art exhibits

The Wildling Museum offers visitors a unique perspective on the importance of preserving our natural heritage.

ghostherd sm300cmyk.jpg

Current Art Exhibits

 

Permanent Exhibits

 
A Mighty Oak by John Iwerks

A Mighty Oak by John Iwerks

A Mighty Oak

2nd Floor Gallery

A permanent wall mural in our 2nd floor gallery that depicts the habitat around a Valley oak–one of the largest and old trees found in our area! Video and components enhance the mural.  It’s a beautiful way to learn about the Santa Barbara County, see our educational materials.

Patti Jacquemain Mosaic

Patti Jacquemain Mosaic

Local Wildlife Mosaics

2nd Floor Gallery

Eight handcrafted mosaics by artist and museum founder Patti Jacquemain illustrate local wildlife. They are a delightful way to learn more about the natural world around us in Santa Barbara County and beyond!

upcoming art exhibits

 

past art exhibits

 
Judy Villa, Out of the Ashes, 1st Place Adult

Judy Villa, Out of the Ashes, 1st Place Adult

Ali Stein, Purple Crown, 1st Place Junior

Ali Stein, Purple Crown, 1st Place Junior

Nature Regenerated

August 13th - November 5th, 2018

The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature is delighted to announce the winners of our 10th annual photo competition. Winning first place, for the adult category, is Out of the Ashes by Judy Villa. Second place goes to 8 Legged Snowy Plover by Elliot Lowndes, and in third is Comeback by Robert Houchens.  Ali Stein’s Purple Crown won first prize in the junior category, Quinn Stacey won second for Out of the Ashes, and George Miller won 3rd for Land of Fairies.  This exhibit, in the Oak Gallery, combines junior photographers, Georgia Miller, Quinn Stacy, Ali Stein, with the adult entries of Robert Bassler, Kimberly Fly, Robert Houchens, Karen Jowers, Elliot Lowndes, Bruce C. Straits, and Judy Villa. The photographs are for sale, and prices start at $50. Proceeds from sales benefit the artists and Wildling.

This year’s guest judge was Bill Dewey, known for his aerial photography. Photographers were encouraged to capture examples of nature’s magical ability to regenerate and thrive. All the images from both the adult and junior categories will be exhibited together this year, on the second floor, in our Valley Oak Gallery from August 4th through November 5th.


Gallery Photo from River's Journey

The River's Journey

February 17, 2018 – July 8, 2018

Artwork by the Rose Compass artists, a group of 6 local women who explored the impact of the Santa Ynez River. The talented artists who call themselves the Rose-Compass are: Nicole Strasburg, Holli Harmon, Connie Connally, Pamela Zwehl-Burke, Libby Smith and Nina Warner. They each have their distinct creative points of view but the medium of gouache and the watershed united them. They were painting and exploring for several months and routinely posting blogs about their adventures and musings.

"The perfect voice of an important social conscience!"

"A very accomplished, informative, and enjoyable show."

"This exhibition makes me fall in love with the place I call home. Thank you to all the artists!"

"What a spectacular show! A big concept, beautifully executed. I'm so glad to have seen it."

"What a wonderful community of works. So cohesive and beautifully expressed!"


Bill Dewey,  twisselman plow 5 16 17

Bill Dewey, twisselman plow 5 16 17

Overview: The Aerial Photography of Bill Dewey

October 27, 2017 – March 12, 2018

Bill Dewey has been photographing the California landscape since taking up the camera in the early 1970s. He has had his private pilot’s license since 1981 and bases his aerial photography excursions out of Santa Barbara Airport.

This show featured more than 20 prints of the tri-counties area (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura) taken from the air. At least three-quarters of the photographs were recent works which had never been exhibited before, including reflection of an orange sun through the smoke from the Whittier Fire, a view of last spring’s super bloom of wildflowers at the Carrizo Plain, and winter storm clouds over Rincon Point. Wildling executive director Stacey Otte-Demangate curated this show.


