Santa Barbara Visual Artists Group Hopes to Stay on State Street

While some seasonal temporary businesses have already started operation on State Street, many won’t last but a couple of months, such as the Halloween store in the former Macy’s building. 

However, organizers of one so-called pop-up at 1019 State St. hope to stay much longer. 

The Santa Barbara Visual Artists Gallery Pop-up held a reception Sept. 14, which drew many passers-by and a number of the artists whose work was displayed in a store front gallery that has been unoccupied for many years. It used to house a Turkish bazaar, which since has moved down the street. 

Jan Baker, co-chairwoman of the group, said Santa Barbara Visual Artists formed a collective so that some of its 50 members could divide the discounted rent on the space. 

She said Santa Barbara Visual Artists nonprofit group started six years ago mainly by artists who were new to the South Coast. 

The pop-up will surely remain in place through the holidays, Baker said, but collective members are hoping to convince the building owner, Ray Mahood, and property manager, Mitch Stark with Berkshire Hathaway, to stay maybe permanently. 

The art displayed at the pop-up includes a variety of paintings, sculptures, photographs and other media. Leticia Haynes curated the gallery exhibit and Michael Mead set up the artworks.

Baker said it was relatively easy to set up the gallery because no interior excavation or plumbing problems were there to slow the process as can be found at many State Street store fronts that remain empty. 

And, it will be easy to take down the pop-up if its lease is not renewed, Baker said. 

The night after the Visual Artists reception, a grand opening was planned for Pop-Up at Paseo Nuevo, a gallery featuring six artists.

Artworks in the gallery are for sale. It is open most days from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but some special evening events are plan through the end of the year. For more information, see 

Leave a Reply