Local Treasures

Local Treasures

September 18 – November 12, 2021
The Architectural Foundation Gallery

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to present Local Treasures, an exhibition of artworks by thirty artists who have exhibited at the Architectural Foundation Gallery during the past seven years. The exhibition runs from Saturday, September 18th through November 12th, 2021. The public is invited to drop by on the opening day, September 18th from 1-4 (masks and social distancing required); and for the gala Closing Reception with the Artists, Friday, November 12, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Local Treasures honors the extraordinary quality, diversity, and vitality of the artists whose work has recently graced the walls of the Architectural Foundation Gallery. Initiated during the 1990s, the Gallery exhibited watercolor paintings by local architects of Santa Barbara buildings. Later, the Gallery committee expanded its mission to present exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture, and design.  Throughout the pandemic, following all COVID-19 protocols, the Gallery has maintained its schedule of exhibitions with the support of dedicated volunteers.  

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara has been dedicated to expanding our community’s appreciation of the built environment since 1983. 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 pm and weekdays by appointment.

The exhibition will be installed in a celebratory salon style (works of different sizes and media will hang next to and above each another), creating dynamic groupings on the Gallery’s walls.  Two-dimensional work including an abstract print by Tony Askew, a collage by Dug Uyesaka, and plein air paintings by Libby Smith and Nina Ward will be complemented by several reliefs—a surreal box construction by Michael Long and a geometric structure in styrene by Marilyn Helsenrott-Hochhauser.  A weaving by Minga Opazo and a screen print by Claudia Borfiga will join photographs by Sara Yerkes, Jeffrey Sippress, Pat McGinnis and Matt Straka, as well as a sewn paper composition by architect Cass Ensberg and a hard-edge, environmental painting by Cynthia Martin.  Two husband/wife duos—printmakers Siu and Don Zimmerman and painters Judy and Warner Nienow will also be featured.

August: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

August: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club


Hosted by AFSB Vice President, Selinda Tuttle.

“Personally, I prefer to read books—fiction or non-fiction—that feature the city as a character,” says the book club’s curator, AFSB Vice President Selinda Tuttle. “The only thing cooler than reading a book that reckons with a city is being able to talk about that book with people who find it just as worthy of conversation.”

August’s Book:
The Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follet

Register at Facebook for this live video event. 

Join the private Facebook group (same name) to interact with more book lovers!

Happy Reading!

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: “Our Lutah” brings Lutah Maria Riggs to Life

AFSB is proud to present an expanded version of last year’s Lutah Maria Riggs Monologue, written by Terre Ouwehand, in collaboration with Drama Dogs, a theater company. 

Saturday, August 10, from 4 – 6 PM

This year is a fundraising event for one of our scholarships aptly named after Lutah Maria Riggs. Every year we partner with the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara to award scholarships to selected Santa Barbara County students which exemplifies how we continue our mission of educating the public on the built environment by supporting students continuing their education in architecture and related fields through our Scholarship Programs.

The Hippodrome of Constantinople: The Art and Architecture of Chariot Racing in the Ancient World

Hippodrome Allan Langdale Lecture

A lecture by Dr. Allan Langdale, Art & Architecture Historian

Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery

July 25, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

When people think of ancient entertainment, they often think of the Colosseum and its gladiatorial contests or Greco-Roman theaters with their tragedies and comedies. Yet the most popular entertainment of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, by far, was chariot racing, which took place in hippodromes. Few hippodromes–or, as the Romans called them, circuses–still survive, making them less central in our imaginations.

Join the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara for a lecture on the hippodrome of Constantinople by Dr. Allan Langdale, who will take us on a tour of hippodromes throughout the Romano-Byzantine world, with a focus on the hippodrome of the capital city of the Byzantine Eastern Empire, today known as Istanbul. The hippodrome in Istanbul is the only hippodrome that has some of its monuments still standing in situ, and each tells a fascinating story of the history of Constantinople and of the emperors, charioteers, and racing fans.

Hole In The Wall by Michael Long

Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery

July 19 – September 12, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, July 19, 5-7 pm

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce the opening of Hole in the Wall, an exhibition of assemblage works by Michael Long. A reception will be held at The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara on Friday, July 19 from 5-7pm. All are welcome.

Hole in the Wall is a capsulized study into unnoticed aspects of the physical world as well as the dark corners of Michael Long’s mind. Blending aspects of real, typically local, architecture with images from his imagination, Long creates unique assemblage boxes that emit a preternatural vibe. He draws from the twin wellsprings of his recurring childhood dreams, nightmares, and memories and his careful observations of actual buildings in Santa Barbara. These small, precisely constructed works are eerie reminders of forgotten spaces – both interior and exterior – surreal architectural fragments that evoke curiosity and a myriad of associations and feelings in viewers.