Theodore Waddell,  Marinii’s Mare , 1999

Theodore Waddell, Marinii’s Mare, 1999

The Student & The Teacher

October 27, 2017 – February 5, 2018

The Wildling partnered with the Yellowstone Art Museum for this unique exhibition of the modernist Western landscapes of Theodore Waddell (b. 1941) and those of his former teacher Isabelle Johnson (1901 – 1992).  Johnson was a second-generation ranch owner in Montana who loved history and art.  After travels in Europe and training on the East Coast she brought a modernist sensibility back to Montana and her art.  Her influence can be seen in the artwork of Theodore Waddell who trained with her at Eastern Montana College, along with many other artists.  Waddell has become renowned for his own modernist perspective on western landscapes which have an unromanticized view of ranching life and wild landscapes in big sky country. His work can be found in major museums including the Denver Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and many more.

The exhibition included a range of artworks from both artists to illustrate the evolution of each, as well as the ways in which Johnson made an indelible imprint on Waddell.


Animals: A-Z  Exhibit

Animals: A-Z Exhibit

Animals A to Z

June 10 to October 9, 2017

One could travel through the alphabet when the Wildling showcased a diverse artistic representation of animal species from African saddlebills to zebras and everything in between. The artworks ranged from realistic to abstract and represented many different mediums. Curated from private collections, artists, and even from animals themselves, Executive Director Stacey Otte-Demangate designed the exhibition to engage viewers with familiar species and discover some that are more obscure. Artworks featuring endangered species had a special notation to help bring awareness to the crisis they face. The Wildling partnered with the Santa Barbara Zoo to offer programming and a companion show featuring the animal-themed artwork of Solvang School students and Montessori Center School of Goleta in the Volentine Discovery Pavilion. Artwork created by Santa Barbara Zoo residents were also on display at the Wildling Museum.


Bob Canepa,  Strength

Bob Canepa, Strength

Annual Nature Photography Competition 2017: Trees of the Tri-Counties

July 15 – October 23, 2017

From their bark and leaves to their ecosystems and inhabitants, each tree is unique. The tri-counties (Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo County and Ventura County) are home to a diverse range of tree species that make our landscape beautiful. For our 2017 Nature Photography Competition we asked photographers to explore the life cycle of trees, those who call it home, the threats they face, and their individuality.

As a complement to the oak habitat mural by John Iwerks, the adult competition is on view in the second floor gallery and the junior competition is featured in the Barbara Goodall Education Center. Awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd will be awarded in both categories at the opening reception on January 15th.  We will post the winners’ entries after the award ceremony.

Between the two competitions over 160 entries were received!  We are grateful to professional photographer Michael Miner for volunteering as our judge this year.


20170224_141315.jpg

Private Collections of the Santa Barbara Region

On view February 24, 2017 through May 29, 2017

Responding to the Wildling’s call for artworks, members opened their doors to Executive Director Stacey Otte-Demangate for a look inside their private collections. While differing in style, medium, and size, the unifying thread that ran through the various artworks were images of the Santa Barbara region. From Lake Casitas to Hearst Castle, the Santa Barbara region is home to some of the most picturesque natural areas in California. It is no wonder the familiar sights of rolling hills, vineyards, coastlines, and historic missions are a favorite subject for artists’ creations and collectors’ walls.

As you explored the exhibition, you got an inside look into why an artwork was chosen or how it was acquired by the collector. It also gave you insight from the artist – perhaps why they created it or their inspiration. A sampling of artists included in the exhibit were John Iwerks, David DeMatteo, Phoebe Brunner, Annie Yakutis, Marcia Burtt, Richard Schloss, Dewitt Parshall, Lockwood de Forest, Nicole Strasburg, and Ray Strong.


wood.jpg
20161029_173145.jpg

Natural Materials: Fallen Trees, Local Artisans,

October 29, 2016 – February 13, 2017

The Santa Ynez Valley Woodworking Guild was hosting an exhibition and sale of their handcrafted art pieces, furniture and more, made with locally sourced wood (in all or part).  The Santa Ynez Valley Woodworking Guild was formed in 1994 and has expanded to include woodworkers from Atascadero, Nipomo, San Luis and Los Osos.

