Florence Russell’s artwork on display around town
A month-long tribute to honor the 100th birthday of Florence “Fi Fi” Russell ends Sunday at 10 galleries and venues around town, where the original artwork of the longtime arts educator, watercolorist and world traveler has been on display during July.
“We’re celebrating her spunky, creative, adventurous spirit,” said Rita Ferri, a curator and arts advocate who organized the exhibition with Larry Iwerks, well-known local artist.
Ms. Russell’s birthday celebration was held July 24, her actual birthday, at Mr. Iwerks’s studio on Weldon Road in Santa Barbara.
Her paintings reflect images of her travels to more than 25 countries — sketching along the Seine in Paris, the valley of temples in Myanmar, public markets in Mexico, bustling Greek harbors and bucolic barnyard scenes.
“She captured daily scenes repeated around the world with a fresh sense of color and an eye for composition,” said Ms. Ferri. “She said her goal has always been to make painting sing.”
Ms. Russell came to Santa Barbara as a child when her father became a physician and psychiatrist for Stanley McCormick at Riven Rock in Montecito. In the early 1950s, she pioneered bringing arts education to Southern California museums and schools.
After retirement, she came back to Santa Barbara to continue a life of volunteerism, travel and art.
Her artistic talent is on display through Sunday in Santa Barbara at Corridan Gallery, 125 N. Milpas St.; 10 West Gallery, 10 W. Anapamu St.; Gallery 113, 1114 State St. #8; La Cumbre Center for the Creative Arts, 121 S. Hope Ave.; Larry Iwerks Studio Gallery, 958 Weldon Road; Santa Barbara Art Association in the Faulkner Gallery in Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.; and Santa Barbara Fine Art Gallery, 1321 State St.
Her art is also being shown through Sunday at the Goleta Valley Art Association in the Goleta Valley Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave. Goleta, and the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, 955 La Paz Road, Montecito.
One of her 1942 ceramic sculptures is also on display at Clay Studio, 1351 Holiday Hill Road, Goleta.