Tag Archives: museums

Santa Barbara Museum of Art Welcomes Visitors Back to the Galleries

SBMA Galleries Reopen to the Public on May 11 

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) is pleased to welcome visitors back into the galleries on May 11, in accordance with the State of California and Santa Barbara County COVID-19 protocols. 

In order to ensure social distancing in the galleries, SBMA is recommending all visitors to make reservations through the online ticketing system at tickets.sbma.net, with admission being free for the foreseeable future. 

Hours 

SBMA will return to normal operating hours of Tuesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm and Thursday, 11 am – 8 pm. The Museum Store’s hours are currently Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5pm. 

What to expect during your visit:  

SBMA has instituted visitor procedures to ensure the safety of Museum Staff, Members, and general public. In addition to limiting the number of individuals in the Museum at one time and frequent cleaning of the facilities, all visitors over the age of two will be required to wear masks. To learn more about the ways in which the Museum is ensuring the safety of all visitors by complying with local and federal regulations relating to COVID-19, please visit the visitor procedure guidelines page at https://www.sbma.net/visit/reopenguidelines

What is on view? 

As visitors return to the galleries, they will be greeted with the following inspiring exhibitions/installations:   

Highlights of the Permanent Collection

This ongoing installation highlights some of the most celebrated works of art from SBMA’s permanent collection, as well as several of the most exciting gifts and acquisitions in the areas of modern and contemporary art, photography, and the arts of Asia. 

Small-Format American Paintings from the Permanent Collection 

This selection of small format paintings is a reminder of the breadth of the Museum’s holdings of American art from the 18th to the mid-20th century. Oil and brush conjure the illusion of near and far persuasively, from the close perspective of still life, to the life-size proportions of bust portraiture, to sublime expanses of land and sky. Whether within hand’s reach or at an immeasurable distance, both types of visual experience are captured within the confines of a canvas no more than 15 inches in diameter. 

Highlights of American Art

This installation features a selection of eighteen paintings and six sculptures that tell the story of the major achievements of American art from the first half of the last century—from the urban Realism of Robert Henri and the Ashcan School, to the Symbolist inflected landscapes of Arthur Davies or Marsden Hartley, to the daring abstraction of Stuart Davis or Arthur Dove. Critically overlooked women artists are also included, to counterbalance the predominance of men in the canon, including the sculptors Malvina Hoffman and Alice Carr de Creeft. African American and pioneering queer artist Richmond Barthé is represented by two sculptures, including one on loan from a generous collector, while the Japanese-born artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi (often categorized as American, but denied citizenship because of the xenophobia rampant between the two World Wars) is represented by a large and important painting that is a declaration of his artistic sources.

Celebrate Pi Day with Special Edition MOXI at Home Party Kit

It may have started as a way for staff at a San Francisco museum to bond, but Pi Day has evolved and grown into a national holiday celebrated by math aficionados, educators, those with a sweet tooth and more all around the world. Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three digits of the mathematical constant, pi. MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation is marking the day this year with an exclusive at-home event kit now on sale in its online Museum Store. Kits are available for curbside pickup at the museum Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm.

The Pi Day at Home party in a box was created by MOXI staff to foster creativity and bring joy to the whole family. The kit includes everything needed to pay homage to pi, even an on-theme meal. Each kit includes: materials to make a spin art machine, a customizable Pi Day banner, rings to play ring toss, chalk for outdoor circle drawing, a laser cut spirograph plus materials to make one, and a gift certificate to Rusty’s Pizza Parlor redeemable for one large two-topping pizza pi(e) and salad. Just add enthusiasm and creativity for a well-rounded celebration. 

“The Pi Day at Home kit is a fitting way to bring the spirit of MOXI to the homes of area families for a celebration that encourages active exploration and critical thinking about the world around us,” said Robin Gose, president and CEO of MOXI. “While we of course wish we were celebrating onsite at the museum, we’ll have to wait until next March 14 for that opportunity. In the meantime, we hope this brings our fans as much joy as we experienced in creating the kits.”

The first organized celebration of Pi Day was held in 1988 at one of MOXI’s peers to the north, the Exploratorium in San Francisco. They marked it with a circular parade and eating of fruit pies, and it has since grown into a big annual tradition for staff and the public as well as a worldwide cultural phenomenon. MOXI has previously marked the day with making activities at the museum, but needed to pivot this year’s celebration given the museum’s ongoing closure due to COVID-19.

While the doors to its building at 125 State Street in Santa Barbara remain closed due to state and county health orders, MOXI staff have been working hard to ensure opportunities for creative discovery and exploration continue with its MOXI at Home programs, online museum store, and just announced virtual field trip programs. Virtual Design Lab programs are now open for registration by classrooms, homeschool groups and learning pods for students in kindergarten through 6th grade. These virtual field trips are facilitated live from the museum by MOXI education team staff and introduce the engineering design process by posing a challenge related to one of MOXI’s exhibits for students to solve.

As the museum nears almost one full year of being closed, it faces significant financial challenges due to loss of revenue from admissions, membership, programs and facility rentals during the ongoing closure. Proceeds from all MOXI at Home programs and online store sales, including the Pi Day kit, support the museum’s mission to ignite learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity and help to ensure MOXI will be a viable resource for the greater Santa Barbara region for years to come. Rusty’s Pizza Parlor is a proud sponsor of Pi Day at Home. 