From bowls and urns made on a lathe to fine handcrafted furniture, this exhibition had amazing examples of what can be created from local and exotic wood. One could view a breathtaking 1853 rosewood piano that had been repurposed with extreme creativity by Ken Frye into a breathtaking cabinet intermingled with bowls made from a tree that once stood on 2nd Street in Solvang. 

This show included a tribute to Santa Ynez Valley wood artist Bud Tullis, who has been an integral part of the group and has an impressive resume of shows and galleries.  Bud was commissioned to create four of the benches at the Wildling Museum years ago and they are still used and admired by our visitors today.


David Paul Bayles,  Sell

David Paul Bayles, Sell

Trees in Transition: The Photography of David Paul Bayles

October 29, 2016 – February 13, 2017

As a fascinating counterpoint to our woodworkers exhibition, we present the photography of David Paul Bayles.  “David Paul Bayles left Los Angeles in the mid seventies for the Sierra Nevada mountains to work one season as a logger. He fell in love with the physicality, the camaraderie and the dangerous work. One season became four as he worked setting chokers, bumping knots and skinning cat. To this day he struggles to answer how he could love trees and forests even as he loved the work that brought them down. In a larger sense it is not his question alone. We are a culture that consumes and often abuses and destroys Nature in so many ways, even as we profess our love for her.”

His images of working forests show the beauty, brutality and other-worldiness of farmed forests.


Photo Oct 10, 1 24 15 PM.jpg

Places of the Heart

 October 8, 2016 – October 23, 2016

The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature and the Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (SCAPE) presented Places of the Heart, a juried exhibition and sale celebrating treasured places in the tricounty area.

Guided by input from the community, members of SCAPE painted in locations through the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. The plein air works showcased the amazing natural features of our region and the talent of the SCAPE artists. Judge Eric Merrell of the California Art Club reviewed the 160 paintings and narrowed it down to 77. The selected works were on view and were available for purchase from October 8 through October 23.


Steve Munch,  Foamy Flute

Steve Munch, Foamy Flute

Photo Jul 23, 3 17 48 PM.jpg

Where Land Meets Water

 July 23, 2016 – October 17, 2016

Answering the call to artists, over 100 entries were received in response to 2016's theme of Where Land Meets Water. The judges carefully selected the top works to create an exhibition displaying a wide range of interpretations of the theme. From puddles to ice to the ocean, the photographers found amazing examples of the connection of land and water.

New in 2016, a junior category was added to allow artists 17 years and under to explore their creativity and display their work. As the judges looked through the 65 images submitted, they were impressed by the talent of these budding artists. Beginning on August 13, the top 35 images were on display and were available for purchase in the Barbara Goodall Education Center.

The Wildling is very appreciative of the time and effort put forth by our esteemed judges – underwater photographer Richard Salas and Brooks Institute Alumni Dennis Fisher. They helped to create two wonderful and very different exhibits depicting the theme, Where Land Meets Water.


20160616_142550.jpg
20160616_143013.jpg

Celebrating the National Parks of California

June 17, 2016 – October 3, 2016

Celebrating the National Parks of California explored nine national parks located within the state of California through a juried exhibition: Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Redwood, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Lassen, Pinnacles, Death Valley and Channel Islands (there are a total of 27 monuments, parks, seashores and more administered and preserved by the National Park Service.  Click HERE to learn more about ALL the diversity of NPS properties in California).  The show celebrated and discussed wilderness, nature and preservation of the parks and provided an opportunity for artists to display and sell their work. Fifty-one artworks in a wide range of mediums and styles were included in the diverse show which were created by 42 artists from 5 different states!  The exhibition was timed to also bring awareness to the Centennial of the National Park Services system (click HERE to learn more about the Centennial).  The Wildling was delighted to add two of the prize winners to our permanent art collection.