ART + ACTIVISM: Painting Disaster

ART + ACTIVISM: Painting Disaster

Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery

2:00 PM on Saturday, June 15, 2019

FREE (limited space, please RSVP)

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to present a conversation about how art reflects the ways in which we relate to the world today. This event features Santa Barbara artist and teacher, Cynthia Martin, in dialogue with Torrie Cutbirth, artist and Executive Director of The Arts Fund, and Charles Donelan, Executive Arts Director for the Santa Barbara Independent. Please join us for a provocative discussion on the intersections of realism, abstraction and pressing contemporary issues.

  • Cynthia Martin’s current AFSB exhibition, The Passing Landscape, will close on July 11, 2019.
  • Teacher/Indy Arts Editor Charles Donelanteaches English at Laguna Blanca School and been writing about the arts for The Independent for more than 15 years.
  • Torrie Cutbirth is the Executive Director of The Arts Fund and an artist.

Color Notes by Jimmy Miracle

painting of a woman on the beach

March 12 – May 9, 2019

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce the opening of Color Notes, an exhibition of oil paintings by Jimmy Miracle. A reception will be held at The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara on Friday, March 15 from 5-7pm. All are welcome.

Color Notes highlights Miracle’s everyday wanderings around his neighborhood in Goleta and his fresh eye for color. Seeking neither picturesque nor unsightly subjects, Miracle freely paints his immediate surroundings with an open mind—landscapes, parking lots, isolated figures, and interiors. He paints from both memory and observation with an immediacy and vitality of color. These small, intimate paintings are a celebration of the senses. They represent commonplace encounters imbued with human experience and perception. They all eschew the technological filters so often used today and instead rely on the first-hand experience of places and people. Miracle continually experiments in search of fresh, vital, visual approaches within the contemporary artistic dialogue. His recent oil paintings in Color Notes highlight a little-known aspect of his unique artistic career.

After receiving a B.A. in studio art from Belhaven College (Jackson, MS), Miracle spent ten years working and exhibiting his paintings and installation art in New York City, Washington, DC, and Germany. A recent graduate of UCSB’s MFA program, Miracle is currently a Teaching Fellow at the University. As a recipient of a “Humanities in the Community” grant from the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (UCSB), he is co-creating and exhibiting with artists who experience mental illness.

An oil painting workshop will be led by the artist on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 1-3pm (Cost: $30) at the AFSB Gallery. To purchase a ticket, please visit the Architectural Foundation’s website.

painting of a woman on the beach

Summer Camps 2019

Discover and Explore Your Child’s Talent in Architecture and the Built Environment

A variety of one-week day camps for children from grades 2 through 9. 

By Kidz Engineering 101, Inc., supported by the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, with a shared mission to enrich our community awareness of the built environment by encouraging children to learn architecture.

Classes are held in our beautiful backyard shaded with trees and aired with a cool breeze from the ocean, fenced in safely and away from traffic.

Please see flyer below and more details at the Kids Engineering 101 website.

Homage – Photographs by Sara Yerkes

Homage – Photographs by Sara Yerkes

Sara Yerkes - Portrait

Sara Yerkes is a Santa Barbara-based photographer who focused primarily on art and languages as an undergraduate, graduating with a B.A. from the University of Nebraska.  Her work in photography began with her discovery of developing B&W film in a darkroom. This experience motivated her to construct her own darkroom. Later in life, she began a graduate program in art history at the University of Washington. Her studies focused on Roman art and resulted in an excavation in Tuscany and extensive travels throughout image-rich Italy, providing her with unlimited opportunities to make photographs—although primarily in color, due to the difficulty of carrying two cameras.  Nevertheless, her four plus years studying ancient art heightened her enthusiasm for the variations of tone and texture over time on artifacts, architecture and pavements.

Following the advancements in digital technology, Yerkes continued to photograph in color and then returned to B&W film, using a medium format camera and tripod, and printing in the darkroom, all of which she finds more satisfying and conducive to her reflective, creative process.

In the Santa Barbara series, Homage, Yerkes combines two photographic techniques that reinforce her personal responses to her subject matter:  “lith” printing and emulsion transfer. Lith printing requires an extra-long exposure of the negative, and 15 minutes, or longer, in a highly dilute lithographic developer (a high-contrast developer formerly used for line drawings).  Yerkes selected a special paper, Agfa, for this series, which is no longer produced, because it softens and warms the images, while adding some grittiness.

The final step involves transferring the emulsion of the image onto watercolor paper to intensify the texture and allow the image to float toward the edges, distinguishing its shape from the perfect square. Yerkes recreates each scene as a fragile object, an artifact uncovered.