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Detail Jeff Brouws work from the Fast Forward exhibition

Exhibitions at the Channing Peake and Betteravia Gallery
All exhibitions are free to the public, unless otherwise noted.


Near and Far: Plein Air in County parks
A Juried exhibition curated by david gallup
october 27, 2014 - February 12, 2015

Channing Peake Gallery, County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

This Plein Air in County Parks exhibition, co-presented by the County Arts Commission and SCAPE (Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment) highlights the beauty and diversity of some of the most picturesque parks and special places in California, and features a wide variety of artist sytles and media from Santa Barbara County Artists. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition will benefit the Santa Barbara County Park Foundation.

Juror David Gallup is a nationally know Plein Air artist and teacher, who has won numerous local and international awards, and is represented in museum exhibitions and collections nationwide. He is a Signature Member of Artsists for Conservation which supports conservation organizations globally to provide wildlife and habitat conservation.

Under the Influence: Responses to Place
September 2 - january 22, 2015

THE SANTA BARBARA COUNTY ARTS COMMISSION announces Under the Influence: Responses to Place, a photographic exhibition organized by Kam Jacoby and Karen Gearhart-Jensen, Co-Curators, to open at Betteravia Galleries North and South in the Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Building, 511 E. Lakeside, Santa Maria. The exhibition will be on view from September 2 through January 22, 2015 with an opening reception on September 11, 2014, 4-6pm in the Betteravia Gallery South. At the conclusion of the exhibition Under the Influence will travel to the Channing Peake Gallery in Santa Barbara, CA.

The exhibition features seven North and South County artists, Kit Boise-Cossart, Kate Connell, Bill Dewey, Brett Leigh Dicks, Eric B. Johnson, David Passage, Roe Anne White.

The exhibition has been co-curated by Kam Jacoby and Karen Gearhart-Jensen. Kam Jacoby, an artist and photographer currently teaches at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, and has published a book “Layers: Composite Photographs from the Lompoc Valley” in 2009. He also created the “Burton Mesa: A Closer Look” photographic installation at the Burton Mesa Fire-Safety Station in Lompoc. Karen Gearhart-Jensen is an artist, printmaker, photographer and graphic designer and has taught art at all education levels. As an artist, she says, “The choice to make art which celebrates our engagement with nature, revitalizes me each and every day.”

This exhibition explores how a sense of place (specifically the Central Coast of California) influences and directs artistic exploration and production. Using the work of selected North and South County artists, the photographers show how our environment, including geology, geography, weather, the economy and culture, inspires art that, even while addressing larger issues, has particular regional relevance.

Pursuit of Passion: Early Santa Barbara Women Artists
MARCH 3, 2014 - FEBRUARY 20, 2015

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission invites you to the Pursuit of Passion: Early Santa Barbara Women Artists exhibition at Santa Barbara City Hall Gallery, De la Guerra Plaza, Santa Barbara, CA, for an opening reception on 1st Thursday, March 6, 5-7pm with remarks by Mayor Helene Schneider at 6pm.  This exhibition coincides with national Women’s History Month, which celebrates the courage and achievements of women. The year-long exhibition will continue until February 20, 2015.

Santa Barbara has a rich history of many artists who came to Santa Barbara in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The opening of the railroads allowed for greater travel for both men and women and they came here for varied reasons: their health, for adventure, or for the weather. Although many artists headed to the more established art communities in larger cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, the warmth and lure of Santa Barbara drew others who often stayed and established their homes and studios. Many of those early visitors were women with an adventurous spirit who gravitated to Santa Barbara where there was already an established art school, the Santa Barbara School of the Arts. Many male artists who taught there went on to greater fame: Colin Campbell Cooper, Edward Borein and DeWitt Parshall and others.

Although, women did not have the support or the patronage of wealthy collectors like the men, a smaller group of women found their niche as portrait artists, still life artists, printmakers, photographers, sculptors and occasionally instructors. They passionately followed their pursuit of art, and if they were not from wealthy families they found ways to stay in the community and continue to work, (not unlike today!) whether through selling their work out of their studios or illustrating books. Unfortunately, many of these women have remained invisible in surveys of American art and feminist art histories.

