Courtesy of SB Downtown Organization
May is potentially my favorite month of the year (and my mother’s as well, not surprisingly). Santa Barbara’s cultural scene awakes from its pre-summer slumber—bringing back festival season with I Madonnari, can you say visitors galore?—and stays up late with the lingering sunshine, especially for 1st Thursday. For May 2nd’s evening of culture and art, taking place from 5–8 p.m., we’re celebrating the best modes of transportation for getting around town and seeing everything that Santa Barbara has to offer—a sampling of which can be experienced this 1st Thursday.
Art abounds during May’s 1st Thursday, with some big-name galleries switching out their exhibits. Sullivan Goss—An American Gallery brings in a family affair with the Andrew Wyeth: American Master exhibit, showcasing three generations of Wyeth paintings—you won’t want to miss this one. Photographer Grif Heath exhibits his stunning nature photography at Industry Home, while landscape artist John Baran‘s perspective paintings bring color and light to Plum Goods. FastFrame Santa Barbara brings the beauties of Boisen to its walls with glimmering oil paintings. Art Walk for Kids/Adults opens its annual art show at Faulkner Gallery this Thursday, displaying gorgeous works by adults and children with disabilities for the whole month of May.
This month, the Lobero Theatre takes part in the 1st Thursday celebrations with live music, a bar on the bricks and a raffle drawing as part of its Encore: Lobero raffle. Tickets are still available for the raffle, so head here to grab your share before Thursday and support the Lobero’s renovation coming up this summer! We’re all very excited to see what the Lobero has in store.
Fashion busts new moves this month, with Paseo Nuevo celebrating all things two-wheeled with their CycleMAYnia: Velo Vogue bicycle fashion show— with live music from Sidewalk Affair and brews from Hoffmann Brat Haus and Telegraph Brewing Company. Encanto in La Arcada melds music and couture musings with jewelry designer Erin Reinecke’s trunk show, showcasing her Erin Reinecke Bailant Jewelry, and the melodies of the Blue Moon Quartet. Or, go vintage by busting out your high-school finest and joining Bike Moves at Bike Prom, with a ride along State St. at 7:30 p.m. and an after-party at Bicycle Coalition at 9:15 p.m.
Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum brings Lisa Coons & the Collected to the stage, performing several contemporary violin and cello works starts at 7 p.m.
Leave the sights and sounds inside and travel where the outdoor performances reside. Quire of Voyces belts a capella choral music from the Renaissance and modern age outside Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The museum steps serve as a stage for Rebekah Scogin and Friends, with Latin American dance tunes from guitar, percussion, oboe and accordion players coaxing passersby into dancing some cumbia, merengue or tango steps. Further down State, ArtBark International brings theater, dance, music, magic and improv performances to the Marshall’s courtyard.
After the excitement on State, skate, bike, walk or drive (responsibly) to the new Seven Bar & Kitchen in the Funk Zone, where DJ Darla Bea will be spinning some funky 70s tunes amidst infused-vodka cocktails and grub.
No matter how you arrive to this week’s 1st Thursday, celebrate our town’s travel and local transportation efforts and abilities by spending an evening doused in the culture and arts that make Santa Barbara such a unique place. Check out a full list of happenings here.
-Taylor Micaela Davis