The Community Arts Workshop is Ready to Hang

By Zach Rosen   |   November 22, 2021
Come enjoy an evening of music, art, and drinks at CAW’s Ready to Hang pop-up art show (Photo by Sue Van Horsen)

Whether it’s for a holiday gift or just something for yourself, the upcoming show, Ready to Hang, will have what you are looking for. This one-day pop-up art show will be held at the Community Arts Workshop (631 Garden St.) on Saturday, November 20, from 4-7 pm. The event is organized by Santa Barbara-based artist Michael Long and is open to all local artists, which will bring in everything from plein air paintings and abstracts to more sculptural pieces. The first Ready to Hang show was held in 2019 and was wildly successful with this year’s event looking to be even better. 

Originally CAW reached out to Michael about hosting a community art show that could help bridge the gap between local emerging artists and the more fringe ones in the area. Michael was the perfect fit for the job. His intricate assemblages and dreamy dioramas have received international praise. He has also taught assemblage art classes and been featured in many local shows, which has put him in contact with a wide range of artists in the area. 

While the themes and art styles at the show may vary vastly, what ties all of the artworks together are their size. Each piece must be exactly 12-by-12 inches with a hanger so that it can go right up on the wall. The result is an event brimming with art in a style for everyone yet has a consistent look to the display. Each piece can be up to 5 inches off the wall. This depth of frame allows a wide range of creativity for the artists and does not limit the featured art to just traditional paintings or photographs. Assemblage art and other multilayered works bring dimensionality and depth to these particular pieces. 

The important difference between Ready to Hang and a traditional jury show is that the juries tend to pick what they like. In this show, all pieces that meet the size requirements are accepted. This helps establish an equal playing field for all the artists, letting lesser-known artists or those offering something a little more obscure participate. This event is not just a fun night but also supports both local artists and CAW with 70% of proceeds going to the artists and the other 30% going to CAW.

In the previous show, CAW was still undergoing renovations, but the building is now completed. With the finished form, Michael says that CAW is now the perfect place to show art. Besides the building, they have made some updates and improvements to the logistics of this year’s event. They digitized the art entry form to help them streamline that process. Michael mentions that the hard work they did beforehand has paid off and it has helped make the event preparations go more smoothly this time around. 

CAW is transforming for the one-night pop-up art show, Ready to Hang (Photo by Sue Van Horsen)

The art intake for the event was this week and on the first day they had already received 300 pieces. They will only accept up to 450 pieces, so this year’s show promises to be just as full of art as the previous one. In the first show, each artist was allowed to submit up to four artworks; this year it is limited to two pieces per artist. While the last show had a similar number of pieces, this means that there will likely be more featured artists this year. 

The small format is highly adaptable to varying styles of art, making it easy for all artists to participate. The blend of professional, fringe, and tinkering artists featured means that the pieces sell for anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand, so there is something suitable for all budgets.

The pieces may be ready to hang, but the art is sold off the wall that night. There is no waiting for the show’s weeks- or months-long run to end before you receive any of the art you purchased. This is perfect for those visiting town since they can bring the art home with them that night. But because this is a one-day pop-up, that also means there is only one chance to buy anything you like. So come this Saturday to CAW for a chance to purchase one of these unique pieces from a local artist. 

Esteemed mixed-media artist John Hood will be judging the artworks and awarding first-, second-, and third-place prizes to the ones he deems best. Peruse the art and find your own favorites while listening to the ethereal electronic stylings of TRIPFORM and other live music. A comfy seating space and bar hosted by the Mercury Lounge will be offering wine and beer like the refreshing Brewhouse Hefeweizen. Some family friendly mocktails will be available as well, including a cranberry pomegranate punch accented by lime or a warm mulled apple cider with a dash of ginger to match the lively evening. With the holidays around the corner, this will be one art show you don’t want to miss.


You might also be interested in...