The impressionist painters who inspired winemaker Bion Rice raised shimmering mirages in which soft-edged daubs of paint seem to grant motion to ballerinas or swaying river rushes. At Artiste, Bion draws inspiration from their work, attempting to raise distant landscapes with grapes rather than rough brushstrokes. Cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes call up the sun-steeped fields of the Napa Valley, and chardonnay grapes carry one away to the Russian River Valley on straw-hued sweetness. Bion calls the blends “impressionist cuvees,” and he produces small batches of them, their corks sealed beneath thick, hand-dipped cloaks of crimson wax.
The bottles are labeled with colorful impressionist paintings, and in a tasting room and studio, the harmonious relationship between wine and art is even further cemented. The whisper of brushes on canvas drifts from paint-dappled tables, where guests bring to life sweeping forest vistas or criminal lineups of pine trees. A rotating array of paintings lines the walls, including works from artists such as Aldo Luongo, an Argentinian artist whose contrasting colors and rippling brushstrokes seem to gaze up from a clear lake. Wine glasses chime together, punctuating the lilting rhythm of classical guitarists or the constant weeping of trombone players during live music events.
The walls don’t look the same for long at Red Brick Gallery. Since opening in 2006, the space has featured works by more than 150 different artists, exposing the public to paintings, metal sculptures, woodwork, glass pieces, and more. The gallery almost exclusively seeks the talent of emerging and mid-career artists, with an emphasis on locally commissioned works. “At any given time,” co-founder Jennifer Livia told Food and Home Magazine, “about seventy percent of our art is by local artists.” To bolster the public’s appreciation for art, Red Brick Gallery also teaches students of all ages and skill levels how to paint with acrylics and watercolors, create mosaics, and even take and edit photographs.
In 1917, the Ranger was a sport-fishing yacht—the first built on the West Coast—that hosted celebrities trying their luck at snagging tuna, swordfish, and other swimmers. Flash forward nearly a century, and the Ranger is now a lure, one of several vintage boats that entice visitors to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Inside a former Naval Reserve building, the museum traces the history of the California Coast seas, from cannons to seaplanes and surfing to the environment. The Munger Theater brings the sea to life with films that could feature maritime history or a trip around the coast, and lectures and other events further enrich the experience.
At the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, visitors of all ages delight in newfound knowledge about the community around them, soaking up information from a wealth of permanent collections, artifacts, and art. Guests marvel at beautiful Chumash baskets and stonework, paintings and armor from Spanish settlements, and relics of life in Santa Barbara during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
FastFrame outlines photographs and wall-worthy art with more than 1,000 frames in styles ranging from baroque gold trims to funky, contemporary schemes. Dedicated to craftsmanship and creativity, professional framers help select matting hues to complement a diploma or the original Bill of Rights banning knuckle cracking. All projects are completed onsite, ensuring that no materials get dented or lost by clumsy carrier pigeons, and clients can return any custom designs for complete retooling within 30 days if they don't match homes' décor.