This exhibition drew on the cooperation of Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Gary Breitweiser, James Main Fine Art and Sullivan Goss An American Gallery and Joseph and Elizabeth Knowles. “Assembling these artworks was a challenge. Some artist’s works have been dispersed and their whereabouts not traced through the years because early women artists did not enjoy the support of collectors and their artwork did not have a high monetary value during its time. Some artwork was too fragile to be displayed, and some now is too valuable to display. I am grateful that there are galleries, collectors and institutions willing to lend their artworks to allow the general public to see these rarely displayed artworks outside  museum walls, and to dealers who often ‘rescue’ ignored artworks that they feel have value and beauty,” said Rita Ferri, Visual Arts Coordinator and Curator of Collections for the County of Santa Barbara.

Artists like Elizabeth Eaton Burton, Alice Robertson Carr de Creeft, Lydia Cooley, Mary Stevens Fish, Carolyn Gledhill, Lyla Marshall Harcoff, Elizabeth Bakewell Knowles, Lilia Tuckerman, Grace Libby Vollmer, Ludmilla Pilat Welch and others paved the way for many women artists today. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries there were more women artists working in California than in other regions of the country. Although there was deeply entrenched social pressure for women to conform to the then “standard” of domestic life, women in Santa Barbara continued to make art and developed a strong community of artists.

In the earlier years selling artwork was often seen as “beneath” women; art schools and arts organizations were run by men, painting and sculpture commissions often went to men and women were often relegated to printmaking and illustration. The vote for women was not ratified until 1920, and yet, despite all the societal roadblocks and discrimination placed upon women, they passionately continued to make art in Santa Barbara despite their lack of artistic recognition. Although almost invisible when art history was being written, every exhibition including early Santa Barbara women artists, attempts to return these overlooked artists to the spotlight they should have enjoyed during their time. Each artwork in this exhibition is a testimony to their spirit as artists of substance, to the pursuit of their artistic passion and to their reclaiming the privilege to be leading lights in their own right.



Impoverished Vision: Abstraction to the Rescue
August 25, 2014 - October 16, 2014

Impoverished Vision: Abstraction to the Rescue is an exhibition curated by John Hood, Artist and Professor of Art, of Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA. Impoverished Vision includes the work of Santa Barbara County artists, all presenting a diversity of styles, mediums and content: Adrienne Allebe, Larry Dilenger, Cass Ensberg, Peggy Ferris, Felicia Kincaid, Philip Koplin, Hugh Margerum, Carey Reimer, Natalie Romero, Juan Manuel Perez Salazar, Rick Stich, and Ariana Sariañana, Marlene Struss. The exhibition opens on August 25 and continues until October 16, 2014. The public is invited to an open reception on 1st Thursday, September 4, from 5-8pm to meet the artists and curator John Hood and see the work. The artwork will be on view at the Channing Peake Gallery, 1st Floor, County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara, CA.

In their artwork each of the artists has chosen in their own individual visual language of color, form and line, to move away from realism and explore the concept of distortion and simplification to help communicate their ideas. The works span painting, mixed media photography and sculpture.

“Ever since artists began to stray away from Naturalism over 150 years ago we have seen a more personal and conceptual approach to visual communication. These 12 artists have moved away from realism and in the process offer up an abundance of views,” said the curator, John Hood. Impoverished Vision was first exhibited at the Betteravia Government Gallery, however, traveling the exhibition from Santa Maria has allowed more artists from South County to be included. 

