Works of local artists on display at Westmont museum

The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features the works of more than two dozen artists who have ties to the Santa Barbara community in How Modernism Came to Santa Barbara: 1945-1990, July 6-Aug. 5.

There will be a free, public opening reception 4-6 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at the museum, 955 La Paz Road.

The artists, many of whom still live locally, have served as art faculty at UCSB, Westmont and Santa Barbara City College.

In addition, they’ve acted as founding members of local art museums, including Contemporary Arts Forum (now Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara), the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Westmont museum.

“These artists were trailblazers in Santa Barbara during this era; turning away from the typical California landscape or classical painting was an act of both experimentation and self-fulfillment,” says Judy Larson, R. Anthony Askew professor of art history and museum director.

“Many found themselves looking toward and actively exhibiting in New York City and Los Angeles next to artists like Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell,” Larson said.

“However, they were also extremely active in building up the art scene in Santa Barbara County,” she said.

Featured artists are: R. Anthony Askew, James Armstrong, Michael Arntz, Herbert Bayer, Ciel Bergman, John Carlander, William Dole, Richard Dunlap, Michael Dvortcsak, Robert Frame, James Jarvaise, Kenneth Jewesson and Sheldon Kaganoff.

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