June 10 - December 7, 2015

Ray Strong Portrait by Deborah Veldkamp

Many arts organizations throughout Santa Barbara County are celebrating the life and work of artist Ray Strong.  This coordinated effort will be happening throughout the summer of 2015 and is in conjunction with The Ray Strong Project, primarily organized by Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara.  The Wildling is presenting an intimate showing of three portraits of Ray and three diverse paintings of his in "Ray Strong: The Man & His Legacy".

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.

Besides the lasting legacy of his landscape and coastal paintings, he also did murals on public buildings

Eleanor's Plum Tree, Ray Strong

and schools and dioramas for museums and universities.

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.

Ray clearly knew that beautiful artworks have the power to inspire generations to care about preserving our environment for future generations. The Wildling Museum honored Ray with our first Wilderness Spirit Award in 2002, acknowledging the tremendous and long-lasting legacy of his artistic career.