The Barry Berkus and Family Collection: WWBD? What Would Barry Do?
JUNE 2 - August 15, 2014

If Barry Berkus, one of Santa Barbara’s most noted architects and art collector was still scoping out the local art scene - what studios would he peruse, what young artists and students would he encourage or collect? When both Barry and Gail Berkus passed, the Santa Barbara community lost great philanthropists, and inveterate collectors and supporters of the arts. In 2006, Barry Berkus generously bequeathed a collection of over 70 regional artworks to the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, so the real question now in 2014 is, WWBD? The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission presents The Barry Berkus and Family Collection: WWBD? What Would Barry Do? curated by Rita Ferri, Curator of Collections and Visual Arts Coordinator of Santa Barbara County Arts Commissions, and revisits the regional contemporary artists in the County’s Barry Berkus and Family Collection, in memory of Gail Berkus. The exhibition features works of art from the collection, side by side with new works created by young artists and students. Using the Berkus catalog as a starting point, each selected artist was asked to choose a work from the collection, and to respond to it with their own artwork. As Barry once said, “Artists use a brand new vocabulary that is rewritten every day to express their time, place and environment.”

Artists highlighted in this exhibition include: Cathy Ellis/Linda Ekstrom, Derek Harrison/LawrenceGipe, Jenalee Harmon/Rick Stitch, Christopher Iseri/Dimitri Kozyrev, Kela Johnson/Keith Puccinelli, Laura S.F. Moll/Ciel Bergman, Nicholas Price/Jay Ewart, Luis Ramirez/Richard Ross, Maria Rendon/Ann Hamilton, Christopher Rupp/ Dug Uyesaka, Tom Sanders/Bob DeBris, Ariana Sariñana/Kim Yusada, Sommer Roman Sheffield /Jeff Brouws, Jonathan Sprague/Steven Cortright, Casey Underwood/Farshid Assassi. The types of media used by these artists mirror the diversity of the collection itself: sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, and photography.

The Barry Berkus and Family Art Collection first debuted on March 24, 2006, at the Channing Peake Gallery in the County Administration Building. Barry and Jo Berkus, donated a large number of artworks from his collection to the County of Santa Barbara, through the County Arts Commission. All of the works donated are by artists who live, or lived for an extended period in the Santa Barbara area. This gift represented over 70 art works and spans 25 years of collecting work by area artists. While recognized for their collection of internationally and nationally known artists’ artworks, the Berkus’ were also keenly interested in and supportive of this region’s artists. They visited studios, attended and bought work from student shows. Artists were often feted in receptions at their home and honored for their artistic gifts.

Barry Berkus and his late wife, Gail, were recognized by Art News magazine as among the top 200 art collectors in the world. Their modern and contemporary collection was noted for its diversity and for large scale artworks and for such well-known artists as Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Deborah Butterfield, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella, Nancy Graves, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Diebenkorn and Ed Ruscha.

A Mindful Vision: The Legacy of Nat Fast Exhibition
May 5 - August 14, 2014

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission presents the memorial exhibition, A Mindful Vision: The Legacy of Nat Fast, with artworks created by the award-winning artist who is credited with being the father of North County’s Art community. Fast, who passed in October of 2013, was a founder of the Santa Maria Arts Council, and recently chosen as the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. In 2007 the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission presented him with the “Leadership in the Arts Award” which honored him for his stellar dedication and commitment to the arts, culture and creative community of Santa Barbara County. The exhibition, co-curated by Marti Fast, daughter of Nat Fast, director of the Foxworthy Gallery and fine arts faculty member and John Hood, artist and professor of art at Allan Hancock, is on view at the Betteravia Gallery South, Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Building, 511 E. Lakeside, Santa Maria, CA from May 5 through August 14, 2014, with an opening reception on Wednesday, May 7, 4-6pm.

Fast, a second generation Californian, did not start formal art studies until he was 25, but his mother was an artist and he drew with her whenever possible as he was growing up. In 1948, after serving in the Navy, he studied to be a CPA at San Jose State College, and minored in art. Within a very short time, that reversed – he majored in art and minored in accounting. “I never turned back,” Nat said. In 1955 through 1982 he taught art classes in Santa Maria (where he was line coach for football as well) at Righetti High School before joining Hancock College. During the summer of 1968 and spring and summer of 1969, he traveled in Mexico to study the culture and art history of Middle America at the Universidad Ibero-Americana, Mexico City, in order to develop an ethnic studies class in the Art History of Mexico, and a Mexican Art History travel class. During the fall of 1976 and summer of 1977, Fast traveled in Mexico, Guatemala, and Japan. In the spring of 1979 he toured Greece and the Greek Isles. These trips resulted in painting for one-man exhibitions of watercolors and drawings. At his retirement in 1982, he embarked on an extensive tour of Egypt and Europe to sketch and paint in preparation for one-person exhibitions in the Hancock College Gallery and the San Luis Obispo Art Center, and afterwards traveled to Peru. His interest in art and history led him to conduct ten travel groups to places like Spain, Morocco, Japan, Mexico, Greece, and Egypt.

