The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature reopened last weekend and announced two new exhibitions on view since April 17: “Bio/Mass: Contemporary Meditations on Nature” and “Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County.”
The contemporary artists utilize a diverse range of media, including sculpture, found natural materials, ceramic, encaustic, mixed media and painting.
“Bio/Mass: Contemporary Meditations on Nature,” which will be on view now through Sept. 5, 2021, invites viewers to engage with art through the eyes of the artists as observers and interpreters of the world around them. Co-curators Holli Harmon and Nicole Strasburg chose 11 contemporary artists who create work in series, exploring an element of nature.
“This show speaks to a labor of love,” said Holli Harmon, co-curator. “These artists have invested countless hours and creative reflection from their explorations and recordings of nature, and in doing so, they help us stop time and look more closely and thoughtfully at our natural world.”
Featured artists include: Scott Chatenever, Lynn Hanson, Dorothy Churchill-Johnson, Karen Kitchel, Maria Rendón, John Robertson, Sommer Roman, Carol Saindon, Catherine Eaton Skinner, Libby Smith and Nicole Strasburg.
“Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County” celebrates the outdoor treasures of the Central Coast with 38 artworks by 27 local artists. Member artists of the Oak Group, San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment and Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment were invited by the Wildling to participate in this juried invitational exhibition showcasing the trail systems in the county. A key goal of the exhibition, in partnership with Healthy People Healthy Trails and the Santa Barbara County Trails Council, is to raise awareness of trails located in Santa Barbara County and to inspire visitors and community members to explore them, while encouraging a healthier lifestyle.
Featured trails in the show range from the South Coast, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley and Lompoc Valley regions including trails at Carpinteria Bluffs, Goleta’s Lake Los Carneros and Ellwood Mesa, La Purisima State Historic Park, Lake Cachuma and many more.
The trail artists are: Liz Alvarez, Anne Anderson, Neil W. Andersson, Rebecca Arguello, Susan Belloni, Deborah Breedon, Chris Chapman, Dennis Curry, Rick Drake, Karen Fedderson, Jan French, Britt Friedman, Kevin Gleason, Sandi Heller, Holly Hungett, Jane Hurd, John Iwerks, Daniel Jones, Bernie Kurtz, Anne Laddon, Manny Lopez, Jerry Martin, Ann Sanders, Rosanne Seitz, Laurel Sherrie, Libby Smith and Nina Warner.
“Igniting an interest in our environment through art is at the heart of the Wildling Museum’s mission,” said Stacey Otte-Demangate, executive director of the Wildling Museum. “We’re excited to be partnering with Healthy People Healthy Trails to energize our community to take advantage of the beautiful outdoor resources we have available to us here in Santa Barbara County.”
The public is invited to visit the museum during walk-in hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Current museum members may also visit by appointment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday by contacting Julie Mock at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-688-1082. Museum hours will be expanded over time. Community members can check www.wildlingmuseum.org/visit prior to a visit for current hours and COVID-19 procedures.