Pixel Tracker

Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 11:40 pm | Fair 52º


Sullivan Goss Celebrates Unique Santa Barbara History With Fiesta-themed Exhibition

A painting, which is on display at Sullivan Goss, depicting Santa Barbara’s hybrid culture. The gallery’s July 2016 exhibition celebrates the history of Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
A painting, which is on display at Sullivan Goss, depicting Santa Barbara’s hybrid culture. The gallery’s July 2016 exhibition celebrates the history of Old Spanish Days Fiesta. (Sullivan Goss image)

For the past 92 years, Santa Barbara has organized a summer celebration of the area’s cultural history officially known as Old Spanish Days Fiesta. For eight days beginning Aug. 3, the city concentrates its perennial delights to create a roving party of historic proportion.

This year, Sullivan Goss will add a taste of the art that has helped to define the visual identity of our local culture: mission paintings created from the 1890s to the 1920s; paintings of Spanish and Mexican dancers from the ’10s to the ’40s; and later more modern takes on our unique hybrid of Spanish, Mexican and American culture.

Since the 18th century, Santa Barbara’s had a hybrid culture. Colonized by Spanish soldiers who were often born in present day Mexico, built by the Chumash, Americans from the east coast and the midwest and even a substantial Chinese population, Santa Barbara's authentic story has had many authors and its visual history has many images.

The Sullivan Goss exhibition takes each in their turn and all in a Fiesta spirit of fun. There are paintings and photographs of Mission San Carlos Boromeo from the 19th century when it was still a ruin.

There are later romanticized images of the missions as seductive nocturnes and as garden dreams.

There are Spanish dancers, musicians and revelers by American artists like W.H.D. Koerner, Dan Lutz, Richmond Kelsey, Mary DeNeale Morgan, Jean Swiggett and Theodore Jackman; Mexican dancers by the Spanish-born Mexican painter Jesús Helguera; and even a contemporary painting of a pre-Colonial Mexican past reimagined through a modernist lens by Angela Perko.

These works of art celebrate the common joys of our unique culture: our architecture, our dances, our costumes, our food... our Fiesta.

They are colorful, joyful, romantic and strangely soulful. On 1st Thursday, July 7, the gallery will host Tony Ybarra and Kristen Reed, who will play selections of Spanish guitar music with vocal accompaniment.

Artists with work on display in the exhibition include J. Barry Greene, Charles Harmon, Jesús Helguera, Theodore Jackman, Richmond Irwin Kelsey, Orpha Klinker, W.H.D. Koerner, Dan Lutz, Mary DeNeale Morgan, Angela Perko, Mary Stevens, Jean Swiggett and Gardner Symons.

For a digital preview of the exhibition, or to watch a promotional video for the exhibit, visit www.sullivangoss.com.

Nathan Vonk represents Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery.


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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • 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 >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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 >