Fast served as juror to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County Fairs, many art associations, as well as many school and art groups in Lompoc, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Ynez. For 7 years, until 1996, he served as a director and as Senior Docent at the Santa Maria Museum Art Center, co-chair of the Santa Maria Arts Council Individual Grants Program and as a Trust Fund trustee. Nat Fast made his mark in the community as evidenced by the Santa Maria Valley Children’s Discovery Museum declaring that annually the last Sunday in January is now known as “Nat Fast Day.”

Fast painted mainly watercolors, a medium he excelled in, but also painted in oils, acrylics and conté crayon. His subject areas ranged from architecture, landscapes, life drawing to theatrical performances.  “My art is primarily a record of the world I love,” Nat said. This Legacy of Nat Fast exhibition features diverse artwork including: European buildings, swirling Mexican dancers, outdoor scenes and theater productions at PCPA, a theater company he dearly loved. He leaves a lasting legacy behind not just for his artwork, the students he encouraged, and the scholarships he created - but for the mindful vision he had for the arts in North County. For him, quite simply, art was life and life was art. He knew that participation in the arts could enhance the quality of life for anyone willing to partake of the process and he made that his life’s mission. Up until almost his last days he was still making art and talking about the arts - showing his commitment to sustaining and advancing our quality of life through the Arts.

Inside/Outside: Santa Barbara Art Association Juried by Randy Sommer, Co-Owner of the ACME Gallery, LA
January 21 - May 23, 2014

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, with the Santa Barbara Art Association, and the County Art in Public Places Committee presents a juried exhibition, Inside/Outside: Santa Barbara Art Association to open with a reception on 1st Thursday, February 6, from 5-8pm and an Awards Ceremony at 6pm. This exhibition, on view from January 21–May 23, 2014, celebrates the artistic talents of over 500 members of the Santa Barbara Art Association in Santa Barbara and features a wide variety of artist styles and media. Additional 1st Thursdays in the following months will have a variety of artist-led workshops in the Channing Peake Gallery on the 1st floor of the County Administration Building.

The juror, Randy Sommer, a co-owner of Acme Gallery in LA, has a BFA in Printmaking from University of Kansas, and an MFA in Painting from UCSB. He lived in SB almost 10 years working as an artist, worked part time at CAF managing their Tri-County gallery and also served on CAF’s exhibitions committee. He moved to L.A. in 1987 working first for a large Santa Monica gallery and later for an artist-run alternative space called FOODHOUSE before creating ACME gallery in 1994 in Santa Monica, California. ACME relocated to the 6150 Wilshire complex near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in early 1998. A wide range of work is exhibited at ACME including painting, drawings, prints, sculpture, video and installations Mr. Sommer has juried many group exhibitions nationally and spoken on many panels.

The Santa Barbara Art Association (SBAA) was founded in 1952, and is one of the oldest arts organizations in the Santa Barbara area. In 2012 SBAA celebrated their 60th Anniversary. SBAA enjoys over 500 members throughout the County who exhibit in a full range of mediums, from painting and sculpture and ceramics to printmaking, photography, collage and mixed media work. In addition, SBAA sponsors scholarships to local colleges, and its Student Art Fund supports High School and Junior High art programs from Goleta to Carpinteria; and additionally provides exhibitions, lectures and workshops for its members and the community at large.

The Santa Barbara Art Association has helped to cultivate a rich arts tradition within the city and County of Santa Barbara.  The Santa Barbara Art Association is partnering with the Arts Commission for this exhibition to celebrate one of Santa Barbara's long respected arts organizations that has thrived as an arts catalyst within the community, and has enjoyed the support of its artists and the community for many years.

