The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature’s 2021 reopening will feature two new exhibits, Bio/Mass: Contemporary Meditations on Nature, on view through Sept. 5; and Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County, on view through Oct. 3.
The public can visit during walk-in hours, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Current museum members may also visit by appointment, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday by contacting Julie Mock at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-688-1082. The museum is at 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang.
Museum hours will be expanded over time, check www.wildlingmuseum.org/visit before visiting for current hours and COVID-19 procedures.
Wildling visitors will find galleries featuring work by contemporary artists using a range of media, including sculpture, found natural materials, ceramic, encaustic, mixed media, and painting.
On the first floor, Bio/Mass: Contemporary Meditations on Nature invites viewers to engage with art through the eyes of the artists as observers and interpreters of the world around them.
In the display, co-curators Holli Harmon and Nicole Strasburg selected 11 contemporary artists who create work in series, exploring some element of nature.
“This show speaks to a labor of love,” said Harmon. “These artists have invested countless hours and creative reflection from their explorations and recordings of nature, and in doing so they help us stop time and look more closely and thoughtfully at our natural world.”
“This collected group of artists are amassed to reveal a diverse commentary on nature through meditative repetition,” said Strasburg. “Despite the quarantine, creativity bubbles forth just as nature finds a way to survive and thrive.”
Bio/Mass: Contemporary Meditations on Nature featured artists are: Scott Chatenever, Lynn Hanson, Dorothy Churchill-Johnson, Karen Kitchel, Maria Rendón, John Robertson, Sommer Roman, Carol Saindon, Catherine Eaton Skinner, Libby Smith, and Strasburg.
Accompanying the new first floor exhibit is Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County, which celebrates the outdoor treasures of the Central Coast with 38 artworks created by 27 local artists.
Member artists of the Oak Group, SLOPE (San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment) and SCAPE (Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment) were invited by the Wildling to participate in this juried invitational exhibition showcasing the trail systems in Santa Barbara County.
A key goal of the exhibit, in partnership with Healthy People Healthy Trails and the Santa Barbara County Trails Council, is to raise awareness of the wealth of trails in Santa Barbara County, and to inspire visitors and community members to explore them, while encouraging a healthier lifestyle.
Trails highlighted in the show range from the South Coast, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Lompoc Valley regions including trails at Carpinteria Bluffs, Goleta’s Lake Los Carneros and Ellwood Mesa, to La Purisima State Historic Park and Lake Cachuma.
“Igniting an interest in our environment through art is at the heart of the Wildling Museum’s mission,” said Stacey Otte-Demangate, executive director at the Wildling Museum.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Healthy People Healthy Trails to energize our community to take advantage of the beautiful outdoor resources we have available to us here in Santa Barbara County,” she said.
“Through the pandemic, I think we’ve all begun to look for new ways to explore our own backyard,” said Lauren Sharp, assistant director at the Wildling Museum. “Seeing these trails through the eyes of our talented community of artists is an inspiring reminder to get outside and up close with the rich nature surrounding us.”
Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County featured artists are: Liz Alvarez, Anne Anderson, Neil W. Andersson, Rebecca Arguello, Susan Belloni, Deborah Breedon, Chris Chapman, Dennis Curry, Rick Drake, Karen Fedderson, Jan French, Britt Friedman, Kevin Gleason, Sandi Heller, Holly Hungett, Jane Hurd, John Iwerks, Daniel Jones, Bernie Kurtz, Anne Laddon, Manny Lopez, Jerry Martin, Ann Sanders, Rosanne Seitz, Laurel Sherrie, Libby Smith, Nina Warner.
Additional digital resources are available at www.wildlingmuseum.org/virtual-visit, including online galleries from all current exhibits, links to art activities and videos to help online visitors experience the museum from home.