Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara opens GIFT STUDIO at Paseo Nuevo
In the St. Nick of time for Christmas, the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara opened a holiday pop-up shop called GIFT STUDIO in the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center.
Because the museum is currently unable to open to the public, the mall allowed it to occupy Suite 317, across from GAP Kids, at 651 Paseo Nuevo.
Every weekend from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, the shop will be open, featuring pieces of art from local and international artists alike.
“We wanted to first of all just have a presence,” Alexandra Terry, the chief curator for the museum, told the News-Press. “It’s really important for us to be in the public and still have a connection with our community.”
The pop-up provides another worthwhile pit stop for Christmas shoppers, with 50% of the proceeds going to the museum and the other 50% supporting the artists.
GIFT STUDIO has everything from ceramics and felt sculptures to large canvas paintings and drawings. There are also many art catalogs from previous exhibitions and, in the holiday spirit, artist-designed gift wrap, Christmas cards and gift cards.
The shop also has a selection of works from SlingShot Art Studio and Gallery, which features artists with intellectual disabilities who want to create and sell art. Ms. Terry said SlingShot artists can’t be in the studio spaces right now, so they’ve really had to adapt, sometimes having their materials delivered.
“They have 40-plus artists, so we thought it was really important to give them a platform right now,” Ms. Terry said.
Customers can also purchase T-shirts, jewelry and beach towels at the shop. Some of the featured artists include Elin Aasheim, Tanya Aguiñiga, Kii Arens, James Van Arsdale, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Bonnie Burgess, Yasmine Esfandiary, Barry McGee, Edgar Orlaineta, Xaviera Simmons and Garret Speirs.
“What we wanted to do was have objects that we thought people might be interested in that are easy to buy and if there are people in town interested in starting to collect contemporary art, this is a great place to do that because we have affordable art and we’ve got a connection with each artist,” Ms. Terry said.
The diverse curation of pieces provides options for all ages, including flower pots made out of real basketballs, concert tour posters and intricate paintings. Many pieces were donated from past artists who exhibited at the museum.
Proceeds going back to the museum will also benefit its education programs as well as its exhibition programs.
While the shop is only open through Jan. 3, 2021, Ms. Terry said that’s subject to change.
“The cool thing is Paseo Nuevo is basically giving us this space, so if it goes well, we might just stay open,” she said. “We just really miss connecting with our artists and having something to offer.
“They (Paseo Nuevo) know since we’re not open right now, they wanted to do everything they could to help give us a presence.”
Prices of the work have quite the range, from $4 cards and $10 books to $7,000 pieces.
If interested customers can’t visit the shop in person, they also have the option of taking a virtual tour of GIFT STUDIO at https://shop.mcasantabarbara.org/. Items are available for purchase online as well.
In addition, MCASB members receive 10% and 20% discounts off their final purchase.