, K. 499; Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18 No. 2 and Edvard Grieg’s Suite No. 1, Op. 46.

Enjoy the sounds of Quatuor Danel at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17.

The Belgian quartet has been at the forefront of the European music scene for over 20 years but has never before had representation in the U.S.

Their lively and fresh vision on the traditional quartet repertoire has delivered them subsequent praise from public and press.

They will perform Mendelssohn's String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80; 20th-century Russian composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg's String Quartet No. 16 and Schubert’s String Quartet in D minor, D. 810 (Death and the Maiden).

The gifted and critically-acclaimed Polish quartet, Szymanowski Quartet, returns to SBMA for the eighth time Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 pm.  

Founded in Warsaw in 1995, this museum favorite is one of the most exceptional and experienced international string quartets in the world of chamber music.

The quartet has captivated audiences at prestigious festivals and concert halls worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Vienna’s Wiener​ Musikverein.

Their program includes Mozart’s String Quartet No. 3 in G major, K. 156; female Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz's String Quartet No. 4, and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59 No. 3.

Join SBMA in welcoming the Borealis String Quartet Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m.

Formed in 2000, this Vancouver-based quartet quickly established a reputation as one of the most dynamic and exciting world-class ensembles of its generation, and their performances, including concerts at the Met as well as their 2011 performance at SBMA, became instant sell-outs.

Their March 2016 performance includes Beethoven’s Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 117 and Imant Raminsh's String Quartet No. 3.

The last piece was written for the Borealis String Quartet and recently had its world premiere at Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre in Canada to great acclaim.

All performances will take place in the Mary Craig Auditorium. 

To purchase tickets, which cost cost $18 for SBMA members and $22 for non-members, visit the museum visitor services desks or

Free Musical Performances

SBMA welcomes all to a duo of free performances in March 2016.

First, Opera Santa Barbara returns to present another crowd-pleasing Pop-Up Opera performance in the Museum's galleries Thursday, March 3, from 5:30-6:10 p.m.

On Saturday, March 5, SBMA will partner with the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony to present a free community Youth Symphony Concert on the museum's back plaza.

Performers include members of the Youth Symphony and other young musicians throughout Santa Barbara, coming together for a fabulous free-for-all of music making.

Art activities and refreshments top off an afternoon of family fun. Visitors are welcome to the rehearsal from 2-3 p.m., the concert from 4-5 p.m. and even to play along.


In conjunction with the 2015 Santa Barbara Museum of Art publication Natural Magic: Salted Paper Prints in North America, Keith F. Davis will dicuss one of the first inventions of photography in the Curator’s Choice Lecture Thursday, Jan. 28, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Davis, the senior curator of photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and author of the introduction to Natural Magic, will talk on the invention of the salted paper print and the pioneering American photographers who employed the reproducible process in the mid-to-late 19th-century United States. 

The lecture is free for SBMA members, $10 for non-members and $6 for senior non-members.

On Sunday, Jan. 31, at 3 p.m. join SBMA for a lecture by Art Historian Eric Frank on Mycenae and the Minoans: "Helladic Art in the Peloponnesus."

Educated at Dartmouth College and New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, Frank is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and an expert in Italian Renaissance art with a special interest in the history of the classical tradition in Western art, from Greece to Rome and into the Middle Ages.

A noted scholar, Dr. Frank served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Occidental College in Los Angeles and as dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs.

He will be the lecturer on a cruise for SBMA to Athens and the Peloponnese in May 2016. 

Franks lecture costs $5 for SBMA members and $8 for non-members.

Art Historian Meher McArthur will present "An Appreciation of Japanese Art and Aesthetics" at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6. 

McArthur is an independent Asian art curator, author and educator, who specializes in the art of Japan. She worked for nine years as curator of East Asian art at Pacific Asia Museum, where she curated 15 exhibitions and several permanent galleries.

Her most recent major exhibitions include Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (traveling 2012-16) and Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami (2015-17).

She lectures regularly at Southern California museums and is creative director for the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena.

She is a regular contributor to KCET's Artbound and the Buddhist website, and she writes for ArtilleryFabrik and other arts and culture magazines.

She has written several books about Asian art and culture, including Folded: Contemporary Expressions of Origami Art, to be published by Tuttle in spring 2017.

McArthur will lead an upcoming SBMA travel tour to Japan. Her lecture costs $5 SBMA members and $8 for non-members.

SBMA's final lecture this season, Lorna Spencer Hedges Annual Photography Lecture: Martin Berger, will take place Thursday, March 17, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

This inaugural lecture for the museum’s 75th anniversary celebration features Martin Berger, UC Santa Cruz professor of the history of art and visual culture and acting dean of the arts.

Berger will speak about the impressive history and growth of the museum’s photography collection, highlighting the last 25 years of exhibitions and acquisitions under the late curator of photography, Karen Sinsheimer.

Admittance to Berger's talk is free for SBMA members, $10 for non-members and $6 for senior non-members.

All lectures will take place in the Mary Craig Auditorium. 

Mary Elliott represents the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.


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