The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture will host a new art exhibit Flourish and Flow: Moving Across the Lands and Oceans, opening Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Betteravia Gallery, at 511 E. Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria.

Two children and an adult sit together laughing as they play a card game.
Artwork by Meiya Sidney is part of an exhibit that coincides with Filipino American History Month. Credit: Meiya Sidney

An opening reception featuring light refreshments, artist talks, local Fil-Am (Filipino-American) performances, and an artist market will be held 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The exhibit coincides with Filipino American History Month, celebrated in October. It features artworks by artists identifying as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI).

The display was curated by PINAYSPHERE. The local nonprofit organization is dedicated to nurturing artistic talents, offering mentorship, and fostering pre-colonial mentalities for young Filipina/x individuals.

“The exhibition aims to highlight AANHPI voices that are often overlooked, building bonds that allow AANHPI voices to be seen,” said Jen Benitez, the organization founder.

“‘Flourish and Flow’ offers a unique and powerful experience created by and for Asian American Pacific Islander creatives. It serves as a chance to celebrate heritage, culture, ancestral stories, and who we are,” Benitez said.

The exhibit features 47 artworks by AANHPI artists, with a goal of providing a platform for their diverse perspectives and lived experiences as first or second-generation individuals in America. Mediums include paintings, digital drawings, mixed media and photography.

Water is the primary theme, Benitez said: “In commemorating Filipino American History this October, we delve into the profound connections and community ties symbolized by water. Water not only stirs our emotions and creativity, but also exemplifies the necessity of flow and change.”

“We are honored to have the opportunity to uplift and share the works of AANHPI artists and celebrate Filipino American History Month through these beautiful images and stories,” said Santa Barbara County Arts Commission Vice Chair Mariko Tabar.

Learn more about the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture at