Although Delacroix and the Matter of Finish may only be on view for three months at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the exhibition actually took over three years to make. The extensive time spent on research, travel, and arranging loans culminated in an intense few weeks of design, construction, and installation, one of the most exciting and fascinating aspects of the exhibition process. Under the direction of Assistant Director and Chief Curator Eik Kahng, the installation team included couriers overseeing the safe transport of the paintings to Santa Barbara from all over the world, an exhibition designer to reimagine the McCormick Gallery, art handlers to carefully hang the paintings on the walls, a lighting specialist to bring out the brilliant hues of Delacroix’s vibrant works, and a vinyl wizard to carefully adhere the facsimile reproductions of three of Delacroix’s largest paintings to the wall.
Talking While Walking: Delacroix’s Hamlet Suite
Thursday, December 12, 6:30PM
On December 14, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art offers a one-day holiday workshop for children ages 5-12 at their studio art facility, the Ridley-Tree Education Center at McCormick House. The Museum’s Teaching Artists have been busy developing art projects that connect to SBMA’s exhibitions, are engaging, and evoke the holiday spirit. Light is the overarching theme for most of the projects―be it as a stained glass effect, the luminescence of the ocean, or the spiritual light of the golden backgrounds of religious imagery.
Traditional Orthodox icons in the exhibition “Religious Images of the Christian East” intrigued Monika Molnar-Metzenthin, Senior Teaching Artist, to develop a contemporary secularized version of paintings of saints, or “saintings” for short.
The children’s art is intended to be a gift to a loved one. Will they choose to create a portrait of the recipient as a saint? Why is that person a saint? What attributes will show her qualities? Or will it be a self-portrait? And why? Or will they choose to depict an existing saint as a patron for protection? Where could the recipient profit from protection? In her profession, an activity or on a journey?
For her prototype, Molnar-Metzenthin decided to create a “sainting” for her girlfriend who recently started her own floral business. Her image depicts a modern version of the “Rose of Lima”, the patron saint of florists and gardeners, wearing a thorny crown of roses and holding her attributes, flowers and fruit.
Just like the traditional icons, the “saintings” are painted on wood panels, but instead of egg tempera, the children are using a combination of gouache and colored pencil for fine details. The image is completed with gold leaf for the halo and bas relief embossed in metal foil for the frame.
In addition, children can also create a variety of smaller seasonal gifts, ornaments and cards, using all kinds of things glittery and shiny.
Click here to register online.
Saturday, December 14, 9 am – 3 pm
All Wrapped Up: The Art of Giving
$65 SBMA Members, $75 Non-Members
Left image: Unknown (Russian) <em>The Virgin of Vladimir</em>, ca. 1600-1700. Egg tempera on wood, silver gilded revetment. 12 x 10 x 1 in. SBMA, Gift of Barbara Last, Evelyn B. Thompson, Sarah B. Griswold and Robert F. Boggs in memory of Barbara Field Benzigner.
Susan Straight is the author of ten novels, including “A Million Nightingales”, “Highwire”, “Moon” and “The Friskative Dog”. She is a Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. The following post is her commentary on the exhibition “John Divola: As Far As I Could Get” specifically the “Theodore Street” series.
We thought the house was ours. We had plans. We saw the people moving their stuff out, and we went in the first weekend. The walls were rough and dirty because why would you clean up if you were leaving? But the house still looked like a house. We were going to have parties in every room. Different parties. Like personalities for each part of the house.
But the second week, while we were in school, the scavengers came like they always do. So many empty houses, and those guys show up with their trucks and take everything. The window-screens are aluminum. Scrap. They take whatever they can sell. Pipes and wires and even the drywall sometimes. But they couldn’t take the fireplace. And we were going to build a fire in it one night when it got cold and do the marshmallow thing. Just for a joke. Before Thomas and JT got their weed and beer on.
Then Shay said she saw a guy. A guy with a camera. She thought he was an appraiser and someone was buying the house.
Back when the people left, we watched from up on the hill to make sure nobody bought the house. At night, when they were a family, the house used to be lit up and you could see their shadows behind the blinds. But when they were gone, at night the house was like a black hole in the trees. Seemed like an empty house is darker than just an empty field.
It was a month after she saw the camera guy. No one bought the house. We went inside on a Friday after school, and the rooms were getting trashed. We hadn’t even written anything. We wanted to paint what party would go in what room, but there was crazy stuff everywhere. Blankets like some bums slept there. But those bums must have had a lot of paint.Someone had made a black circle on the wall. A huge black hole. We all stood there and said what it looked like. A hella big frying pan. A shiny button eye from a giant doll. A piece of the universe like somebody cut it out with a biscuit cutter, like when a grandma pushes into the dough with a water glass. A Dark Star.
Then Shay said, “No. It’s a reverse mirror.” We said, “What?” She said, “You can see yourself inside the black light. So maybe whoever painted it wanted to see himself.” We said, “Why do you think it’s a guy?” She said, “Because I saw him once.”
She said he was lying in the weeds in front of the house. A white man. Tall. With white shoes. Lying in the weeds and staring into the sky.
We thought he might be moving in. We were going to rent the house for parties. JT was going to have his party in the living room, charge people $10 and he would play music and they could dance. Thomas was going to have weed in the bedroom – charge people who wanted to blaze it up and chill. And Shay said the kitchen was hers – she was gonna sell food to people after they were done dancing and blazing cause they would be hungry. “You can’t be making food in there,” JT said. “That’s not a kitchen. Look at it.”
“I was gonna cook it at home, fool”, she told him. “Twenty burritos and twenty tacos and wrap them in foil and put them on big platters on that counter. Look at it now. I can’t call this a kitchen. I was gonna make red punch.”
“The man did that”, she said. “I saw him again last week. I ditched school and I was sitting up there under the pepper tree. It’s like a room under there, and the branches are like those beaded curtains you can put in the doorway. To keep the flies out. I heard an engine. I saw him go inside. He had spray paint cans and a camera. He’s over 18″, Thomas said. “He can buy all the cans he wants without a parent.”
It got late in Fall, and Daylight Savings Time, and dark before we could get there. We couldn’t see what the guy did, so we had to bring flashlights and check it out.
Web – like silver rope. Crazy daisy – orange. Blue Boxes. And that black hole. The Dark Star. When we all stood in front of it with flashlights it was insane in the membrane. Four lights. Shay said we were like fireflies when she was in Canada. JT said we were like alien eyes. Thomas said we were a little concert and holding lighters in the dark.
But I saw our faces right on top of the lights. We were flying in there, in space. In the black.
Shay said, “See that stroller? “Yeah.” “Who brought it? Not somebody who came to party. Cause that’s not a kid stroller. That’s for a doll. It’s little. Who in the world brings a doll stroller out to a house like this?”
I wanted to see him. The guy. But I had to wait until summer, because I had school, and then in spring I was running track. But when school was over, I went to the house every day, early in the morning, and I set up a place to chill. Shay had got sent to live with her dad in LA. JT and Thomas got busted selling weed even though everyone has medical marijuana cards now. But they couldn’t afford the doctor fee. So it was just me. No parties. No money. No tacos. I went under the pepper tree branches where Shay used to sit and I could smell her perfume.
I had my iPod and my sketchpad. I was drawing all the time then. Faces, and cars, and Apache trucks like my uncle used to haul old metal. Anime girls and baller dudes. I drew everything. Listened to some old music my uncle gave me – Cake and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Then I heard something loud. A car door. I saw him. He had set up a camera in the yard – what used to be a yard when there was a family – and then he ran like someone was chasing him, ran into the gap between the biggest gray trees, ran like he would never come back.
But he did.