The exhibition was supported in part by The Towbes Foundation.


Photo Apr 16, 4 10 11 PM.jpg
Photo Apr 16, 4 12 12 PM.jpg

A Curator’s Eye: A Tribute to Karen Sinsheimer

April 16, 2016 – July 18, 2016

Karen Sinsheimer

Karen Sinsheimer

Curated by Delphine Sims, former assistant to Karen Sinsheimer at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, this exhibition was a tribute to Karen’s skills and legacy as a curator of photography as well as her volunteer efforts to the Wildling Museum in the capacity of a long-time exhibitions and art committee member.

The exhibition featured works by photographers that Karen collected for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and/or mentored. The show  explained the curation process for the general public.  Karen’s discerning eye helped to amass an important collection of photography at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, an amazing legacy for the greater Santa Barbara community and she helped the Wildling find artists for exhibitions and the permanent collection.

This show resulted in new additions to the Wildling Museum permanent collection: David Paul Bayles and Michael Miner with others still a possibility.  Karen’s discerning curatorial eye and warm generous spirit continue to influence all of us at the Wildling!

The show was possible thanks to the skilled volunteer curatorial efforts of Delphine Sims and financial support by The Towbes Foundation.


Point Reyes

Point Reyes

California’s Wild Edge

February 13, 2016 – June 6, 2016

The exhibition captured the beauty of the California coast from Mendocino, Point Reyes, and the San Francisco Bay down through Carmel, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, and Santa Monica. Woodcut artist Tom Killion’s prints combine exquisite color with dynamic composition to portray the coast’s ever-changing moods and diverse formations: storm tides crashing at Point Lobos, serene moonlit coves at Mendocino, fog encircling the Golden Gate Bridge.

Deepening our experience was poetry and prose from Gary Snyder (co-author of California’s Wild Edge) and other well-known California poets of the past and present. The exhibition was originated by the San Francisco Public Library and was based on a new Heyday book by the same title, released summer 2015.


Opening Reception

Opening Reception

20151017_110047.jpg
20151017_105958.jpg
20151017_110011.jpg

Prints from Land and Sea: A Blend of Art and Science

October 16, 2015 – April 11, 2016

Eric Hochberg Artist Statement

Dr. F.G. Hochberg is a Curator Emeritus at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Eric has been printing natural subjects for over 45 years. In 1976 he co-founded the Nature Printing Society. Eric has lectured extensively on the history and techniques of nature printing and taught numerous printmaking workshops in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. His art has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows and he has curated and organized a number of major, multi-artist, museum exhibitions of nature prints.

In 1985 he was selected for a Science and Humanities Scholarship which enabled him to spend a year as an “Artist-in-Residence” at the Museum of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. During the year he prepared a portfolio of prints of Australian plants and animals for the Museum.

Eric’s studies capture and isolate in space the elegant and delicate beauty of nature. The works presented here have been selected to demonstrate a wide range of subjects and techniques used to create images of nature.

Shane & Genny Anderson Artist statement

Shane & Genny Anderson were first introduced to the art of nature printing in 1975 when they took a workshop from Eric Hochberg at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Since that initial course, in the “direct” method of fish printing (gyotaku), they both have been captivated with the art form. After a few years of working with the “direct” method they began to do most of their prints in the “indirect” method of gyotaku. Today most of their works are printed on fabrics. They continue to enjoy taking nature printing classes and expanding their never ending list of subjects to print. Most marine animals they tackle for printing are large and typically require them to print together.

Shane worked as Collector/Naturalist in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara for 37 years and is now enjoying retirement. Genny taught Marine Biology at Santa Barbara City College for 37 years and is now a Professor Emeritus.


