Observed / Observer: Photographs by Matthew Straka

 Observed / Observer: Photographs by Matthew Straka

 

Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery

August 18 – September 28, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, August 18 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to present Observed / Observer: Photographs by Matthew Straka. The opening reception will take place on Friday, August 18th from 5 to 7pm. Admission is free. All are welcome.

Observed / Observer is a collection of photographs concentrating on California land use and the relationships of individuals with the environment. Straka documents mundane and sublime aspects of the landscape, with a special focus on abandoned and industrial subjects. With the advance of smart phones, he has become intrigued by how ordinary people, situated in everyday surroundings, create unique tableaux and document it using their mobile devices.

Drawing inspiration at an early age from set design and film, specifically disaster and zombie films, Straka was led to search out and explore lost byways and dead ends throughout California, seeking images and scenes that imply unwritten, enigmatic narratives. “That set design of abandonment was a magnet for me. The left-behind shoe, a small pile of trash in an alley, a car left by the side of the road [they] all told stories….This was a different practice for me, trained as a photojournalist: to not include people to tell the story but to rely on the physical evidence instead.”

Within this time frame also came the rise of the cell phone as a means of photography: “It was hard not to include that in my photographs as it was multiplying so fast. It became a counter balance to my increasing body of work of abandonment–people interacting with their surroundings like never before. Living through your screen and sharing it with the world has become the norm and I felt it was necessary to include this in my documentation.”

Matthew Straka is a Santa Barbara native. During the past twenty-six years he has worked as a photojournalist, a commercial photography assistant, and chiefly as a color lab technician. He studied photography at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and journalism at Santa Barbara City College. His photographs have been exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions throughout California including: Celestial Bodies, The Essential Worker, Pilgrimage and Notable Rejects. He currently works at Grace Design Associates, a landscape design company in Santa Barbara.

The AFSB Gallery is located in the historic Acheson House at the corner of Garden and East Victoria Streets in Santa Barbara. Regular gallery hours are Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment (please contact Amy Collins at 805-965-6307).

Art Gallery Reception and Show

Stretch: Wall Sculpture and Paintings by Barbara Flanagan

barbara-flanagan-festoon_habeo

July 1 to August 7, 2017

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery   

Opening Reception: Friday, June 30 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Artist Demonstrations/Conversations on Saturdays: July 1, 8, 29, and August 5 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.  Visitors of all ages are invited to stop by for demonstrations and conversations about Art, Architecture, and Beyond.

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce a new solo exhibition: Stretch: Wall Sculpture and Paintings by Barbara Flanagan. The exhibition consists of innovative wall sculptures made with industrial aluminum and colorful paintings formed with synthetic liquids.  “Stretch” refers to the uncanny malleability of Flanagan’s various materials and to her unique experiments, which are designed to provoke neural surprises, both tactile and visual, while evoking a range of feelings.

Festoons, Flanagan’s aluminum wall sculptures, have their beginnings at a New England mill that custom rolls and slices aluminum into strips—typically, for a minimum order of 13,500 linear feet.  Based on her prototypes, metallurgists at the mill provide technical assistance on alloys, temper, gauge, edge, and finish.

More mercurial are Flanagan’s painting projects made with synthetic coatings of many colors, transformed by casting, pouring, and curing, then playfully layered into intriguing compositions that challenge the formalities of traditional paintings and archival paint formulas.

Flanagan lives and works in downtown Santa Barbara, overlooking the new Lagoon District and equidistant to East Beach, trails, and art venues. “Visitors to my studio tell me my outdoorsy life shapes my art making. Sounds right. I ocean swim, grow food, and make art–my favorite kinds of work/play, all very sensory. Immersed in the cold Pacific, an unpredictable wilderness, I’m awed, humbled, and overwhelmed. In my garden, I collaborate with my plants, as I prune, feed, and coax them to bear fruit. In my outdoor studio, I pour, squeeze, and bend industrial materials–mimicking the gorgeous sinuosity of nature–as I pretend to control the process. In fact, I’m always surprised by the results, for better or worse, and that’s the condition I seek: hard-won suspense with a chance of joy.”

Flanagan holds a Masters of Architecture from Yale University, a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Certificat in sculpture from ENSAD (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, in Paris). For over thirty years, she has worked as an independent writer and product designer while making her own art. After her early years as an architectural designer in San Francisco and L.A., Flanagan was invited to write about design and architecture for The New York Times and Metropolis Magazine. She has contributed to a dozen national publications and published two books on design. Since 2002, Flanagan has designed products for the MoMA’s Design Store (NYC).

For more information, please see: barbaraflanagan.com and freshpaintart.com.

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery is located in the historic Acheson House on the corner of Garden and East Victoria Streets in Santa Barbara at 229 East Victoria Street. Regular gallery hours are Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment (please contact Amy Collins at 805-965-6307).

Previous Art Gallery Exhibition

kinetic

It’s About Time:
A Kinetic Installation on the Illusive Nature of Time
by R.T. Livingston

May 12 to June 21, 2017
Architectural Foundation Gallery
Opening Reception on Friday, May 12, 5-7 pm

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to present It’s About Time: A Kinetic Installation on the Illusive Nature of Time by conceptual artist R.T. Livingston. A participatory Opening Reception is planned for Friday, May 12 from 5 to 7 pm. All are welcome…and, everyone is invited to wear a watch with hands—in order to compare time’s uneven path!

The installation, It’s About Time, is a visual metaphor demonstrating how our perception of time, with its accordion-like expansion and contraction, is constantly changing while systematically going around in circles. Livingston observes that: “The notion of time begins in our guts then moves to our heads before entering the space of our lives.” Like the earth spinning every 24 hours in its yearly rotation around the sun, a clock with hands follows the earth’s movement as it makes its rounds. Earth and clock move in sync giving us a poetic connection to the cosmos and the space-time continuum where notions of time travel, memory and déjà vu boggle the mind.

Together with video and sound, It’s About Time consists of some eighty 4” x 4” battery-powered clocks with the words ‘time is a man made Illusion’ handwritten on each. Several layers of iridescent paint partially obscure the writing, which creates movement through the play of light. The uniformity of the square clocks creates a structural matrix in which each clock runs at its own pace, not unlike the movement of our own lives.

R.T. Livingston studied painting with Elizabeth Murray in the Fine Arts Department of Daemon College in Buffalo, New York. Graduate work in the History of Photography took her to Princeton where she studied with Peter Bunnell. While working on a Ph.D. in Art History at Rutgers University, she joined the curatorial staff at the University’s Zimmerli Art Museum. In New York, Livingston sat on the Boards of Franklin Furnace and was a charter member of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival Producers’ Council.

In 2003, after 30 years living and working between studios in Lower Manhattan, Springs-East Hampton and Woodstock, New York, Livingston was commissioned to create several large outdoor installations in California. Additional projects brought her back and in 2006 she moved to Santa Barbara where she continues to spin ideas and make art.

The AFSB Gallery is located in the historic Acheson House on the corner of Garden and East Victoria Streets in Santa Barbara. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday to Thursday, 10 am to 2 pm and by appointment. Please call Allison Marcillac at 805-965-6307.