Resources for our Community

KDA – Sketch at Home!

New adaptation of our Sketch Sessions. We hope you join us.

Send us your drawings if you'd like them to be considered for our 2021 calendar. Tag us on Facebook. Email them to info@afsb.org. Mail or drop them off at our office 229 E. Victoria Street.

Deadline: Tuesday, June 2

More information is in KDA’s page in the Education tab. 

A Note From Board President on COVID-19’s Impact to AFSB

A Letter From Our Board President, Selinda Tuttle

Dear AFSB Community,

I’d like to start by thanking you for taking a moment to read this note. I think we’re all struggling to find the right thing to say right now, AFSB is no exception. During the unprecedented health crisis of COVID-19, AFSB has been temporarily closed and events indefinitely paused or delayed. But in chaos, there is an opportunity. Above all, the mission of AFSB is to build community.

Historically, we have done so through social gatherings and public events. Now we must find new ways to connect, engage, and support each other as we seek outlets that will fortify us in our time of need. I invite all our members, sponsors, subscribers, and supporters to stay engaged with AFSB as we explore different venues and platforms to build and strengthen our community.

After some time to adjust and reflect on our new reality, we are ready to move forward and work on how to best serve you, our AFSB community. The first program to be affected by cancellations and quarantine directives was our annual High School Design Competition. In the middle of their weeklong event, they adjusted and changed course without almost missing a beat, in support of our mission of education. And that is the spirit of perseverance we are adopting.

KDA and our Art Gallery were the next to be affected. KDA is currently finalizing a “KDA From Home” version to spark your kids’ creativity while home. For our current art gallery exhibition, “Meandering the Edges” by Nathan Huff, there are more photos and videos on our Instagram and on Nathan Huff’s website. Stay tuned for an interview by Board Member and Art Gallery Chair, Bay Hallowell, with Nathan to be posted on our website. Following this email will be a recap of this year’s High School Design Competition.

Thank you to all who support AFSB. On behalf of the entire AFSB Board of Directors, please stay safe and well. Together we will come through this. We look forward to celebrating with you in person again soon. 

Kind Regards,

Selinda Tuttle, Associate AIA
Board President
Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara

Learn. Experience. Give.

The Dog Suicide Bridge of Scotland

The Dog Suicide Bridge of Scotland

This world holds thousands of alluring places filled with mysteries that attract people from everywhere. But there are a few that are born to lure people to a sinister fate. Many believe it to be a curse, many think it’s bad luck but those places keep continue the destinies. And “The Dog Suicide Bridge of Scotland” is significantly one of them.

Near the village of Milton in Dumbarton, Scotland, there exists a bridge called the Overtoun Bridge that, for some reason, has been attracting suicidal dogs. That’s why this Gothic stone structure on the approach road to Overtoun House has infamously earned its name “The Dog Suicide Bridge.”

Lord Overtoun had inherited Overtoun House and the estate in 1891. He purchased the neighbouring Garshake estate to the west of his lands in 1892. To ease access to the Overtoun Mansion and the adjacent property, Lord Overtoun decided to build the Overtoun Bridge.

The bridge was designed by the renowned civil engineer and landscape architect H. E. Milner. It was constructed using rough-faced ashlar and was completed in June 1895.

To this day, more than six hundred dogs have jumped over the edge at the Overtoun Bridge, falling on the rocks 50 feet below to their deaths. To make things stranger, there are reports of dogs who survived the accidents, only to return to the bridge for a second attempt.

“The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” had sent representatives to investigate the matter. But after getting on the bridge, one of them suddenly became willing to jump in there. They were totally baffled by the cause of the strange behaviour and they immediately had to close their investigation.

The canine psychologist Dr. David Sands examined the sight, smell and sound factors at the Suicide Bridge location. He concluded all these strange phenomena by saying that – although it was not a definitive answer – the potent odour from male mink urine was possibly luring dogs to their horrible deaths.

However, a local hunter, John Joyce, who has lived in the area for 50 years, had said “there is no mink around here. I can tell you that with absolute certainty.

A local behaviourist named Stan Rawlinson drew another possible cause behind the strange Suicide Bridge incidents. He said that dogs are colour blind and perceptual problems relating to this may cause them to accidentally run off the bridge.

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From the beginning, the paranormal researchers from all around the world have been fascinated with the strange suicide phenomena of the Overtoun Bridge. According to them, the canine deaths have prompted claims of paranormal activity at the bridge site. Many even claim to witness ghosts or other supernatural beings within the bridge premises.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Walking Tours Canceled Until Further Notice

Along with postponing all upcoming community events this past weekend until further notice, AFSB is complying with local policies to limit group activities, and has canceled our weekend architectural walking tours until further notice. 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Opening Gallery Reception & Kids Draw Architecture Cancellation

The AFSB will be postponing all upcoming community events to best support efforts across the country and the city of Santa Barbara to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to ensure the health and safety of our community, visitors, and staff.