Channing Peake, Spring Rain, Santa Ynez Mountains

Channing Peake, Spring Rain, Santa Ynez Mountains

Legacy and Loss: Landscapes in the Santa Barbara Region

August 22, 2015 to February 1, 2016

Opened to the public on August 22 is a Wildling curated exhibition that explored the changing landscape of the tri-county area (Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo) through both historic and contemporary artwork.  The Santa Barbara Region is beautiful, historic and ever changing and artists have been recording this for decades–some artists use their work to inspire a conservation ethic in hopes that specific open spaces will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Historic artists that were represented include: Ray Strong, Lockwood de Forest, Channing Peake, Richmond Kelsey, Henry Chapman Ford, Clarence Hinkle, John Barnard, Colin Campbell Cooper, William Louis Otte, Merv Corning and more. Contemporary artists included: Phoebe Brunner, Angela Perka, Bruce Everett, Chris Chapman, John Iwerks, Richard Schloss, William B. Dewey, Meredith Abbott, Hank Pitcher and more.  Geographic areas that were highlighted in the artworks included Morro Bay, Carrizo Plain, Santa Ynez Valley, Ojai Valley, Santa Barbara City and Gaviota Coast.


IMG_4162.JPG
IMG_4168.JPG

Birds in Art

June 13, 2015

Every year the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum hosts a juried competition of the finest bird art in the world.  After they debut the final selections at the Woodson Art Museum in September they begin traveling the show for the next year.  In 2014, we hosted Birds in Art.

900 artworks by 564 artists were submitted to the competition and only 92 were selected.  Sixty of the artworks were traveling the country.  Other venues included the Museum of the Gulf Coast (Port Arthur, TX), Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson, AZ), Newington-Cropsey Foundation (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY) and the Gilcrease Museum (Tulsa, OK).

The artwork is amazingly diverse: sculpture, watercolor, acrylic, block prints, and oil were all included.  Species range from across the globe.

Thanks to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History we also had three bird specimens representing species found in our area and a drop-in drawing activity that all of our visitors enjoyed–with thanks to John Muir Laws and his book, The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds.

We are also grateful to the Santa Barbara Audubon Society for providing information about birding areas here in the Central Coast and providing us with their expertise on threatened local bird species, several of which we will profile.  If you are interested in going on your own birding excursion check out their list of Santa Barbara County birding areas!


2003.1_Veldkamp-297x300.jpg

Ray Strong: the man and his legacy

June 10, 2015 - December 7, 2015

Ray Strong was born in 1905 in Corvallis, Oregon. His long life spanned 101 years and so he saw tremendous technological and societal changes during his lifetime, but he never strayed far or long from his commitment to painting the landscape and in so doing recorded our natural heritage like almost no one else in our region.

He lived in the Mendocino area of California for many years and then moved to Santa Barbara in 1960, where he eventually became one of the founders of The Oak Group and took generations of students under his wing.

These Oak Group artists continue to paint to raise awareness of (and funds for) endangered local landscapes creating the ultimate lasting legacy for the Santa Barbara area.


IMG_4097.JPG

0 to 60: An Underwater Adventure from the Equator to Alaska

March 14, 2015 - August 3, 2015

Salas is a California native with a lifelong passion for diving and the underwater world. A graduate from Brooks Institute of Photography he was mentored by Ernest Brooks II. In this show you swam along with Salas as he traveled from the Equator to Alaska visiting the creatures that call the Pacific Ocean home.


horses exhibit.jpg

Wild Spirit: Horses in Art

January 17, 2015 – June 1, 2015

The Wildling Museum collaborated with Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary to produce an exhibition of the art of wild horses, and celebrating the wild spirit in all horses.  The exhibition featured historic and contemporary art of horses in a variety of mediums: paintings, drawings, mosaics, photographs, sculptures, and prints.  Both local and nationally regarded artists were featured in this unique exhibition.


