For nearly 100 years, Santa Barbara, California, has organized a summer celebration of the area’s cultural legacy and history known as the “Old Spanish Days Fiesta.” One gallery has joined the festivities to showcase the impact that art has had on this identity. Details here!
For eight days beginning August 3, Santa Barbara, California, will be an incredibly fun place to be. Entering into its 93rd year, the “Old Spanish Days Fiesta” is a celebration of historical proportions that recognizes the area’s Latin American history and heritage.
Sullivan Goss is one gallery that has joined the fray with a magnetic exhibition to showcase mission paintings created from the 1890s to the 1920s. “Picturing Old Spanish Days” is a fascinating exploration of how art has shaped not only the local culture, but the identity of the century-old festival as well.
The gallery suggests, “Since the eighteenth century Santa Barbara’s had a hybrid culture. Colonized by Spanish soldiers who were often born in present day Mexico, built by the Chumash, and later with the labor of others including Americans from the east coast and the midwest and even a substantial Chinese population, Santa Barbara’s authentic story has had many authors and its visual history has many images.
“The Sullivan Goss exhibition takes each in their turn and all in a Fiesta spirit of fun. There are paintings and photographs of Mission San Carlos Borromeo from the nineteenth century, when it was still a ruin. There are later romanticized images of the missions — as seductive nocturnes and as garden dreams. There are Spanish dancers, musicians, and revelers by American artists like W.H.D. Koerner, Dan Lutz, Richmond Kelsey, Mary deNeale Morgan, Jean Swiggett, and Theodore Jackman; Mexican dancers by the Spanish-born Mexican painter Jesus Helguera; and even a contemporary painting of a pre-Colonial Mexican past reimagined through a Modernist lens by Angela Perko.”
“Picturing Old Spanish Days” opened on July 7 and will remain on view through August 28. To learn more, visit Sullivan Goss.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.


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