Historic property setting for art show this weekend
A dozen Santa Barbara artists, most from the Mesa Artists Studio Tour, are showing their work for sale in an extraordinary historic garden on the Mesa. Artists and their work will be tucked in among secluded little nooks in the shady, hundred-year-old garden.
“Art in the Garden” takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Borg Gardens, 403 Loma Alta Drive, Santa Barbara.
Artist Poppy Jewett and her husband, current owners of the house and garden, will host with additional artwork by Meg Ricks, Danuta Bennett, Sherri West, Myla Kato, Ellen Yeomans, Karin Aggeler, Sara Woodburn, Wendy Brewer, Sally Hamilton and Lena Savage.
The well-known Carl Oscar Borg created both the house and garden as a Santa Barbara studio and retreat. Mr. Borg, who painted scenery for Hollywood films, was also a fine artist, one of the founders of the California Art Club, a member of the Academy of Arts and Academy of Design, as well as the French National Society of Beaux Arts.
He was a friend to the Santa Barbara group of artists who developed on the Mesa in the early twentieth century including Edward Borein, whose life and work were recently featured at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.
Artwork on display will range from Ms. Jewett’s exuberant, bright paintings and Ms. Yeoman’s evocative, meditative paintings to Ms. Woodburn’s intricate woodcut prints, Ms. Brewer’s inspiring mosaics of broken glass and tiny objects and Ms. West’s sculptural basketry.
“Ms. Bennett’s beautiful work is titled, ‘Lady.’ Danuta is known for her expressive, evocative images with great detail,” said Ms. Ricks. “She won’t brag, so I will tell you that she is a talented and hard-working graphic artist, as well as doing fine arts. Danuta is from a Polish family, most of them still in Poland, and so the situation in Ukraine has particularly touched her.”
At their most recent meeting, the artists decided to donate a percentage of the proceeds, ranging up to 100%, for aid to Ukranians. Money will go to Goleta-based Direct Relief for medical supplies and to Halo Trust for mine removal. Both have 100% charity ratings.
Ms. Ricks also has a solo exhibition, “Two Rivieras: France and Santa Barbara,” in the Green Room upstairs at the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.
“The show is older, mostly more realistic work, based on my living in Cassis, France, and Santa Barbara at the time. The two coasts have a lot in common, and I enjoyed hiking and painting in both,” she said.
“Our apartment in Cassis overlooked the harbor and a huge red stone cliff, Cap Canaille, towering over the town and the Mediterranean Sea. We also looked out on a castle. I painted daily out in the field or from the apartment — those mistral winds are hard on easels.”
Ms. Ricks and Ms. Jewett are among painters in the show, “Uncanny,” opening Thursday and closing June 18 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, 955 La Paz Road in Montecito.
“It is a juried show. Many more pieces were submitted than could be hung. This year’s judge, Robin Eley, who was raised in Australia and is now based in Los Angeles, describes herself as a hyper realist, yet she picked work from two of the wilder painters in Santa Barbara — me and Poppy,” said Ms. Ricks.
“My work is almost always expressive and abstracted, often from landscapes, sometimes completely abstract. In a group with painter Tom Henderson, he used to always turn to the class and say, ‘Today, class, our goal is to loosen up. Then he’d pause, turn to me, wherever I was, and say, ‘NOT YOU, MEG!’
“Poppy, who works with hospice and volunteers with unhoused people, says the goal of her paintings is to make people smile. And they do!”