W. Dibblee Hoyt: Far Reaches
Monday, June 3 - Friday, September 20, 2013

OPENING RECEPTION: FIRST THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2013, 5 - 8 pm at Channing Peake Gallery,1st floor, Santa Barbara County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu Street at Anacapa Street

Exhibition then travels to the Betteravia Gallery in October, 2013

Recently the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission conducted an on-line search for past students of photojournalist Dibblee Hoyt culminating in a juried photographic exhibition, W. Dibblee Hoyt: Far Reaches. The Arts Commission will present the exhibition of photographs of mentor/teacher, Dibblee Hoyt and selected students: Sherri Chavez, Phyllis Daniels, Cathy Gregg, Debbie Fuller, Raymond Lopez, Sandy Peterson and Lynda Schiff.

For many years, Dibblee Hoyt taught at Allan Hancock College and at classes throughout the North County. This exhibition celebrates the far reaches of his teaching and the many students whose work was inspired by his dedication and love of his craft.

The juror, Brett Leigh-Dicks, is an Australian-born American photographer who is based in the United States, in addition to being the curator of various touring photographic exhibitions in Australia and the US. He also contributes editorially to numerous publications and journals on all matters artistic and creative.

W. Dibblee Hoyt is a Santa Barbara native and received his first camera from his father at age six. In high school his father gave him a small Argus and a light meter. He asked Dibblee to track his exposures and would review each exposure and point out what he was doing right or wrong. As Dibblee said, “This for me, began a long love affair with capturing images. I learned to develop and print my images in a bomb shelter darkroom in high school and while in college studied journalism and graphics.”

Hoyt worked as a photojournalist and writer for several publications and traveled to many countries including Russia, Eastern Europe, Mexico and Central America. In 2002, Hoyt began teaching photography at Allan Hancock, and in 2005 was the recipient of the Part-time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. He is one of the founding members of the Santa Ynez Camera Club and also the Lompoc Photographers Guild of which the majority of its members are his former students.  Through his teaching he has inspired and mentored many of his students to pursue professional careers in photography.

Many years ago, W.Dibblee Hoyt moved back to an old farm house on the Rancho San Julian where he remembered all the sights, sounds and smells of his ranching childhood. The Rancho San Julian was first established in 1817 as a source for meat, tallow, leather, and horses for the soldiers of the King of Spain at the Presidio in Santa Barbara. In lieu of back wages, Captain José de la Guerra, received Rancho San Julian and the Ranch passed along through the matrilineal line when the Dibblee brothers purchased the Rancho San Julian, and Thomas Bloodgood Dibblee married Francisca de la Guerra. When the Dibblee brothers both died in 1895, Thomas’ descendants retained the San Julian. The Ranch has been in the family for over 200 years. “I can say without exception, we dearly love and value this land, its significance in our local history, and the fact that so many who come before us, have left their mark here,” wrote Hoyt.

The photographs of W. Dibblee Hoyt and his past students are committed to capturing both the colorful ranch life and the incomparable beauty of the landscape around them. These former students have looked through Dibblee’s eyes and learned, fired with his passion for photography, and have honored the legacy of this mentor and teacher who has taught them how to see and who has left his own indelible mark on the land.

FIGURE FRAGMENTS: The Part as the Whole
July 27, 2012 - January 18, 2013    press release evite
Watch Creative Community:

Hidden Treasures of Santa Barbara
January 30, 2012 - January 25, 2013    press release evite

The Audacity of Process: An Exploration in Diverse Practices
November 21 – Feb. 10, 2012    press release

The Audacity of Process: An Exploration in Diverse Practices
John Hood, Curator

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission presents, The Audacity of Process: An Exploration in Diverse Practices, an exhibition of regional artists curated by John Hood, Professor of Art, Allan Hancock College, and Arts Commissioner from the 5th District, from November 21 through February 10 at the Betteravia Government Center, 511 E. Lakeside, Santa Maria.  The opening reception will be Friday, Dec. 9th from 4-6pm.

