Solstice Blooming Garden

Solstice Blooming Garden title=
Solstice Blooming Garden
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Source: Summer Solstice Celebration

Long time Solstice Artist Claudia Bratton has created a bright and beautiful display at her house on Bath Street, with the help of Solstice Artist Carlos Cuellar, as our first Blooming Garden art installation. Claudia’s home has bloomed early as a demonstration of what a Blooming Garden decorated house can look like! Walk by her home at 1128 Bath Street to see our first Solstice Bloom!

These Blooming Garden art installations will be popping up around town come June, so keep an eye out for all of our colorful blooms. Some Blooming Gardens will be decorated homes & businesses, others will be bigger art installations - but all of them are our Artist in Residences' ways of showing Solstice spirit! 

Join in on the fun and decorate your own home! Dress up your house, dress up your business in the spirit of community celebration! The power to create and be a light for our community is literally at your front door! This is a great opportunity to ignite that spark of creativity after such a long and arduous year of social distancing. While the theme this year is BLOOM, participants are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild and make their place a destination in the same way local homes do during the holidays. Find out what is hiding in those holiday decoration boxes in your garage, dust them off, and get creative.  Get your neighbors or entire block to join in! 

We will be creating a special Blooming Gardens Guide highlighting all the decorated homes, businesses, and the locations of the Solstice art installations in the community. Deadline to be included in our Blooming Gardens Guide is May 24th.

If you will be decorating your home or business, please fill out this form with your name, address, and a picture of your fabulous contribution so we can post it to our Instagram:

About Claudia Bratton

Claudia Bratton began her love affair with color and sea in Hawaii as a child. She has painted all her life. In the eighties, she created a series of fish, with her posters, serigraphs and originals selling around the world. She is always affirming that, “Art is my first language!" Claudia also had careers in broadcasting, television commercial production, accounting, and non-profit arts management. For sixteen years, she was Executive Director of Summer Solstice Celebration. She worked to create a permanent home for Solstice, which is now the Community Arts Workshop. Each Solstice she created an ensemble with a float, and many costumes, hats and masks. She loves getting people involved in the arts. She served on many boards, including fifteen years on UCSB Art Affiliates. She was the first woman board member elected to the California Broadcasters Association, and to serve on the National Association of Broadcasters, Southern California Broadcasters, and Santa Barbara Radio Broadcasters Association. Claudia learned to sew as a child and created clothing, costumes and hats which was an impetus for her Miss Tickle Hat company. She describes it as “Art for your Head” and some range from her best-selling tiny fiesta fascinators to some of her huge creations covered in numerous flowers. Her home and gardens are always filled with flowers, so this year’s theme of “Bloom” was perfect for her. Keeping with Solstice's motto of recycling, her installation is made from palm fronds and pods from local trees.

About Carlos Cuellar

Carlos was an artist in Mexico when he came to Santa Barbara 33 years ago. His talents have been shared with Summer Solstice for 16 years. His murals grace restaurants from Ojai to Arroyo Grande. In 2005 he founded Arts Alliance painting murals in Ortega Park, around the Franklin Center, and at the Westside Community Center. With the Arts Alliance program he shared his skills and talents with youth of Santa Barbara. Each year he creates the murals on the Mariachi Festival Viva La Fiesta float, for the Fiesta parade. He published a magazine for over 10 years filled with his photography which captured the fun and excitement of many events and lots of soccer games. At Summer Solstice, he has created backdrops for the stages and even a community mural  in Alameda Park for the Solstice Festival and has helped the Solstice artists in creating their artistic visions. He helped to create the First Bloom of the Blooming Garden arts installations for this year’s Solstice Celebration.

Updates on Santa Barbara's Summer Solstice Celebration in 2021

Along with our Blooming Gardens of art installations and home/business decorations that will be blooming around town, we will also have pop-up art classes, Blooming Inflatable Gardens (featuring Pali-X’s inflatable sculptures), a Virtual State Street Parade, and a Virtual Community Parade. 

We have also had our first filming for our Virtual State Street Parade! We are lucky to have the wonderful State Street Ballet Protrack Team as the first group to be filmed for our Virtual State Street Parade. It was their first time getting involved with Solstice and we’re glad to have more community members join in the festivities! Join the other groups signed up for our Virtual State Street Parade, like Capoeira Sul da Bahia, ME Sabor, World Dance for Humanity, and more by reserving a filming time!

Have you reserved a time for your film shoot yet?

Since we can’t be together, physically, on State Street this year - the Summer Solstice Virtual State Street Parade is our way of bringing State Street to YOU! The Virtual State Street Parade will be filmed and edited by TVSB which will later be aired on local tv around June 27th. Whether it’s a dance piece, a puppet performance, a showcase of sparkling creations, or even marching with your friends in your best Summer Solstice “BLOOM” attire, we want to capture the creativity Summer Solstice inspires in YOU!

Groups that would like to participate in this virtual parade can make an appointment to be filmed at the Community Arts Workshop on May 20 & 21 (for groups of 10 or less) or at Chase Palm Park Great Meadow on May 22 (for groups of 10 or more). Make a filming appointment at: 

If you can’t make it to a filming appointment this month, be a part of our Virtual Community Parade! We so loved the creativity and community spirit that found its way into our Virtual Parade last year that we wanted to give every Solstice supporter, wherever they may be, at home or across the country, an opportunity to do it again! The Summer Solstice Virtual Community Parade will be released on the Solstice Youtube Channel and on TVSB around June 27th. Submissions may include dance, music, floats, animation - your imagination is the only limit! 

Submit your video or photo to [email protected] following the formatting guidelines listed on the website:

Summer is approaching and we hope you can join us in making Solstice a month-long celebration this year!

Learn more about how you, your household, or business can get involved this year at 

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