With Valentine’s Day approaching, embrace your love of film, art, dance and each other at “1st Thursday” in downtown Santa Barbara on Feb. 7. Whether you are looking to connect with a longtime love in an intimate gallery setting, find new love in a social setting, or simply nurture your passion for local culture, “1st Thursday in February” is not to be missed. Come downtown from 5-8 p.m. to experience the latest in visual art exhibits, gallery receptions, wine tastings, lectures and artist demonstrations. Enjoy live music and interactive activities outside on State Street as you stroll between galleries. Finally, top off the evening with a free movie screening provided by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

For more information and a complete listing of the specific programming offered at each gallery, as well as all public performances and interactive exhibits, go to www.santabarbaradowntown.com/go.

College Gets Large Donation of Art Books

Dr. Earl Rosenthal, a professor emeritus of the history of art at the University of Chicago who died last year, donated more than 250 books to Westmont, some to be kept in the college’s rare book collection. Susan Savage, chair of Westmont’s art department, befriended Rosenthal during his retirement years in Santa Barbara. She says some duplicate and specialized books have been shipped to UC Santa Barbara and UCLA.

Rosenthal was a renowned authority of Spanish renaissance art and architecture. He wrote many articles and several books on the topic, including the much-cited article, “The Diffusion of the Renaissance Style in Western European Art,” written in 1978 for Sixteenth Century Journal. Rosenthal’s major works are “The Cathedral of Granada: A Study in the Spanish Renaissance,” published by Princeton University Press in 1961 and “The Palace of Charles V in Granada,” which was published by Princeton University Press in 1985. His donated collection also includes a complete set of books by 19th century author Anna Murphy Jameson on Christian art and imagery, which Cheri Larsen Hoeckley, Westmont associate professor of English, is using for research.

L.A. Artist to be Featured at East/West Gallery

Beginning Feb. 2, the East/West Gallery will feature the sculptural paintings of Los Angeles-based artist Ron Reihel, whose work explores the relationship between light and space by breaking down forms in into their most minimal and elementary representations. Invoking the work of Robert Irwin and James Turrell, the pieces need to be experienced rather than seen. The work is infused with color and light sensitive material that allow the pieces to evolve with the environment around them. From abstract linear patterns to translations of landscapes and plant life, the works transport the viewer into an alternate world of color and light.

The exhibit, which begins with an opening reception from 2-6 p.m., will run through March 15. There will be a special preview from Tuesday through Friday.

The East/West Gallery is at 714 Bond Ave. For more information, visit www.eastwest-gallery.com.

Pianist Philip Glass Coming to UCSB

Forging a harmonious partnership, UCSB Arts & Lectures and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum will present groundbreaking pianist Philip Glass in “An Evening of Chamber Music,” with Wendy Sutter, cello, and Mick Rossi, percussion, on Sunday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in UCSB Campbell Hall.

Widely regarded as the founding father of minimalism, “one of the most influential movements of recent times” (The Guardian, London), Glass has had an extraordinary impact on the musical and intellectual life of his times. The New York Times remarks “I don’t think any rock band or songwriter brings the kind of innovation to the contemporary music landscape that he does.”

The performance is $35 for the general public and $19 for UCSB students who must show valid ID at ticket purchase and the evening of the show. For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805-893-3535 or visit online at www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.

Jordi Savall at the Lobero

Santa Barbara’s Community Arts Music Association’s 2007-2008 Masterseries season continues with Jordi Savall, master of the viola da gamba, directing “Lost Paradises” — Thursday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. at Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre.

Jordi Savall leads his instrumental and vocal ensembles in a vibrantly diverse program based on their recent two-CD release and booklet,Christopher Columbus: Lost Paradises. Through music and text, Savall and company explore the time of profound cultural change in 15th century Spanish history. Single tickets are on sale now at the Lobero Theatre Box Office at 805-963-0761, or visitwww.lobero.com. Single ticket prices: $35, $45. For more information, visit www.camasb.org. (Detailed program and artist biographies attached asLost Paradises prog and bios.doc)

Photographer Tierney Gearon

Arts & Lectures will presents a free public film and lecture with celebrated artist Tierney Gearon in “An Evening with the Photographer,” featuring a screening of the documentary “The Mother Project” at UCSB Campbell Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at UCSB Campbell Hall.

Gearon’s photographs have been called manipulative, disturbingly ambiguous, and even perverse. The London police demanded that the Saatchi Gallery, which first showed the offending photos of her young children in the “I Am a Camera” exhibit, take the pictures down. But Gearon maintains that she loves the subjects of her photos — who also happen to be her family — deeply, and understands them better than anyone else.

The subject of Gearon’s most recent collection of photos titled “The Mother Project” is the interaction between the artist, her mother and her own children. The photographs are personal studies of her family, yet raise larger issues of aging, mental illness, and the complicated dynamic of the mother-child relationship. The New Yorker writes “[In Gearon’s photos] we’re witnessing a mother-daughter bonding ritual that would seem terribly reckless if it were not so heartbreaking and hilarious.”
For more information, call the Arts & Lectures ticket office at 805-893-3535 or visit online at www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.

Dance Classes at UCSB

Hanoi’s foremeost modern choreographer, Ea Sola of Company Ea Sola, will teach a choreographic/creative movement workshop on Monday at the Santa Barbara Ballet Center, 1019 B Chapala St. Ea Sola reaches out to her dancers and audience and takes them on an journey of self discovery that is as edgy as it is poignant. Company Ea Sola, featuring the Vietnam National Opera Ballet–Hanoi, will perform “Drought and Rain, Volume 2” on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in UCSB Campbell Hall.

The captivating Rubberbandance Group brings its innovative mix of raw hip-hop dynamics and the subtleties of contemporary classicism to two master classes. Artistic Director/Choreographer Victor Quijada and dancer Anne Plamondon will guide the classes in a series of demonstrations, exercises, and movement phrases to bring the experience of this unique fusion of dance forms. A teen class will be held at 5:30 p.m., an adult class at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Santa Barbara Dance Arts, 1 North Calle Cesar Chavez, suite 100. Rubberbandance Group performs Elastic Perspective Redux on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. in UCSB Campbell Hall.

Classes are $15-18 for dancers and $5-8 for observers. Reservations can be made online or by calling Dance Alliance at 805-966-6950.

Community Dance Classes are an integral aspect of Santa Barbara Dance Alliance’s mission to support dance and dancers, and increase dance awareness in our community. For information about the classes and other programs see http://www.sbdancealliance.org.