Art Springs Eternal

Creative masters of film, music, dance and more will visit the UC Santa Barbara campus during new arts season

The diversity of arts — and the world’s diversity as reflected by art — are on full display this season at UC Santa Barbara, with accomplished students, world-class faculty and special guests set to showcase their talents in dance, music, art and theater.

Among other creative endeavors, the UCSB spring arts calendar features music from around the world, a master of movie makeup, original choreography and films exploring gender identity.

World Harmonies

The Department of Music presents a trio of different performance styles this season. First up is the UCSB Jazz Ensemble in concert with renowned saxophonist and composer Garret Wingfield, known for his embrace of diverse genres and mediums. The jazz ensemble will perform “Skylark” (as arranged by Bob Brookmeyer) and Wingfield’s original compositions “Quicksilver” and “Antropoidiea,” among other songs. The performance is May 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall.

The spring concert series continues with the University Wind Ensemble, directed by Paul Bambach and featuring guest conductor Frank Ticheli. Works in the program include "Angels in the Architecture," featuring graduate student Molly Clementz (mezzo soprano) and “Song for Aaron” from the Clarinet Concerto, performed by Paul Bambach and conducted by Ticheli himself. The performance of Ticheli’s music is June 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall.

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Finally, the UCSB Gamelan Ensemble, under the direction of Richard North, will perform with Santa Barbara-based Gamelan Sinar Surya. Gamelan is traditional Indonesian ensemble music, featuring predominantly percussive instruments including metallophones, xylophones, bamboo flutes and hand-played drums called kendhang. The music will range from calm and introspective to lively and energetic. The program will take place June 4 at 5:30 p.m. in Karl Geiringer Hall.

Tickets prices for each of these ensemble performances are $10 for adults, $5 for non-UCSB students and free for UCSB students and children under 12 years of age. More information about musical performances is available at

Playful Movement

The 2017 spring dance concert, “Free|Fall,” features new, original works by graduating BFA students Rachel Epling, Kelli Forman, Savannah Green and Olivia Maggi. Their original choreography will be performed entirely by students from the Department of Theater and Dance. The concert will also include performances of “Buffalo” by Stephanie Gillard and “Anywhere I Can See the Moon” by UCSB alumna Gianna Burright. The performance will take place in Hatlen Theater April 13-15 at 8 p.m., with a matinee April 15 at 2 p.m.

In May, the theater department will present “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” by German modernist playwright Bertolt Brecht. Widely considered to be Brecht’s most engaging and humane work, the play tells the story of a woman who sacrifices her happiness and dignity for the sake of an abandoned child she takes in as her own. This production, directed by Simon Williams, will be held in Hatlen Theater May 26, May 31 and June 1-3 at 8:00 p.m., and June 4 at 2 p.m.

Tickets for performances are $17 for general admission and $13 for students, faculty, staff and alumni. More information about theater and dance events is available at

Fantastic Beasts

The Art, Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A) has two upcoming events in conjunction with its ongoing exhibition of alumnus Michael Westmore’s imaginative makeup designs for film and television.

 “Lifeforms: The Makeup Art of Michael Westmore” explores the legendary artist’s process of creating film and television characters and creatures, including many familiar faces from “Star Trek.” Westmore’s Oscar- and Emmy-winning designs for a diverse, multispecies universe are on display through April 30.

A companion show, “Westmore: Making Faces for Film” (also through April 30) showcases his groundbreaking work on feature films “Rocky,” “Raging Bull” and “The Mask.”

On April 20, the AD&A will host Westmore for an intimate discussion of his work from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a screening of “Raging Bull” in Pollock Theater at 7 p.m. Westmore will join UCSB film and media studies professor Anna Brusutti onstage after the screening for a discussion of the challenges and triumphs of working on a movie with a high degree of technical makeup difficulty.

Then, April 22 at noon in the AD&A, Westmore will share behind-the-scenes stories of his iconic film makeup creations and signing copies of his memoir, “Makeup Man: From Rocky to ‘Star Trek.’”

More information about the museum is available at

Activism and Identity on the Big Screen 

UCSB’s Pollock Theater hosts multiple screenings in May as part of its Trans Media series. While transgender issues have been represented on film for at least a decade, recent media work more fully engages the views and creative labor of transgender and gender-variant people. Trans Media will showcase contemporary media work in an effort to explore the relationship between sexual orientation and gender identity outside a rigid binary view of the world.

 The series begins May 4 with a screening of “Raising Zoey.” “Transparent” will follow on May 6, “Free CeCe” on May 10, “Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen” on May 23 and “Tangerine” on May 25. The films begin at 7 p.m., and each will be followed by a post-screening discussion between those closely involved in the filmmaking process and UCSB faculty members and administrators who specialize in issues of gender identity.

The Pollock Theater will welcome environmental activist Winona Laduke for a May 15 screening of “Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock,” a short film that features members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allies as they try to stop construction of the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline. The film will begin 7 p.m.

An internationally renowned activist who has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues, Laduke has twice been a vice presidential candidate for the Green Party. She will discuss the successes and struggles of those working to halt construction of the pipeline.

More information on upcoming screenings can be found at

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