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Santa Barbara Museum of Art Plans 75th Anniversary Events Inspired by ‘Puja and Piety’ Exhibit

A SBMA artist interpretation of a shrine to the Hindu deity Ganesha bursts with color and life. It is one of four event-specific installations inspired by the museum’s “Puja and Piety” exhibit.
A SBMA artist interpretation of a shrine to the Hindu deity Ganesha bursts with color and life. It is one of four event-specific installations inspired by the museum’s “Puja and Piety” exhibit. (SBMA photo)

While the Santa Barbara Museum of Art officially opened its doors June 5, 1941, it is celebrating its 75th anniversary in May 2016, inviting visitors to participate in an entire weekend of fun-filled events. 

From 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, Atelier will return with “The Scent of Secret Gardens,” taking inspiration from the newly-opened exhibition “Puja and Piety, Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist Art from the Indian Subcontinent,” and all things spectacular.

Then on Sunday, May 15, the museum will open its doors for a free community celebration with a full day of nonstop activities and engagement for all ages from 1-4 p.m.

The Scent of Secret Gardens

Atelier will take India and the “Puja and Piety” exhibition as inspiration in an evening embracing everything from Moghul to modern Bombay to Bollywood.

Music and dance, as well as exhibition-inspired arrangements designed by The Garden Club of Santa Barbara, food and drink, celebrate the richly layered culture of the Indian subcontinent.

Guests can have a round at the gin and tonic bar co-designed with The Good Lion or sip sweetly seductive rose-petal punch.

Artist-designed activities include a Jain-inspired game of South East Asian snakes and ladders, 

Members of The Garden Club arranged 14 brilliant bouquets inspired by artwork at the museum. Guests can track down each one using a map designed specially for the event. Click to view larger
Members of The Garden Club arranged 14 brilliant bouquets inspired by artwork at the museum. Guests can track down each one using a map designed specially for the event. (SBMA photo)

Snakes and Ladders: A Game of Dueling Dualities, Gotta Get Ganesha: The Elephant in the Room, Spice Market: Bag Your Blend and 
 
Artful Arrangements by The Garden Club of Santa Barbara

A banquet of 14 bouquets, celebrating both the museum’s 75th anniversary and The Garden Club of Santa Barbara’s 100th anniversary, turn the galleries into gardens. Use a map to locate arrangements, identify The Garden Club member designer and the art work(s) that inspired them.

Music and Dance

From start to finish, the plaza will pulse with the rhythm and motion of Indian music and dance. From a traditional raga, to a classical dance solo in Bharatanatyam style, to the climactic, high-energy, power-packed Punjabi style dance performance that finishes off the evening, guests will be immersed in the sound and movement of the Indian subcontinent.

Snakes and Ladders: A Game of Dueling Dualities

Try your hand at this oversized magnetic version of Snakes and Ladders, inspired by an ancient Jain game. A stylized representation of the dueling forces of destiny and desire, this artist-created interpretation relies on a roll of the dice to reveal fate. Virtue (ladders) is rewarded, and vice (snakes) is punished, creating a karmic competition.

Gotta Get Ganesha: The Elephant in the Room

This playful artists’ interpretation of a shrine to the Hindu elephant-headed deity Ganesha, remover of obstacles, invites guests to write down the problem or task they need help to overcome, and in return they receive an image of Ganesha in whose aid they have enlisted.

Spice Market: Bag Your Blend

This artist-designed display invites guests to select their personal blend of spices to take home. A process much like designing perfume, each selection can be sweet or savory, depending on the participant’s preference for clove, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, sandalwood and cinnamon.

Sculpt your State of “Buddha-Mind”

Some practitioners believe we are all part of “Buddha mind,” but some of us may feel more or less enlightened than others. Sculpt a Garlanded bodhi tree (the tree under which Buddha was enlightened) or a niche for the meditating Buddha from slabs of air-dry clay inspired by Buddhist stone sculptures in the “Puja and Piety” exhibition.

The event will include hors d’oeuvres such as Goan pork vindaloo and Byculla market curry potato samosas inspired by the region of Goa and the city of Mumbai, created by Peter Sonderegger of Fire & Ice Events.

The cost to attend the event is $25 for SBMA members and The Garden Club of Santa Barbara members and $30 for non-members.

Purchase tickets at the museum visitor services desks or online at tickets.sbma.net. Members of The Garden Club of Santa Barbara must call 805.884.6457 to receive the members’ discount.

75th-Anniversary Community Celebration

Following “The Scent of Secret Gardens” event, the museum will celebrate its 75th anniversary from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 15.
 
In 1941, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art opened its doors to the community, led by approximately 1,500 junior high students. Now, 75 years later, dedication to education and the community is still at the heart of the Museum’s mission.

Join SBMA in celebrating this long history with a day of nonstop activities and engagement for all ages. Explore your creative side with family activities, artist-led projects and art making inspired by the special exhibition “Puja and Piety: Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist Art from the Indian Subcontinent.”

Follow the clues on a scavenger hunt that moves through an eclectic sampling of the permanent collection and the history of the museum.

View works of art through the eyes and hands of over 200 local children, representing SBMA’s school and afterschool programs.

Enjoy music and dance presented by community groups and see artful arrangements created by The Garden Club of Santa Barbara.

For the Community Celebration Performances the museum’s front steps, galleries and plaza will be transformed into a moveable musical feast, featuring an international banquet of performance befitting such a monumental anniversary celebration.

Performances include violin solos, UC Santa Barbara jazz combo, big bands, Bollywood dance teams, classical flute, Latin jazz, the Brazilian beat of Luis Muñoz, tabla drumming and a Santa Barbara City College polka-style trombone ensemble.

The Community Celebration is free to attend.

This event is generously sponsored by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Women’s Board.

Katrina Carl represents the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

 

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