Pi Day at Home kits are $70 with a 10% discount available to MOXI Members. All orders must be placed online at www.moxi.org/store. Any questions can be directed to info@moxi.org. Once purchased, kits are available for contactless, curbside pickup at MOXI, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. A limited quantity of kits are available and must be purchased by noon on Friday, March 12 to pick up in time for a proper March 14 celebration. 

About MOXI

MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation® is dedicated to igniting learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity. Located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s redeveloped tourist area at 125 State Street, the museum is LEED-certified Gold and serves guests of all ages through its engaging exhibits and education programs. MOXI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization generously supported by its daily guests, members, facility rentals and donations from individuals, foundations and corporate partners. For more information, visit moxi.org.

Ignite Learning

In 2017, Santa Barbara welcomed a new, exciting and wholly unique museum to its ranks: MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation.

Since the grand opening, more than 500,000 visitors, mostly wide-eyed children, have bopped through MOXI’s 17,000 square feet of interactive exhibits. Exhibits like Build It. Test It. Race It. where kids can assemble their own racecars and send them down an oversized track. The builders have variables to play with, the slope of the track and the design and weight of the race cars, which force them to hypothesize and test, both hallmarks of critical thinking and problem solving.

“It’s science plus race cars, which are super fun,” says CEO Robin Gose, clearly jazzed about the exhibit. “And it’s this racetrack on steroids, bigger than anything they have at home, which is really exciting.”

For Gose, her staff and the community volunteers who spent almost three decades dreaming up and making MOXI a reality, Build It. Test It. Race it. and all the exhibits are as much about learning as they are about fun – two inextricably intertwined concepts.

As Gose, who has spent the better part of the past two decades in both formal and informal science education, explains, MOXI is about developing 21st century core competencies for not just its visitors, but also every child in the region.

The Department of Labor predicts that two thirds of all students today will be employed in jobs that don’t yet exist by the time they enter the labor force. Many of those jobs will be in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – areas of learning that MOXI is all about.

“What is needed for this generation of children and generations to come are the problem solving skills and adaptive mindset to face new and bigger challenges,” Gose says. “We are going to need critical thinkers and science advocates as we continue to face pandemics, climate change, rising sea levels, and new challenges being thrown at us all the time.”

To get there is all about, as MOXI’s mission says, igniting “learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity.”

“Don’t just read about science,” says Gose. “Do it! Play and discover and open up that world of curiosity and creativity.”

Gose is not only excited about MOXI’s exhibits, but the museum’s new strategic plan. The museum itself, she says, is “a beautiful proof of concept” for its larger goal of serving the entire community. A key goal of the new strategic plan is to engage and collaborate with local schools to bring the kind of science education found at MOXI to every school and student in the region. “We want to do everything we can to provide equitable access,” Gose says. “We are truly here for the whole community.”

The Arts, Back in Full

Finally, after a five-year, $50-million capital campaign to renovate the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, in the spring of 2021 visitors will be able to witness this jewel of the art world anew.

While most of the building has been under construction, the rest of the museum has remained open, albeit with fewer galleries available for visitors. The museum will reopen with new exhibitions, while taking old favorites to new heights.

 In addition to renovating the 12 original galleries in the main building, two entirely new galleries have been added: one for photography and the other to showcase the museum’s impressive collection of contemporary art.

Lansdowne Hermes (Roman), First half of 2nd century CE Marble, 86 1/4 x 40 x 13 3/8 in. SBMA, Gift of Wright S. Ludington, 1984.34.1 Photo courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Of the 100,000 people who visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Art annually, most won’t be able to forget Ludington Court, which houses some of the museum’s most prized sculptures and assorted antiquities. Foremost among them is the Lansdowne Hermes, a life-size marble sculpture made in Rome in the 1st or 2nd century AD. Since 2016, when renovation began, Hermes and a handful of other sculptures were on display at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where they also were meticulously restored.

“We hope that our loyal members and visitors to Ludington Court will be enthralled by the new installation featuring the Lansdowne Hermes on an elevated pedestal at its center. Paintings ranging in date from the 15th through early 20th centuries will be hung densely to emphasize the now dramatic height of the gallery,” says Eik Kahng, Santa Barbara Museum of Art Deputy Director and Chief Curator.

In addition to having these restored antiquities back, Ludington Court itself has undergone a total transformation. The original triple-arches have been restored, and a new grand staircase overlooks the gallery.

Come spring, the museum will have more space to provide programming for some 40,000 children and adults alike through a near constant cycle of school programs, symposiums, exhibitions, and lectures. Most of the museum’s programs have moved online and will resume on-site when restrictions are lifted, in accordance with the State of California and Santa Barbara County COVID-19 protocols.

While the pandemic delayed the intended fall opening of “Through Vincent’s Eyes,” a blockbuster exhibit featuring a selection of Van Gogh’s most iconic paintings alongside an additional 100-plus works by the artists and authors that inspired him – the closure created an opportunity for something more. In early spring 2022, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art will bring the Van Gogh exhibition to the community with more and different works than originally anticipated. 

And most importantly, Santa Barbara, a community known for its world-class cultural institutions, will have this vital hub of the arts back in full.