The Foundation will remain open Tuesday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm and on Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4 pm when fewer visitors will be present and social distancing can be more easily maintained.

  • AFSB will not hold an Opening Reception tonight for Meandering the Edges, a most unusual installation by Nathan Huff.
  • The KDA sketch sessions scheduled at SBMNH and Montecito Union School this year will also be cancelled. 

We will continue to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, and other public health agencies to determine the safest course of action

Meandering the Edges by Nathan Huff

Exhibition Dates: March 13 – May 6, 2020
Opening Reception with the Artist: Friday, March 13, 5-7 pm
Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce the opening of Meandering the Edges, an installation of works on paper and sculpture by Nathan Huff. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held at the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara on Friday, March 13, from 5 to 7 pm. All are welcome.

Meandering the Edges examines ways in which we inhabit homes and move through domestic spaces based on memory and emotion. Installed in unconventional ways on the walls, floor, and corners of the AFSB’s meeting space/gallery, Huff’s paintings on paper of furniture, wood floors, tables, and shovels are meant to draw attention to the space itself as an important part of the narrative. The Architectural Foundation is housed in a historic Victorian Italianate style home designed and built in 1904 by James J. Acheson. The Acheson House was a residence prior to hosting the offices of several non-profit organizations including the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Chapter of the AIA, and the Junior League of Santa Barbara.

This unique exhibition encourages viewers to muse and meander their way through an ordinary environment transformed by art, inviting them to imagine scenarios and summon lost memories as they go. Huff comments, “As someone fascinated by the stories that reside in our memories and are imbedded in the built environment, I believe that the designed aesthetic of architectural space has a powerful impact on our home life and community structures.” His poetic, provocative images and sculpture are rarely straightforward.  Viewers will experience a range of surrealistic styles and installation techniques that slide between the almost comprehensible to the absurd. 

“I hope that this imagined excavation of home invites viewers towards attentive looking at built environments in new ways, charging them with a range of narrative potential and drawing out latent emotion.”

Huff earned an MFA in Drawing and Painting from California State University Long Beach, a BA in art education from Azusa Pacific University, and has also studied art in Italy, France, the UK, and Spain. Huff’s installations have been featured in solo exhibitions at Sullivan Goss Gallery (Santa Barbara), UCR Culver Museum and Sweeney Galleries (Riverside), Los Angeles at D.E.N. Contemporary (West Hollywood), Minthorne Gallery, (Oregon), Gallerie View (Salambo, Tunisa), group exhibitions at JK Gallery (Culver City), Lotus Land (Santa Barbara), and the Westmont Ridley Tree Museum of Art (Santa Barbara.)  Nathan has taught art at CSU Long Beach, LA Southwest College, Biola University, and Azusa Pacific University as an adjunct lecturer. Currently, he is an associate professor of art at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.

Haven: an exhibition of 10” x 10” prints created by Santa Barbara Printmakers

Exhibition Dates: January 8 – March 5, 2020

Opening Reception with the Artists: Friday, January 10, 5-7pm

Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery


The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce the opening of “Haven, an exhibition of 10” x 10” prints created by Santa Barbara Printmakers” who live in and around Santa Barbara and beyond.  An opening reception with the artists will be held at the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara on Friday, January 10, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. All are welcome.

For this unique exhibition, artists were invited to create 10” x 10” prints inspired by the theme “haven” and each artist interpreted the theme in their own personal way. Look for images of the Central Coast, home, places of safety, landscapes, and even abstractions. Made with techniques ranging from intaglio, relief, screen printing, and monoprint, all the prints are unframed and affordable. Proceeds from the exhibition are distributed to the artists and to the Architectural Foundation to support their community programs for all ages.

Santa Barbara artists Claudia Borfiga and Meagan Stirling developed the exhibition concept in collaboration with the Architectural Foundation and were joined by architect/architecture historian Jeremy White in jurying the exhibition.

The Santa Barbara Printmakers (SBP) is a group of artists dedicated to creating and presenting prints made using hand and press printing techniques: etching, dry point, monotype, monoprint, woodblock, collagraph, linocut, clay, lithography, serigraphy, transfer, and digital processes. This volunteer organization presents several exhibitions and newsletters each year through membership dues and the talents, skills, and energy of members. SBP welcomes applications from printmakers throughout California who use hand and press printing techniques. For more information, visit sbprintmakers.com.

It’s Time to Learn Out Loud

For the past year, I have been working on professional development with a mentor and on my own. Every two weeks, we had a scheduled phone call. Alongside that, I read books – Getting Things Done and Essentialism being the two standouts – read blogs, watched YouTube videos, and listened to podcasts.

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