The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Atkinson Gallery showcases the “land, sea or sky” in latest exhibit

Claire Geriak
From left, “Dr1p” by Gabriela Ruiz and “Muley Point 11, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah” by David Benjamin Sherry stand side by side at the Atkinson Gallery, displaying the many different artistic mediums that are showcased on Feb. 8 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Ruiz’s used a melody from spray paint to mirrors to insulation foam to create a three-dimensional piece, while Sherry chose a chromogenic print, creating a violet tint.

The Atkinson Gallery opened its doors once again to City College students for “New Landscapes Part II.” 

Public access began on Monday, Jan. 22, but the exhibit had its grand opening from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31. “Landscapes Part II” will continue to showcase its art pieces until Feb. 28, and showcase various artists including Ann Craven, Porfirio Gutiérrez, Jordan Nassar, Soumya Netrabile, Robyn O’Neil, David Benjamin Sherry and Gabriela Ruiz. 

The show, curated by Gallery Director John Connelly, is a continuation of the show from last year, according to Connelly. 

“Every artist is engaging the land, sea, or sky in their work in some capacity but in very different ways,” Connelly said. He also added that the pieces are not just 2D. This semester’s gallery added other mediums like embroidery, weaving, and photography. 

“The common thread is the theme of landscapes, but as a visitor said today, it feels very eclectic,” Connelly said. “So I really wanted to bring in a lot of different styles, techniques, and voices so that it didn’t seem monotonous, like a show of just plein air paintings, you know, traditional landscapes.”

From top left, Robyn O’Neil’s “Los Angeles, 4 O’clock” and “Midnight Without Panic” pieces stand beside “Dr1p” by Gabriela Ruiz on Feb. 8 at the Atkinson Gallery in Santa Barbara, Calif. O’Neil’s pieces were curated with watercolor, colored pencil and graphite on paper. (Claire Geriak)

Andrea Foege, an English instructor at City College, invited her mother, an artist, to be the first to attend the gallery opening. 

Foege explained how she encourages her students to visit events like this one at City College, sometimes incentivizing them with extra credit points. 

Andrew Garcia, who works in the art department at City College, also visited the gallery. He liked David Benjamin Sherry’s chromogenic print of the “Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. “ 

As an emerging artist, Garcia’s work has been displayed in galleries from downtown Los Angeles to Morro Bay. He believes students should visit the gallery more often. 

“It’s very important to bring in artists to help inspire the students quite a bit, and it’s also an asset to the community,” Garcia said. “It also brings in opportunities when they do a student show once a year. It’s really good for students to give them a sense of accomplishment if they see their work on a pedestal or on the wall with a label with their name on it.”

The Atkinson Gallery has five to six exhibitions yearly, mostly curated by Connelly, who has brought some shows back from their hiatus, including “Small Images,” an annual showing in the 80s. 

This show has been in Connelly’s plans since he first started in 2019, but due to COVID-19, there was no opportunity to execute it. According to the director, the art department only started working on it “in earnest” about a year ago.  

“It’s a beautiful space, it’s a gem, and it has its little quirks,” Connelly said. “I like to lay out things with tape and make sure everything is balanced. Not too crowded, not too empty.”

From left, Jordan Nassar’s “A Sun Toward The Sea” and Soumya Netrabile’s “2pm In the Park” showcase the land, sky, and sea theme of the New Landscapes Part II” exhibition on Feb. 8 at the Atkinson Gallery in Santa Barbara, Calif. While Nassar’s piece was hand embroidered on cotton, Netrabile’s composition was oil on canvas. (Claire Geriak)

Connelly explained how the whole process took more time than expected – conducting research, doing studio visits with the artists, and visiting their galleries to have their work on display.

“We’re the learning laboratory both for the art department and the college,” Connelly said. “I just really want students to come in and be inspired. Either in their own work or what else they might be studying, to see what artists have to say.”

The gallery director encouraged students to come into their space, like the outside terrace, which shows a view of Santa Barbara. 

“Take advantage of the space, even if they just want to come enjoy our terrace, have lunch, and enjoy the view,” Connelly said. “We are a resource for the entire college, so I just want people to know we’re here.”

Story continues below advertisement
More to Discover