The Audacity of Process, is an exhibition exploring and revealing the variety of process modalities in the work of Peg Grady, Carey Reimer, Amanda Hoopingarner, Larry Delinger, Bob Burridge, Autumn Jennings, Dave Passage and Karen Carson. This local talent converges in an exhibition that varies greatly in style and subject matter.

Curator John Hood said, “I’ve brought these artists together to highlight the rich diversity of something often overlooked, process. Each artist brings with them a unique set of approaches, which as a teacher, both intrigues and inspires my own work. I have asked each to share their experiences of the art-making process. Most artists don’t necessarily offer up these behind-the-scene scenarios for a variety of reasons. I am reminded of how the Parisian avant-garde of the early 20th Century often locked their studio doors to keep Picasso away. The fear was that he would learn of their process and take it to his studio and proceed to do it better than they ever could have imagined. These eight exhibiting artists demonstrate a bold and adventurous sequence of events which are captured and finalized in their current works. I hope observers will take the time to investigate and appreciate what it takes to create visual art.” 

Few Chosen by Many: A Berkus Selection
August 29, 2011 - Jan 21, 2012    press release

Few Chosen by Many: A Berkus Selection Exhibition

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission presents an exhibition, Few Chosen by Many: A Berkus Selection, August 29, 2011 - Jan 21, 2012, and the reception will be held 1st Thursday, September 1, 2011, 5-8pm at the Channing Peake Gallery in the County Administration Building. The exhibition, drawn from The Barry Berkus and Family Art Collection, in memory of Gail Berkus, takes on a new twist, with community curators selecting one work each from the collection. Art appreciators from diverse careers and backgrounds chose a work that resonated with them and each one posts their reasons for their choice.

The “Few” in the title refers to the small selection of works by the curators, and the “Many” refers to the diversity of careers of those who were invited to choose a work from the Berkus Collection: accountant, educator, librarian, chef, museum guard, prosecutor, entrepreneur, hairstylist, veterinarian and horticulturist are among the many careers of the guest curators.  Rita Ferri, the Curator of Collections for the County of Santa Barbara and organizer of this exhibition said, “I hope that viewers to the exhibition come away with the realization that liking and choosing art is not an activity limited to a few special people; that each of us makes choices each day; we all respond to different colors, images, and mediums. Many do this without a background in art history or curating. They have taught themselves over a lifetime to look at art critically and to appreciate it.”

Barry Berkus, noted Santa Barbara architect, art collector, and philanthropist, donated a large number of regional artworks from his collection to the County of Santa Barbara in 2006, through the County Arts Commission. All of the works given are by artists who live, or lived for an extended period, in the Santa Barbara area. This gift, The Barry Berkus and Family Art Collection, represents over 70 art works and spans 25 years of collecting work by area artists.

Mr. Berkus and his late wife, Gail, were recognized by Art News magazine as among the top 200 art collectors in the world. Their modern and contemporary collection was noted for its diversity and for large-scale artworks by such well known artists as Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella, Nancy Graves, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Diebenkorn and Ed Ruscha. While recognized for their collection of internationally and nationally known artists’ artworks, the Berkus’ were also keenly interested in and supportive of Santa Barbara area artists. They bought work from the artists’ studios, galleries, and auctions. Berkus remains committed to art of the region as he continues to collect work of regional artists with his wife Jo Berkus.

A color catalog with essay by Josef Woodard and designed by The Lily Guild Temple of Design is available from the County Arts Commission at or 5683990.




She Told Them
Dance Floor 1 & 2
Peggy Ferris







Berkus Collection
Offset Oblique, 12.22.13, Inkjet Color Photograph
Bill Dewey










Erasing the Past: Building the Future
September 19, 2011 – November 11, 2011    press release

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and the California Council for the Humanities California Initiative present Erasing the Past: Building the Future, a photojournalism exhibit by local artist Janet Allenspach.

“If I can just take them (the tattoos) off, like a vest, I can throw that part of my life away.” This quote is from a former gang member who is featured in the exhibition. The show depicts the lives and challenges of people from our area and their struggles to re-enter their communities by becoming clean and sober, breaking the barriers of abuse and incarceration, and removing gang-related tattoos. Their stories will be available in English and Spanish.

