Inspired in Nature

On view from March 22 – May 27, 2019


A group of 24 students from Solvang Schools opened their show of nature photography on Friday, March 22 at a reception at the Wildling Museum of Art and Nature, where it was on view through Memorial Day, May 27.

The students turned their lenses to nature for the show, some finding beauty in their front yards, others during travels to faraway places like Costa Rica. “Nature is everywhere, and if this show helped the students to realize that and improve their photography skills, then I feel like the show is a major win already,” said Wildling executive director Stacey Otte-Demangate. The Wildling is grateful to professional photographer Bill Dewey of Santa Barbara for coming to judge the show. 

First place went to Zoe Kazali for Evergreen, for which she won $100. Evan Gotschall took second place for a fascinating image of Nojoqui Falls, and he received $50. Third place went to Sebastian Cote for a vibrant sunset fronted by an oak tree silhouette, and he won a family membership to the museum.

Solvang Schools Teacher Alyssa Spanier of the Yearbook and Media Class for 7th- and 8th-graders was enthused about sharing her students’ work with the community. “We were so excited to partner with the Wildling Museum for this exhibit. As soon as I told the students about this opportunity, their eyes lit up; they were eager to show their best work in a professional setting. In particular, our framing day at the museum was an incredibly rewarding experience. The reality of the show set in as the students carefully framed their work and decided where to hang each piece,” shared Spanier.

Besides offering community and juried art show opportunities for students, the Wildling also offers free tours to school classes. Teachers may call Stacey Otte-Demangate to reserve a tour and help develop a custom tour to fit their classroom needs at 805-686-8216 or email her at  The museum is also recruiting educational docents to help them work with more classes.  Call Mitra Cline at 805-686-8315 for details.