Solstice Blooming Gardens
By Robert Bernstein
Santa Barbara Summer Solstice is happening in a virtual and in a real way for 2021. A Virtual Parade is being created and will be shown at the Arlington Theater at 10AM on June 26.
We set out on Friday to see some of the Blooming Gardens and here are my photos. Including some surprises along the way that were not in the guide.
Our first stop was Music Alley at 423 State Street where we found our friend Jim Sun Bear with his creation. It is a collection of pieces of Solstice floats from years past. Some by him and the dragon head and tail by Ann Chevrefils.
Here he kindly posed with me by the dragon:
Kenny Galindo is displaying the Solar System with each planet scaled down in size and rotating at a scaled speed. The distances between the planets are scaled to show the vastness of just our own Solar System. The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are on Stearn's Wharf.
We were fortunate to catch Kenny as he was installing Saturn at Patxi's Pizza at 515 State Street:
We headed over to Paseo Nuevo to find Solstice pieces, but it seemed they were not yet on display. But we did encounter a wonderful exhibit "The Invisible Seventh is the Mystic Column" by Shana Moulton at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Here is a short video of one of her performance pieces:
And we found this beautiful mural just around the corner on the roof of the parking garage:
Claudia Bratton was Executive Director of Solstice for many years. She has decorated her house at 1128 Bath (at Anapamu) with giant blossoms. Along with some real blossoms in her garden.
For the next piece I will simply quote the Guide!
Installment artist Colleen Kelly and her team: Kendra Green, Adrienne De Guevara, Timothy Markonis, Chris Norlinger, Michael Long, Alf Ramirez, and Laurencio Flores presents: Ghost Trees in Bloom with bare white birch branches installed amongst trees, bushes, and vines, that bear weird flowers and let bugs alight onto the ghost trees’ arms. Through the wizardry of technology, sounds appear and shimmering glimmers hum. Linger a bit to tingle and smile. At 825 West Victoria Street.
We encountered a woman pushing a baby stroller who told us about a wonderful Blooming Garden and it was not even on the map! This is at 1605 Mountain Avenue.
Our last planned stop was to see Dwarf Planet Pluto at Via Maestro at 3343 State Street near Loreto Plaza. A couple eating next to Pluto seemed oblivious to its tiny existence.
I walked to the end of that block to buy crickets at Sensational Pets to feed my White's treefrogs. And I wondered if this guy knew he had a bird on his shoulder.
Be sure to look for the Solstice Blooming Garden displays and events happening through June 27! And you might make some other delightful finds along the way!