California, Candy Wrappers and More
UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum (AD&AM) begins winter quarter with a remarkable suite of exhibitions. Art and artists from near and far, past and present get their due in a total of 20 programs and events scheduled from January to May.
“I’m excited about the winter exhibitions because they demonstrate the extraordinary breadth of the museum’s permanent collection,” said Elyse Gonzales, AD&AM acting director. “With ‘California 101’ and ‘Lucille Lloyd,’ the museum is highlighting well-established and lesser-known artists, all of whom helped shape the dynamic and diverse state of California art. With the Art of Colonial Latin America exhibition, examples of our Spanish Colonial collection demonstrate the convergence of Spanish and indigenous cultures which resulted in these terrific works of religious devotion.”
Winter 2016 at the AD&AM is California-centric, with two exhibitions devoted to the Golden State.
“California 101: Art from the Collection” highlights the work of artists who have studied or lived in California for a significant period of time, particularly during the post-WWII years, when the West Coast was dismissed as creative backwater. During that time, local and regional artists coalesced, using art schools and universities — including UCSB — to build collectives that not only fostered innovations but also spurred social movements while enabling broader artistic development. Various media will be on display, including painting, photography, sculpture and video that contributed to California’s artistic rise from the postwar years to the present day.
The exhibit, which runs from Jan. 23 to May 1, has been mounted in conjunction with UCSB art history professor Jenni Sorkin’s course, “Art in California 1940-2016,” which will use the works on view for teaching and research purposes.
Simultaneously, the museum homes in on the urban face of Los Angeles with “Lucille Lloyd: A Life in Murals,” an exhibit that focuses on the work of early- to mid-20th-century muralist Lucille Lloyd. Eclectic, with colorful depictions that draw from abstract, historical, religious and mythological motifs, her work graces the walls and ceilings of L.A.’s public buildings and private homes. Among the pieces in the exhibition is an altar piece from the St. Mary of the Angels church in Hollywood, on loan for the first time.
On Thursday, March 10, museum curatorial assistant Rebecca Harlow and assistant archivist Alexandra Adler will present another dimension to the California exhibits with a Curator’s Perspective Tour. Harlow and Adler will guide visitors through an informal walkthrough of the exhibitions from “California 101: Art from the Collection” and “Lucille Lloyd: A Life in Murals” as they discuss California art, design and history.
Stephen Westfall, 2015-16 artist-in-residence and UCSB alumnus (’75 and ’78) continues his return visit to his old stomping grounds with “Stars and Candy Wrappers,” a massive abstract painting that covers all four walls of the AD&AM’s Nachman Gallery. Westfall’s signature hard edge, geometric brand of abstraction reflects his study of grids and color arrangements as well as influences that include Picasso’s harlequins, Matisse’s dancers and Renaissance figures.
“Stars and Candy Wrappers, Artist in Residence: Stephen Westfall,” is on view from Jan. 23 to May 1.
The museum also plays host to art of the acoustic variety this season. UCSB contemporary music ensemble Now Hear Ensemble takes a retrospective look at the music of Ph.D. candidate Anthony Paul Garcia with “Points in Time,” a suite of pieces that incorporate electronics, speech and visualization as they explore the use of time and the fine line between pop and concert music. The premiere of Garcia’s piece “At Any Point” is the centerpiece of this performance, an interactive violin concerto for violist Jonathan Morgan, which allows the audience to connect with and shape the piece through their smartphones.
“Points in Time” shows at the AD&AM on Saturday, March 5, at 2 p.m.
Turning toward the spoken word, the museum will host a reading by poet, writer and College of Creative Studies instructor Teddy Macker from his first book of poetry, “This World.” With words that elevate and illuminate the ordinary and revolve around the natural world, Macker posits that we are already in the “kingdom we’ve been looking for.”
Macker reads from his work on Thursday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m.
Art of Ages Past
The Age of Discovery, with its interactions between Old and New World cultures, provided ample opportunity for creativity in art. “The Art of Colonial Latin America,” an exhibit drawn entirely from the museum’s collection, explores the rich interchange of ideas and the artistic influence generated in 16th- and 17th-century Spain that found its way to the New World. This exhibit, which is meant to dovetail with art and art history professor Deborah Spivak’s upper-division course “The Arts of Spain and New Spain,” demonstrates the mix of indigenous and European cultures through paintings and wood carvings. The objects in the exhibition span the 17th and 18th centuries in both Central and South America.
“The Art of Colonial Latin America” will be on view from Jan. 17 to May 1.
At once essential and artistic, textiles occupy an interesting place in the arts, being both functional in various ways during their use as well as serving as a record of culture and history. In a lecture based on his book “Textiles of the Islamic World,” author, traveller and textile aficionado John Gillow discusses the rich artistry and culture of Islamic textiles, a sophisticated industry that spans the Ottoman Empire, Islamic Spain, Africa, as well as the Arabian, Persian and Asian cultures that practiced Islam. His lecture will be followed by a handling session of antique textiles from Asia and Africa.
“John Gillow: Textiles of the Islamic World” takes place at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St., in Santa Barbara. Pre-registration is required for this event; contact SBHM at (806) 966-1601 or visit https://www.sbhistorical.org.
The Art, Design & Architecture Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., with additional evening hours from 5-8 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission is free. For more information on these and other events offered by the museum, visit www.museum.ucsb.edu.