Santa Barbara Museum of Art embraces season with snow-themed exhibit

Views 20 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 11 - 13 - 2018 | By: Phebe Chang

As the weather gets colder and Thanksgiving gets closer, people are hustling to get into the long awaited jolly Christmas spirit. Santa Barbara Museum of Art is celebrating this transition season with their art exhibit called “Let it Snow!” In this exhibit they have a variety of paintings from different artists, some French, some American. Not only that, but they all also have different styles of art, from abstract expressionism to impressionism. Though there are many differences between each painting, they all have the same connection that Santa Barbara lacks: snow!
French Impressionists, Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro, are credited with painting the first snow scenes with their ability of sophisticated brushwork set together with raw hue to allude to the lighting coming off the snow. This, however, is exactly why paintings of the snow are very difficult to complete. The way that the light reflects and refracts off snow leads to a limited tonal range that the artist can use to paint these scenes. Santa Barbara Museum describes this installation as “a range of European and American artists are represented (including George Bellows, Henri Le Sidaner, Maurice de Vlaminck, Marsden Hartley, Maurice Utrillo, Colin Campbell Cooper, Bruce Crane, Childe Hassam, Wilson Irvine, Jervis McEntee, Grandma Moses, Walter Palmer, and Edward Redfield) and in each canvas, a different motif allows the artist to take expressive advantage of the picturesque effects that snowfall uniquely occasions.” Whether a peaceful field scene or a technical Parisian street, or the soft snow that blankets over the tree of a New England forest, this exhibit shows a variety of scenes with immense sophistication through the brush.
This exhibit is open from October 7 to January 6. When viewers come into look at the art, they are welcomed to start from either the left or right side to view the different paintings. From this, each painting transitions in their style and form. An example of one of the paintings is “The Hunters,” by Grandma Moses, an American folk artist. This was a gift presented by Margaret P. Mallory. This painting is from 1946 and has pictures of a white snowy forest. In this painting, it has the image of a hunter, a human hunter and a fox. Both seem to be stalking its prey. The hunter stalking the fox while the fox is hunting the bunnies in the forest. The painting depicts a bright white scene, as if the sun is reflecting off the snow, an effect that oil paintings can bring onto a canvas.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is still open despite construction and is accessible through the museum’s gift shop. The museum is filled with more than just the “Let it Snow!” exhibit, like the highlights of their permanent collection that consists of art from China, France, India, and the United States. There is a new exhibit open now entitled the “Paths of Gold” which features Japanese art of landscapes and narrative pieces.


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