Sullivan Goss is pleased to announce a special exhibition devoted to three artists – LIZ BRADY, ERIKA CARTER, AND VIRGINIA McCRACKEN – who have managed to thrive through the growth and upheaval in Santa Barbara’s now-quite-famous Funk Zone. The six block area bounded by Garden Street and State Street to the East and West, the 101 freeway and Cabrillo Blvd. to the North and South that is now internationally known as “Santa Barbara’s FUNK ZONE” was once teeming with artists. With enormous investments in redevelopment has come a changing atmosphere and business model – one that relies on the “artsy” vibe of the area, but with rents that are increasingly pricing artists out. Still, these three have held on. From their joint studio in that little green house – formerly owned by a member of the storied Castagnola family who still own quite a bit of property in the area – Virginia, Liz, and Erika have made their living for years now with a combination of broadly appealing work, crafty marketing, and some of the winningest social graces around.
Currently, the green house is slated for redevelopment as part of a substantial reimagining of the area. The plans have been submitted and are undergoing review. Undaunted, Green House Studios has opened its quixotically spacious garden space to customers from Dart Coffee Co. across the street, which is co-owned by Erika Carter and her husband. Seeking to honor their generosity, their tenacity, and their entrepreneurial spirit, Sullivan Goss has opened its largest exhibition room to make way for a large, gallery curated exhibition of their works. Just in time for the September cycle of new exhibitions, Sullivan Goss will feature a little homegrown uptown funk.
LIZ BRADY graduated with a BA degree in Art Studio from U.C.S.B. in 1988. She later spent a year in Paris deepening her practice. Finding exhibition opportunities at the Project Gallery, Gallery 3 East, Caruso Woods, Arigato Gallery, Porch, Plum Goods, the Atkinson Gallery, the Arts Fund, Upstairs at Pierre LaFond, and Michael Kate, Liz was recently celebrated as a featured artist in the Sundance Catalog. Her dreamy and whimsical visions of nature’s dramas acted out in both the ocean and the sky have been regularly featured in the annual 100 Grand exhibition at Sullivan Goss since 2013. This will be her first major presentation with Sullivan Goss.
ERIKA CARTER has built a devoted following throughout Montecito and the rest of the world with her magical figure paintings since the late 80s, when she graduated from U.C.S.B. with a degree in Art Studio and Art History. Growing up in a big Mexican family she and her sisters spent a lot of time roaming the property of a large Montecito Estate that her grandfather managed. Erika developed an aesthetic that was equally rooted in two distinctive worlds – one wealthy and cosmopolitan and the other rooted in family, tradition, and albondigas soup. She has been one of her community’s best-selling artists for years at venues like Upstairs at Pierre Lafond and through the Sundance Catalog. Although her work has lately sold well out of the gallery’s 100 GRAND exhibition, this will be her first major exhibition with Sullivan Goss.
VIRGINIA McCRACKEN has been in Santa Barbara for a long time. After earning a BA in psychology from U.C.S.B. and an M.A. from Antioch, she worked as a therapist in private practice and with many local organizations for 25 years. Art has been a lifelong interest with encouragement from her mother and Aunt. At a young age, a neighbor her family called Hadu introduced her to the myth of Pixies. From this early love grew her abiding love of secret, make believe worlds and all things small. This love is reflected in her idiosyncratic pixie box assemblages, in which small sculpted beings act out inscrutable dramas in fantasy worlds. Virginia McCracken has shown all over Santa Barbara and in galleries across the country as well as internationally. She had large bodies of these works shown at Sullivan Goss in the 2017 exhibition THANK GOD FOR PHILIP KOPLIN (& Family), commemorating the life and work of her late husband, Philip Koplin, and in 2018’s THE RED-HEADED STEPCHILD: The History of Collage & Assemblage in Santa Barbara, 1955-2018.
3:59 | Susan Bush