Last Aphid, Charley Harper

Last Aphid, Charley Harper

Beguiled by the wild-ling: the art of charley harper

October 25, 2014 - January 26, 2015

Charley Harper infused much of his work with a delightful sense of humor, and although he reduced animal forms to abstracted, geometric shapes, he never lost the essence of whichever species he was highlighting. His simplified forms and bold color belied his careful study of animals. Not only did the show feature 30 of his amazing artworks, but also several hands-on, interactive stations were included, which made this a very family friendly show!

Special thanks to our primary exhibition sponsor: The Eichholz Foundation


Photo Jun 05, 11 12 46 AM

Photo Jun 05, 11 12 46 AM

Photo-Jun-05-11-12-36-AM.jpg

Preserving Santa Barbara’s Wild Lands

June 6, 2014 - January 5, 2015

Jeff Jones’s love for and understanding of the natural world, coupled with decades of experience in remote backcountry and wild places, form the foundation for his exceptional landscape photography. His highly detailed large-scale panoramic images combine a compelling sense of place with an immediacy of experience. Jeff’s work opens up for us a world not of our making and far greater than our own creations.

The southern Los Padres appeals to Jeff for several reasons. It is a large tract of National Forest land, next door to fairly large human populations. And its rugged landscape, shaped largely by east-west mountain ranges atypical for the west coast, is a fascinating geological mix that created distinctive distributions of plants and animals. All of this makes for unique and beautiful photographic opportunities.

Jeff notes that the lighting in these transverse ranges is exceptional. Because of their east-west orientation, their north- and south-sloping faces are uniformly illuminated or shadowed. When the face is sunlit, the ravines and canyons are brought into high relief against the prevailing slope (as in White Ledges). When shadowed, the effect is of ridge upon ridge fading into the distance (as in June Morning, Northeast View from the Santa Ynez).


Blue Lake (Glacier Park), oil on canvas by John Fery, Wildling Museum Collection

Blue Lake (Glacier Park), oil on canvas by John Fery, Wildling Museum Collection

Painting the Wilderness: John fery and contemporaries

June 4, 2014 - January 5, 2015

The Wildling organized this exciting show celebrating art's role in helping to bring attention to the natural treasures of the West. Artist John Fery was a prolific painter of the wilderness, in part due to his commissions for the the Great Northern Railway (GNR). He painted over 300 canvases during his time with GNR.

The exhibition features the Wildling's own 3 Fery paintings and loans of others from the Carol Hannon Living Trust. In addition to Fery's paintings, the Wildling has 7 paintings done by Thomas Hill, Elmer Wachtel, Marian K. Wachtel, Jack Wilkinson Smith, William Keith, Henry Chapman Ford and George Gardner Symons. Thanks to our exhibition sponsors: The Towbes Foundation and donors to the Patti Jacquemain Exhibition Fund. Thanks to our exhibition lenders: Carol Hannon Living Trust California Art Company, LLC Louise and John Clarke


Puma Ways

Puma Ways

Selections by d.L. engle

May 28, 2014 - November 3, 2014

Selections by D. L. Engle explores the sculpture of North American native fauna created by Southern California artist D.L. Engle. The exhibition of animal sculptures includes “Puma Ways”, a beautiful bronze mountain lion in the Wildling’s permanent collection. Engle’s sculptures are characterized by an expressive emotional quality and powerful presence.


Sunset over Theodore Roosevelt Wilderness, oil on linen by Thomas Paquette

Sunset over Theodore Roosevelt Wilderness, oil on linen by Thomas Paquette

Sole Snow Patch Raggeds, Thomas Paquette

Sole Snow Patch Raggeds, Thomas Paquette

On Nature’s Terms

January 17, 2014 - May 26, 2014

Thomas Paquette's paintings in On Nature's Terms were inspired by his journeys to federal wilderness areas all across the country. The great diversity and vitality of environments that comprise the National Wilderness Preservation System – from southwest canyons and high peaks, east and west seashores, to lowland swamps and deserts – are reflected in these gouache and oil paintings. Subjects include Okefenokee Swamp in the south to Boundary Waters Canoe Area in the north, and wilderness areas in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming.

