Hole in the Wall

July 16 – September 12, 2019

 

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.

For this series, Long built his wooden boxes by hand and incorporated vintage papers as well as “discarded, recycled, and unwanted things”.  Each of these creepy yet elegant “dream boxes” conjures up a time and place that only exists in his mind.  Like miniature, psychological movie sets or weird, diminutive stages, they bubble up from the depths of a restless soul seeking and often finding a strange stillness and evocative beauty. 

Through-line: Brooks Institute, a culture for photographic education

January 24 – March 6, 2019

 

This exhibition looks at the experience of the school through the art of three alumni who became educators, bringing with them pieces of the Brooks’ legacy to be passed on in their own classrooms.

For over 70 years Brooks Institute provided a visual arts education to an international gathering of students in Santa Barbara. Brooks was unique in its immersive focus on imaging arts – photography, film, photojournalism – and in its educational philosophy of hands-on learning provided by practitioners in their field. 

Christopher Broughton, Christy Gutzeit and Ralph Clevenger came to Brooks with a passion for the art and craft of photography. What they encountered was an intangible mixture of location, pedagogy, and mentoring which fueled their unique professional paths.

Through-line showcases moments from each photographer’s career. Christopher Broughton’s photographic black and white series, “Anhydrous – Our Unquenchable Thirst”, explores the anthropogenic landscape shaped by our endeavor to control water in the west. Ralph Clevenger exhibits a selection of work that demonstrates the connection between the photographer, the subject, and the viewer. In this case the subjects are animals from around the world, each animal’s portrait revealing a story in a single frame. Christy Gutzeit’s personal work is inspired by the ebb and flow of the ocean’s energy, calm one moment and forceful the next. Using multiple layers of materials combined with photography, she explores the transient nature of the waves of water and the power they have to imprint and erase.

Each of these image-makers has continued the legacy of their education by becoming educators themselves, teaching craft and professionalism while imparting their passion for photography to new generations of students. Currently, they are all part of a new collaboration established by The Ernest Brooks Foundation called “Brooks at UCSB” which is hosted by UC Santa Barbara’s Professional and Continuing Education department.