This emotional exhibit gives the viewer an idea of where the participants have come from and why they are here now; best summed up by one of their statements, “What I did is not who I am.”

The 40 photographs and interviews are of clients who participate in the SLO Liberty Tattoo Removal Program, a subsidiary of San Luis Obispo’s Community Action Partnership’s Health Services. Over 30% of the program’s clients are from Santa Barbara County, and some have attended Hancock College. This glimpse into their lives shows the strength necessary to break generational chains of abuse, incarceration and gang activity. Some are parents who came to realize they don’t want their children to follow in their footsteps, and want instead to be better role models for their children and to be accepted by their neighbors. One who graduated from Hancock said, “The mistakes I’ve made, the harm I’ve done to people...I will do anything to help my sons not go down that path.”
The exhibit is an impressive and thought- provoking experience about people changing their lives, through a process that is said to be many times more painful than getting a tattoo. Participants also commit to active community service related to the program. This powerful project shares a vulnerable population’s unheard stories, and a local program’s influences, while providing a glimpse into the challenges, struggles and successes of brave people who live elbow to elbow with us. One of the women portrayed in the show said, “When you get clear, and you get clean, everything is clear around you. The flowers have color, you can see that the mountain is beautiful, and the small things in life become important to you again.” To learn more about the Liberty Tattoo Removal Program, contact Janet Allenspach, 544-2484.

The exhibit opens on Monday, September 19, 2011at the Betteravia Gallery in the Betteravia Government Building at 511 Lakeside in Santa Maria. The Gallery Hours are 8-5pm and the exhibit is free to the public.





Channing Peake: Mural Studies
January 24, 2011 – January 20, 2012  press release

In January 2011, The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, with the City of Santa Barbara at the City Hall Gallery, recognizes Channing Peake’s  impressive art history legacy, and presents the exhibition Channing Peake: Mural Studies. The work in this exhibition will be seen at City Hall in conjunction with the unveiling of the restored Peake Fiesta Mural at the new Santa Barbara Airport in April 2011. The exhibition opens on January 24 and continues until January 20, 2012. The 1st Thursday reception will take place on February 3, 2011 from 5-7pm. At 6pm, Mayor Helene Schneider, and Karen Ramsdell, Airport Director will say a few words.

In storage more than a decade after it was removed from the section of the downtown El Paseo Restaurant (that is now the Wine Cask), the Fiesta mural will again find its rightful place in the hearts and minds of Santa Barbarans, as well as welcome tourists at the gateway to our beautiful city. Peake worked on several murals around our city and beyond. First apprenticed to artist Diego Rivera, he worked on murals at the National Palace in Mexico City and in New York City on mural commissions for two major WPA projects. He went on to execute other important murals, often assisting artist Rico Lebrun at New York City’s Pennsylvania Station in the late’30s. In Santa Barbara, he painted the Don Quixote Mural with Howard Warshaw, now inside the Santa Barbara Library, a mural for the Santa Barbara Biltmore in 1978-79 (that was removed), and the last mural for the El Paseo Restaurant from 1984-85.

Mural studies have always been a rich source for discerning an artist’s process, and documenting their seminal thoughts through the many stages of a mural’s evolution. The trail of Peake’s journey from the beginning stages, with mural studies, is confirmed through this rich source of intention and creativity. Many of these studies are from Santa Barbara area collectors and family. This exhibition documents and honors the historic and artistic significance of these studies; and of Channing Peake as an artist of note in our community.

This exhibition was organized by Rita Ferri, Visual Arts Coordinator and Curator of Collections for the SB County Arts Commission, with assistance from Cheri Peake, 4th District Arts Commissioner and widow of the artist.

Funding support for this Channing Peake: Mural Studies exhibition has been generously provided by Dr. and Mrs. John Holaday, Joanne Holderman, Carlos and Leslie Lopez, Bruce Taylor, and Seyburn Zorthian.


Upcoming Exhibitions at the Channing Peake, Betteravia, and City Hall Galleries


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