At the Edge of Empire: The Ancient Roman Temple Complex at Baalbek, Lebanon


The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is thrilled to welcome back art historian, Allan Langdale for a talk called “At the Edge of Empire: The Ancient Roman Temple Complex at Baalbek, Lebanon.” This talk will be held via Zoom on Thursday, May 28, from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Click  the flyer to be directed to the meeting room. All are welcome.

In the first century CE, in a city then known as Heliopolis, ‘City of the Sun’, a vast religious complex was constructed. A monumental statement of Roman power at the eastern edges of the Empire, the temple complex at Baalbek is the greatest architectural assertion of Roman might ever undertake.

Consisting of two enormous temples, the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Bacchus, the site became the center of a cult of Greco-Roman gods at the very moment those same deities were being challenged by the emergence of new religions such as Mithraism and Christianity. Join Allan Langdale and the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara for a lecture on this amazing site and its impressive two-thousand-year-old structures.

Allan Langdale has given several annual lectures for the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara. He has his PhD in art history from UCSB and currently teaches at UC Santa Cruz. He also works in the tourism industry for Smithsonian Journeys and Zegrahm Expeditions, doing about a dozen trips a year. Allan is the author of several articles and books, including Palermo: Travels in the City of Happiness (2014) and The Hippodrome of Istanbul / Constantinople (2020). His travel blog can be found at ‘Allan’s Art and Architecture Worlds’:

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 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. 

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.

Register Now for 2020 High School Design Competition!

We are excited to present the 2020 High School Design Competition in Santa Barbara County! 

Sharpen your pencils and get your calculators ready! 

The High School Design Competition will be kicking off this year on Tuesday, March 10th at 7:30 am at the Santa Ynez Union High School or Direct Relief, Santa Barbara.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

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

2020 Kids Draw Architecture Calendars

2020 Kids Draw Architecture Calendars - On Sale Now!

2020 KDA Calendars can be purchased at the following retailers:

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Upstairs at Pierre Lafond
Chaucer’s Bookstore
The Book Den

To purchase a calendar from AFSB, come by our office or give us a call.