Museum of Contemporary Art Reopening Party

Museum of Contemporary Art Reopening Party title=
Museum of Contemporary Art Reopening Party
Reads 1919

By Robert Bernstein

The Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) closed a few months ago and many of us hoped someone would come along and rescue it. Our wish came true! On Sunday January 22 they had a party to celebrate their reopening from noon to 4PM. Here are my photos from the occasion!

I learned about the event by pure chance. I was on my way to the Women's March and I encountered one of my artist friends Kym Cochran, who was working on a big art project with Sean Farley (also known as Nobuo) and Jonathan Smith. Here they were taking a break on State Street and posed for me.

Kym told me about the MCA opening party and I headed over there after the Women's March.

I was greeted with a very loud and festive dance and music performance on the upper deck of Paseo Nuevo, outside the museum.

Inside, I immediately was greeted by other artist friends. Here on the left is Kristin Frascella, who has been an artist in residence for Solstice among her many local activities. On the right is Marco Pinter, who founded the Museum of Sensory and Movement Experiences at La Cumbre Plaza. In between is Kristin's husband Giovanni Vigna, wizard of computer security at UCSB.
Kristen also posed with me.This ultra-realist 1998 piece on the left by Chris Woods is called "Big Mac" and it was one of my favorites.Another of my favorites was the piece on the left in this photo. Created by Michael Kalki in 2006 with the title "OT".I recognized this as a photo of artist Beatrice Wood. I did an article on her Ojai center in November 2021. Not sure how this photo found its way into this exhibit; it is not on the official exhibit "Checklist".This 2007 piece by German artist Jörg Herold is simply called "Frau" (Woman).The following piece is "Untitled" and the artist is listed as "Xuema". It looks very classic and traditional, but the date is 2003.In the middle of the room is this large piece "Warrior Two (Purple and Adobe) by Ryan Trecartin, 2006.In a side room is a nine minute video "Hymn of Dust" by Cameron Patricia Downey. Downey uses "they" pronouns. Downey was walking around the exhibit for a bit. I had no idea Downey was an artist, but I was drawn to a film camera around their neck. I asked why. They said they like the unexpected results from film. Likewise with magnetic VHS tape. "Hymn of Dust" was created on VHS tape. To my eyes, it was pretty random! Here is one screen shot and you can see more in my full set of photos.This explains more about Downey.One of the staff at the museum explained that the new incarnation of MCA plans to focus more on local artists. I definitely will look forward to future art and events at this hidden upstairs treasure in Santa Barbara's Paseo Nuevo!

Here is more information about MCA:

Login to add Comments


Show Comments
Please Login or Register to comment on this.