The Tamayo Debut

They made it look so easy. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art held a reception for members of the President’s Century Council to kick off the new exhibition, Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted. The entry pillars were covered with flowers woven into a stunning pattern and the fountain was solid floating Gerber daisies in great blocks of color to remind one that Tamayo painted in great blocks of color. More than 100 of his paintings from private and institutional collections all over the world were hung with care. It seems so simple.

Katrina Carl, the museum’s public relations manager, told me years of research went into finding all the work, not to mention getting it loaned out. There are canvases that have not been on public view for decades. Which is a big deal, since Tamayo is considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is a leader in the field of Latin American art. As Phillip M. Johnston, the museum’s director, said, “We are fortunate to have the perfect convergence of curatorial strength, important collections and community support at this critical moment in the field of Latin American art.”

Tamayo was born in 1899 in Oaxaca, Mexico where his father was a shoemaker and his mother a seamstress. He began painting at 11 and was in art school by 17. Tamayo’s career spanned seven decades in Mexico, New York and Paris. He was almost 92 when he died, successful and recognized throughout his lifetime.

Two of the sponsors of the exhibition, Leslie Ridley-Tree and actor Cheech Marin (“Cheech and Chong,” “Tin Cup”) were greeting guests who were enjoying Brander wines and yummy hors d’oeuvres. Curator Diana du Pont had to be enjoying the culmination of years of work. Also, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Patrick Stone and Director of Development Kristi Wallace were in attendance.

The Tamayo exhibition will be here until May 27 and will then travel to the Miami Art Museum and on to Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City. Drop in and have a look.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm. Docent-led tours of special exhibitions are held daily at noon; docent tours of the permanent collection are offered daily at 1 pm. Admission is $9 for general, $6 for seniors, students with ID, children ages 6-17 and free if you’re a museum member or visit on Sunday.

Howling for Los Lobos

Every seat in Campbell Hall was filled for the UCSB Arts & Lectures Los Lobos concert. The group has come a long way, starting 30 years ago in East Los Angeles playing gigs in restaurants, at back yard parties and quinceañeras. They are known for their distinctive rock ‘n’ roll sound infused with traditional Mexican influences.

This Grammy-winning fivesome has toured around the world with stars such as Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. The audience was obviously familiar with the group, clapping and cheering each time they announced a song from a certain album. With no intermission the concert ended with the audience standing, dancing and rocking to the beat. After much applause, Los Lobos returned to play for another 20 minutes. Happy fans!

There was a post-concert reception for the Producers Circle at the UCSB Visitor Center. Director Celesta Billeci had told the audience, “These are the people whose contributions help keep the Arts & Lectures series afloat.” Some of those mingling with the band were Eric and Anita Sonquist, Barbara and Roger Kohn, Joe and Vibeke Weiland and Geofrey and Laura Wyatt.

Producers Circle members give a minimum of $1,000 to be included in VIP seating, various dinners and receptions associated with Arts & Lectures events. And there are many – about 44 performances and at least 30 films and lectures throughout the year.

If you are interested call Director of Development Jocelyn Ondre at 893-3449 or her associate Amy Lassere at 893-3465.