Paquette’s paintings are contemplations of those special places where nature dominates.  On Nature's Terms is a tribute to the importance of protecting some lands forever as wild.

Paquette states, “Natural landscapes inspire me beyond words, and so I paint them. I am captivated by the vastness of nature and the endless variety of moment-to-moment and place-to-place differences in weather, vegetation and geology. This fascination moves the brush.”

The Wildling and Paquette celebrate 2014 as it marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the first piece of legislation in the world to define protected wilderness areas.

The exhibit will travel from the Wildling to venues in New York and Indiana.


Eucalyptus Grove, Everett Ruess

Eucalyptus Grove, Everett Ruess

Everett Ruess: Into The Wilderness

March 19, 2014 - September 30, 2014

As part of our celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the Wildling featured its collection of artworks by Everett Ruess (1914 – 1934?). Everett was raised in Los Angeles and was taught how to make linoleum block prints by his mother, Stella.  At a young age he felt a strong calling to be in and explore the wild. He spent the last four years of his brief life exploring wilderness areas along the California coast, in Yosemite and the deserts and canyons of northern Arizona and southern Utah. He wrote letters and poems that were sent home and made drawings, watercolors, and block-prints along the way. At the young age of 20, Ruess disappeared. His last letters indicated that he was headed to Escalante Canyon, and investigators looking for him months later found evidence that he had been there but, to this day, his remains have yet to be found.


Alala Pila, Marian Berger

Alala Pila, Marian Berger

Hawaii’s Endangered Birds by Marian Berger

November 9, 2013 - March 17, 2014

A showing of original watercolors commissioned to be in the style of John James Audubon, who never did the birds of the islands. This was the first showing of this beautiful work by Hawaiian artist Marian Berger on the mainland. The original exhibition also brought awareness to the San Diego Zoo’s Conservation Research Institute and their work with endangered Hawaiian birds and other species.

Join the Wildling Museum for an excursion to San Diego in March 2014. A very special opportunity for a behind-the-scenes visit to both the San Diego Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo! Proceeds from the excursion will benefit both the Zoo’s Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program and the Wildling Museum. Learn more here


Along Paradise Bend At SFR

Along Paradise Bend At SFR

Santa Ynez river and watershed

October 19, 2013 - January 6, 2014

The Wildling hosted an exhibition about Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez River graced with artwork by the amazing Oak Group. With its headwaters at the border with Ventura County and its mouth draining into Surf Beach in Lompoc, the river is a vital natural resource for our county and is also a cultural treasure.

With The Oak Group, the museum hosted an art show and sale of original work done of the river and watershed. The Wildling has also worked with other groups throughout the county to tell the story of the river. Thanks are due to the Environmental Defense Center, the Santa Ynez Historical Museum, the Lompoc Historical Museum, La Purisima Audubon Society, the Santa Ynez Natural History Society and others for their help in sharing their knowledge and resources.


011-Patrick-OHara-with-sculpture-2011-On-Potomacs-Banks-in-Springtime.jpg

Patrick O’Hara’s Art of California Native Plants

August 24, 2013 - October 14, 2013

Organized by the Wildling Museum in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG), the exhibition featured a series of watercolors of California native plants commissioned by SBBG, as well as two delicate porcelain sculptures. O'Hara is an Irish artist known for his detailed ceramic botanical sculptures and watercolor paintings.

O'Hara:  "In the thirty paintings, of which the Botanic Garden has had superb giclee prints made, I tried to capture the atmosphere of those micro-habitat niches from down on the coast to high up in the Sierras, and from the cool forests of northern California down to the arid heat of the deserts on the Mexican border. The wildflowers that I portrayed growing together are not necessarily typical or average specimens, but were just as I saw them at that moment in time and in that particular situation. Each composition was designed to be truthful to nature, but hopefully its movement and color and patterns would also appeal to the art lover as much as the naturalist. The Wildling Museum and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden play a vital part in promoting wildlife conservation across California, and I am proud to be associated with their endeavours.”


