The Wildling uses art to educate and inspire people to better understand and care for our dwindling natural and wilderness areas. The Wildling is a 501(c)(3) and our Federal Tax ID number is 77-0470520. We have a small staff of 2 full-time and 4 part-time, augmented by a dedicated and enthusiastic group of volunteers of about 35.
The Wildling’s mission is to inspire our community and visitors to enjoy, value, and conserve wildlife and natural areas through art. We provide artistic, educational, and field experiences of nature for that purpose.
Our vision is to be recognized as an exceptional and innovative leader in inspiring our communities and visitors to value wilderness and other natural areas through the lenses of a diversity of artists. The museum strives to collaborate with others for the betterment of our communities.
Wildling Museum Exhibit Space
Since we opened our doors in 2000, the Wildling has hosted and/or organized over 65 exhibitions. We have shared the awe-inspiring works of giants like Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, Maynard Dixon, Carl Oscar Borg, and so many more. Our exhibitions have surveyed the early history of wilderness art and showcased contemporary artists like Clyde Butcher, dedicated to bringing awareness to specific wilderness areas.
We moved our facility to Solvang in 2013 where our exhibition space has grown from 900 sq. ft. to over 2000! At any one time you can enjoy three to five different exhibitions and artists.
Our first floor gallery features our larger shows but can also be subdivided into different exhibitions. Our second floor gallery is now known as the Valley Oak Gallery and is dedicated to telling stories of our tri-county area (Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo). A permanent feature of the gallery is a marvelous wall mural executed by local artist John Iwerks. The mural is an excellent educational tool about our local oak habitats and is perfect for use by school groups (the museum does have lesson plans based on curriculum standards for several grade levels).
On the third floor our Barbara Goodall Education Center regularly features rotating community art shows by school groups, senior residence facilities, fellow art organizations, junior photography exhibitions and more. The nearby Overlook Gallery also features artworks from our permanent collection and selections from our library for the public to enjoy.
With a busy exhibition calendar, we rely on foundations and individuals like you to help support those expenses. Please consider sponsoring an exhibition or making a donation to our special Patti Jacquemain Exhibition Fund! Call 805-686-8216 for more information.
Wildling Museum Permanent Collection
The Wildling has a small, diverse and growing permanent collection of art. Nature photography is strongly represented and includes area artists Jeff Jones, Richard Salas, Ines Roberts, Tom Millea and Roger Craton. We also have several oil paintings by historic painter John Fery, an Austrian who emigrated to America in the 1860s and painted scenes small and grand of the American Western landscape. Other historic artists that are represented in the collection include Russell Chatham, Ray Strong, Lockwood de Forest and Everett Ruess. Click HERE to see more artworks in our collection.