Some of us can’t even start to understand what contemporary art means for the viewers and The community. There are many types of art such as classic art, pop art, vintage art and for long part of our history, there is modern or contemporary art.
Almost every city in the world has an artistic approach to show the world and art lovers. Whether it is a small city like Medellin in Colombia or a huge city like New York in the United States, they have their museums and specially a modern art museum
In Santa Barbara, the art movement is no different, and they have their own Museum of contemporary art. This museum is called the MCASB, the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara which is a logic name for the venue. They define themselves as a non-collecting contemporary art museum where the idea is to encourage creativity and inspire critical thinking by learning and living the stretch relationship between modern art and the viewer.
Let’s take a look at what this museum is all about, their story and some of their programs.
The first thing that must be said is that the entrance to the MCASB is totally free and they only ask for a small voluntary donation for their programs. The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) has the aim of exhibiting, commissioning, and documenting the most creative and unique art that is around nowadays. As for their all year round shows they have solo and group exhibitions by creative people from many different backgrounds, ethnicity, geography, and gender and they do more or less 8 to 10 exhibitions and more than 30 special events.
The story started back in the year 1976 when artists and art enthusiasts and fans were desperately looking for a place to show and exhibit their pieces and that the place only focused on contemporary art. The first thing that was done to take contemporary art to Santa Barbara was that the first visionaries designed a forum to start taking art pieces and have lectures and discussions about topics on artwork that was being produced in the same year or same time span. The first facility they had to start their idea was the historic Balboa Building in downtown Santa Barbara, and then they moved to Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center in 1990.
One of their core parts is their engagement Department that is in charge of providing people and visitors with the best experience they can offer. They are the ones that design the exhibitions and design the program for each venue, the one at the museum and the one at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. They are also the ones that create and take the special programs to schools and local non-profit organizations. The programs that the MCASB has are specially designed for teens, kids, artists and groups of artists, art educators, and art students. Finally, in this department the slogan is “Not for them, but with them!” and that is the way they make people part of their values of inspiration, integrity, innovation, intelligence and a lot of fun.
Some if their engagement programs are the following:
- Adults: for adults they have Artist Talks with local and visiting artists, curators, scholars and other special guests; Curated Cocktails where people can enjoy a drink and share with friends around art, music and a good atmosphere; SmART Talks that are a series of lectures that are aimed at increasing awareness of regional contemporary art; Third Thursday Studio where people can explore art techniques by experimenting with a guest artist serving as a guide; and the Visiting Artist Series (VAS) where artists are taken to non-profit organizations to have educational workshops.
- Teens: for teens they have what they call the Teen Arts Council (TAC) where teenagers can have a hands-on approach to art where they are taught about contemporary art and culture and how this type of art relates directly to them. With this program, the idea is to make contemporary art more accessible to teenagers within the Santa Barbara area. The teenagers also have access to working with the engagement Department staff so they can be part of planning, facilitating, promoting and hosting events for high school students.
- Schools and Teachers: for teachers they have ArtKlatsch where they offer workshops and lectures for local art educators, and they can learn about contemporary art, how it can be related to the school curriculum, meet artists, and socialize.
Every city has a contemporary art museum, and Santa Barba is no different. The difference is that this museum is giving people the opportunity to interact first hand.
Be sure also to read this post on three festivals in Santa Barbara that will make you love wine.