Wilderness_in_Art_exhibit-365x365.jpg

Wilderness in Art

August 24, 2013 - October 7, 2013

For the Grand Opening in August of 2013, the Wildling organized a retrospective of its amazing history of 40+ exhibitions. We felt this would be a fitting way to acknowledge our history of quality art exhibitions, as well as reach out to former lenders and let them know about our exciting future. Perhaps most importantly it was a diverse show that was  appealing to a wide audience as new visitors came to find us in Solvang.

The artwork included photographs, historic paintings, nature prints, etchings, lithographs, sculpture and more. Artists include Conrad Buff, Merv Corning, Marian Kavanagh Wachtel, Carl Oscar Borg, Russell Chatham, and many more.

Exhibitions In The Wildling's Los Olivos Facilities from 2000-2012:

Wildlings and Wild Places: Artwork by Patti Jacquemain, 2012 

Nature's Imprint, 2012 

Family Vacation Collage Exhibition, 2012 

Carl Oscar Borg: An Artist's Journey, 2012 

Earth as Art 3, 2012 

Island Encounters: The Art and Conservation of the Channel Islands, 2011-2012 

Scenic View Ahead: The Westways Cover Art Collection, 2011

Marc Muench: Explorations in North America, 2011 

Birds in Art 2009, 2011 

The Desert Speaks: The Art of Fernand Lungren, 2010 

Milford Zornes: An American Artist, 2010 

America’s Wilderness in Art: A Growing Collection, 2010 

At Altitude: Four Views of the Southern Sierras, 2009-2010 

Wildlings From the Deep: An Exhibition of Undersea Photography, 2009 

The Land of Sunshine: Paintings from the Irvine Museum Collection, 2009 

Nocturnes, 2008 

Endangered Species: Flora and Fauna in Peril, 2008 

Abbrescia's Passion: Plein-Air Paintings of Glacier National Park, 2008 

Members Collect III, 2008 

The Poetry of Nature: Paintings and Lithographs by Russell Chatham, 2007-2008 

Visions of the Boreal Forest: Artists Deep in the Northern Wilderness, 2007 

Fragile Environments: Photographs of Antarctica and the Everglades by Roger Craton and Clyde Butcher, 2007 

Painters of the Desert: The Arid West, 2007 

Dick Smith and His Backcountry Wilderness, 2006-2007 

Between Light and Shadow: Great Sand Dunes National Park, Photographs by John B. Weller, 2006

Plant Portraits: The California Legacy of A.R. Valentien, 2006 

Biodiversity in the Art of Carel Pieter Brest Van Kempen, 2006 

Bob Kuhn: Mammals Up Close and Personal, 2005-2006 

Visionscapes: Vanishing Rock Art of the West. Photographs by Diane Orr, 2005 

Members Collect II, 2005 

In Touch with Nature: The Art of Nature Printing in America, 2005 

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land. Photographs by Subhankar Banerjee, 2004-2005 

Inspired by Trees: An Exhibition of Art and Poetry, 2004 

Women Portray the West: 1890-1940, 2004 

Building a Collection, 2004 

Ansel Adams: A Celebration of Wilderness, 2003-2004 

Unbridled Beauty: Images of the Horse in American Art, 2003 

Members Collect, 2003 

Winter Across America, 2002-2003 

John James Audubon: An American Woodsman, 2002 

Along the Way: Ray Strong, Landscape Painter, 2002 

The Final Eden: Early Images of the Santa Barbara Region, 2002 

Picturing the Wilderness: Photographs by Josef Muench, Macduff Everton, and David Maisel, 2002 

America's Wilderness in Art, 2001-2002 

Sierra Grandeur: Selections from the Schaefer Collection, 2001 

Wildflowers, Wildflowers: The Paintings of Sophie Mitchell, 2001 

Everett Ruess: A Wanderer in the Wilderness, 2000-2001