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Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara

AFSB Gallery

Exceptional Art & Design

The Gallery/Conference Room of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is a dynamic space within a historic setting for curated exhibitions of contemporary art, photography and design. Four solo exhibitions and one group exhibition are presented annually. 

Local artists, architects, photographers, and designers are invited to submit work created in a wide range of content, mediums, and styles. Drawings of local landmarks from the Kids Draw Architecture (KDA) program are featured in December.

Our Friday evening Opening Receptions with the artists are open to all.  On Saturday afternoons, the Gallery is open for visitors to contemplate exhibitions at their leisure.  Throughout the year, we offer Artist Workshops with our featured artists and Art Talks with artists, gallery owners and curators, critics and art historians designed to foster creativity and community dialogue.

Through this lively exhibition and education program, the AFSB Gallery provides a unique forum for emerging and established artists, collectors, and art aficionados from the tri-county area.  

For information on how to apply for an exhibition, read our Mission & Guidelines or contact us.

Last Day Celebration of Current Exhibition - RUTH LEAF, Printmaker (1923-2015): Selected Works

March 23, 2024 – May 18, 2024

Last Day Celebration Prints & Poetry – Saturday May, 18 2024 from 1 – 4 p.m.

Join us for the Last Day Celebration Prints & Poetry Saturday, May 18 from 1 – 4 p.m. Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Melinda Palacio will be joined by poet friends reading poems in response to Ruth Leaf’s collection. Linda Taylor will demonstrate viscosity etching while Sara Woodburn will demonstrate woodcut printing.

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to present RUTH LEAF, Printmaker (1923-2015): Selected Works, an exhibition of etchings and woodcuts inspired by nature. Ruth Leaf’s granddaughters, Mia Casino and Becky Waitz, are honored to present prints from their personal collection for this exhibition.

Ruth Leaf was born in New York City and dedicated her life to printmaking, creating groundbreaking and diverse art from her teen years until her death at the age of 92. Her early works were etchings, linocuts, and woodcuts depicting landscapes and people. Artist/Teacher Paul Margin commented that she was “able to create an atmosphere of anticipation, impending action, and the feeling of possible horror” in her work. Leaf earned many awards, including the Purchase Award of the Library of Congress for her etching, “Tears.”  

In the 1970s, when Leaf became fascinated by the “shapes, shadows, and colors found in nature,” she produced landscape etchings that express and celebrate the “accidental beauty” and “mystical quality” of nature.  After Leaf moved to Venice, CA in 1998, she experimented with monoprints, papermaking, metal sculpture, and digital art.

“My early work was concerned with people and their environments done in an expressionistic manner. Through the many years of printmaking, I became involved with space, color, and shape. I found, by using the forms in landscape, I was able to abstract what I saw into more exciting dimensions of color and design than realism would permit. It also allowed me to combine what I saw with how I felt.” (Ruth Leaf, 1987)

In addition to success as an artist with many U.S. and international solo shows and art in numerous permanent collections, Leaf was a notable teacher and author. She believed that teaching extended her creativity and allowed her to stretch her knowledge and to problem solve. Her book, “Intaglio Printmaking Techniques” (Watson-Guptill, 1976 and Dover softcover, 1984), became an essential manual for printmakers across the U.S. and is used widely today.

Gallery hours are Saturdays 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and weekdays by appointment.

Images Shown:

Red Flowers 

Phantasia