Carpinteria Field by Sarah Vedder. (Sarah Vedder)

Battered by the pandemic, a contentious election, and an atmosphere of alarm, curators at Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery in Santa Barbara felt the community could use a space for peace and contemplation.

Drawing from its artists’ studios, collector consignments, and its own treasure vault, Sullivan Goss assembled 16 works spanning 1890 to today that invite a meditative or peaceful state of mind at its gallery, 11 E. Anapamu St. The show runs Jan. 8-March 1.

Installed with ample breathing room in the gallery’s largest exhibition space, Sullivan Goss hopes to offer a refuge to artists, collectors and visitors. Each work has been selected both to typify the artist’s best work and to help viewers experience reverie.

Stylistically, the works range from late 19th and early 20th century Tonalist and Impressionist evocations by National Academicians Leon Dabo (1864-1960), Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932), and Colin Campbell Cooper; to midcentury and contemporary abstractions by William Dole (1917-83) and Oskar Fischinger (1900-67); to contemporary Tonalist and abstract works by gallery stalwarts like Whitney Brooks Abbott, Meredith Brooks Abbott, Ken Bortolazzo, Susan McDonnell, Chris Peters, Nicole Strasburg and Sarah Vedder.

Art can be an effective emotional trigger. High contrast works with bright, hyper-saturated colors and dynamic compositions can excite, stimulating increased energy and mental activity.

Paintings and drawings that use a more restrained and harmonized palette or whose imagery and compositions invoke the pastoral or the dreamy have the opposite effect. They calm and soothe the viewer.

Visits to Sullivan Goss are limited to eight mask-wearing patrons at one time. The entire exhibit also can be viewed online at