Dare We Say Things are Looking Up?

By Ted Mills   |   November 22, 2021

At least as of this writing, autumn is fully upon us, the wind is chilly, and we are (please please please) getting back to some normalcy. I mean, we actually had a First Thursday Art Walk amid the Pianos on State Street! Let’s keep it up, everybody. Also, by the time you read this our local elections will be over. What might that portend for the arts in Santa Barbara? Will any artists be able to *live* in Santa Barbara? Will people still have the nerve to ask artists to work for free without feeling deep shame? Only time will tell!

My, My, Mark

A hidden gallery certainly within walking distance of the usual First Thursday locations is the Thomas Reynolds Gallery (1331 State St.), which has several artists on display. But the one catching my eye is Mark Matsuno, whose landscapes of Los Angeles celebrate both the dreamworld ambience of Hollywood and its surrounding valleys, and the grimy, smoggy reality down at ground level. You can see why people want to move there, and also why they want to leave. 

Eyes on Inga

We’ve steadily followed Inga Guzyte’s work for years here, from her early cartoony works thru her portraits of female radicals, all done in her particular recycled-skateboard style. Sullivan Goss (11 E. Anapamu St.) welcomes her back with “Young Sparrows,” which also celebrates her inclusion in the National Gallery as part of the 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Nathan Huff also returns for his second solo show at the gallery. The show is as yet untitled, but you might remember Huff’s stunning wall scroll painting of a floating ship-chandelier hybrid a few years back. Both shows are open thru the end of the year. Meanwhile, depending when you read this, you still have time to explore their group shows on “The Golden State” and “The San Francisco Fall Show.” Why not come back twice, anyway? 

Back and Showing Off

10 West Gallery (10 W. Anapamu) is back in business, with a year-end show to cap off its slow reemergence out of the COVID time. It has maintained its mission of featuring its roster of Santa Barbara and regional artists. The All-Member Holiday Show runs from Thursday, November 18 through Sunday, January 16, 2022, and features 28 of the gallery’s artists. That’s folks like Sophie MJ Cooper, Joan Rosenberg-Dent, Rick Doehring, Marlene Struss, Mary Dee Thompson, Iben G. Vestergaard, and more. 

Gray, with Color

Glad to see GraySpace Gallery (219 Gray Ave.) holding it down in the Funk Zone still, and they too are opening up for shows and visits. Their November show is a mostly solo one from artist Ruth Ellen Hoag, whose cities-and-people scenes pop with color and fun. Joining her through November 29 will be Maryland artist William Lawrence. December’s show is TBA, which stands for “to be awesome.”

Time to Hang Out

And, finally, I’m very excited that Ready to Hang returns to Community Arts Workshop (631 Garden St.) this coming “weekend-before-Thanksgiving” or whatever we call it. (Pre-Turk? Last-call-before-arguing-with-your-uncle?) Let’s just call it Saturday, November 20. The first annual Ready to Hall was one of my favorite last parties (I mean, openings, sorry) before COVID did its thang all over our social lives.  


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