Pop Picks: Artist with an Ax Metheny Returns
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 28, 2021

Very few artists of any genre have been able to remain relevant anywhere near as long as Pat Metheny, the guitarist who launched his recording career 45 years ago. That was back in the days when terrestrial FM radio stations would play anything from Mountain to Madness and Metheny to the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I have […]

Bringing Stories of Diversity, Equity to the Stage
By Scott Craig   |   September 28, 2021

The Westmont Festival Theatre launches the first of three staged readings that explore diversity, equity, and inclusion Saturday, September 25, at 7:30 pm in Porter Theatre. The series of readings, named NEXUS: Readings from Black Playwrights, will include a post-reading discussion, and is free and open to the public.  Johnny Jones, a writer and professor […]

 

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New Book Unleashes SB Artists and Their Dogs
By Scott Craig   |   September 28, 2021

Read about the natural bond between dogs and artists in a new book, Santa Barbara Artists and Their Dogs, and see portraits of them in an exhibition through December 18 in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art’s downstairs gallery. The Art Council of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art created the book, which will be […]

Watson, Come Here: Ex-OCMS Member Something to Crow About
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 21, 2021

It takes a lot of guts to walk away from a successful band you co-founded, but for Willie Watson, 13 years with the Old Crow Medicine Show (OCMS) were enough. “There were some differences about our musical direction,” Watson said, somewhat diplomatically explaining his 2011 departure from the popular alternative country/Americana band that helped jumpstart […]

CAST of Characters
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 21, 2021

Your faithful correspondent finds collaborations compelling, whether between artists in various genres or among cooperating venues. Both are in play with the current showcase series at Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science, and Technology (SBCAST), where three of its Artists in Residence are staging weekend exhibits of installation art, design, multimedia projects, and performances. The […]

‘The Last Honky Tonk Hero’
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 21, 2021

We’ll leave it up to the listener to decide if the new CD from Mike Dawson & The Smokin Kills lives up to its title. But we can tell you that the guy fronting the band is the real deal: Dawson is the former longtime DJ, music director, and producer at KTYD, Santa Barbara’s classic […]

Surf’s Up! Dean Torrence Still Going Strong 60 years later
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 14, 2021

Although surf rock pioneers Jan & Dean first rode their surfboards and sang their tunes more than 60 years ago barely 90 miles south of Santa Barbara, Dean Torrence, the surviving member of the duo, can only recall playing in town twice before. Both times were at the Santa Barbara Bowl with the Beach Boys, […]

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Art in the Grass
By Lynda Millner   |   September 14, 2021

I met local artist Mara Abboud many moons ago and have always been envious of her talent. What better way to spend a day than enjoying her outdoor art display and eating a three-course lunch at the Santa Barbara Club. Mara’s paintings have received the attention of the art world because of her unique technique. […]

Grand Reopening
By Lynda Millner   |   September 7, 2021

After six long years of renovation and $50 million, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) has reopened its doors to the public. As Mercedes Eichholz Director and CEO Larry Feinberg put it, “If you’re wondering where all the money went, realize that much of it is out of sight like seismic retrofitting; replacement of […]

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Museum Focuses on Faculty in ‘Sight, Insight’
By Scott Craig   |   September 7, 2021

The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum focuses its attention on the college’s talented art faculty in “Sight & Insight: Westmont College Studio Art Faculty Exhibition” September 2 through October 30. The public is invited to a free, opening reception on Thursday, September 2, from 4-6 p.m.  “Our art faculty are all accomplished working artists in their own […]

Swank and Swagger
By Lynda Millner   |   September 7, 2021

You can be sure when the Music Academy of the West (MAW) has an affair it will be elegant. Their opening night gala, “The Return of Miraflores,” was no exception. There were more than 300 guests in attendance dressed in festive attire and excited to see their old friends once again. The whole event was […]

Toad’s Evolving Comeback is ‘Starting Now’
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 2, 2021

The journey of Santa Barbara native singer-songwriter Glen Phillips from an ambitious 15-year-old forming a rock band with some friends in high school to the 50-year-old multi-faceted artist he is today is something to treasure. That band, Toad the Wet Sprocket, is one of the more successful to have emerged from Santa Barbara, having released […]

Healing Art: A Visit with Pamela Larsson-Toscher
By Ann Brode   |   August 31, 2021

Living in a community that appreciates art adds to quality of life in more ways than aesthetics. Research has shown that simply browsing through an art gallery has the potential to decrease stress and increase our sense of wellbeing. Including an element of visual art in a healthcare setting eases anxiety, stress, and depression for […]

‘No Substitute for Live Theater’: ETC Raises its Curtains
By Richard Mineards   |   August 31, 2021

It was just the ticket when the venerable Ensemble Theatre Company, which is fully reopening after 15 months of pandemic lockdown, hosted 150 guests and raised a hefty $250,000 with its “Curtain (Back) Up!” bash at the Santa Barbara Club. “When the New Vic theater opened in 2013, we had a Curtain Up fête,” says […]

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