Full Exposure – Artist James Gilbert knows our intimate details, whether he likes it or not

'DELICATE STANDARD'

‘DELICATE STANDARD’

Whether you have a Facebook account or a Twitter feed or nothing at all, the changing ideas of privacy affect us all. We let people know where we work, where we live, our beliefs and opinions, what we eat and drink and where we are this very minute. And the thing is, younger generations see no problem with it. Full transparency, they vote.

You could say that “transparency” is also the operative word in James Gilbert’s work, which comes to Contemporary Arts Forum this Thursday as part of First Thursdays. Instead of paintings or video or dance, viewers will encounter Gilbert himself right when they walk in, high above the desk, sewing underwear out of plastic, a material that leaves little to the imagination. Don’t worry, you don’t have to wear it. But visitors will have an opportunity to hang their ‘wear all around the gallery. That’s a lot of tighty whiteys. The work is “accumulative sculpture,” he says.

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Creative Juices – CAF highlights the best of the Ottawa Animation Festival

STILL FROM MICHAL SOCHAS' CHICK

STILL FROM MICHAL SOCHA’

STILL FROM G. MELISSA GRAZIANO'S 'LOVE ON THE LINE'

STILL FROM G. MELISSA GRAZIANO’S ‘LOVE ON THE LINE’

S ‘CHICK’

In Canada, the city of Ottawa has earned a reputation as a hub for film festivals, and one of its most popular is the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival. Part of that reputation comes from its community-building before, during and after the screenings, and part comes from its openness to local and amateur filmmakers, but a major ingredient has to be the pure quality of films each year.

But there’s no need to travel to the Great White North, as the festival packages an 80-minute compilation of its prize-winners to tour. This tour stops at Santa Barbara’s own Contemporary Arts Forum this Thursday to show, as part of First Thursdays.

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They Draw Horses, Don’t They? – Artists gather for a 24-hour marathon art session

Artists Keith Puccinelli, left, Penelope Gottlieb, top right, and Alejandro Casazi prepare for the drawing marathon earlier this summer. Thomas Kelsey/News-Press

Artists Keith Puccinelli, left, Penelope Gottlieb, top right, and Alejandro Casazi prepare for the drawing marathon earlier this summer.
Thomas Kelsey/News-Press

“4 a.m. is when it really starts to get to you,” says artist Saul Grey-Hildenbrand. “That’s when you really start questioning your sanity.”

Doing anything for 24 hours straight is pushing human limits, but there’s a special place for drawing, as a select group of Santa Barbara artists will find out this weekend when Contemporary Arts Forum hosts its first annual “From Dusk ’til Drawn” to raise money for CAF’s budget.

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SCENE ARTS : COLOR SPINNING : The crackling, psychedelic sculpture/performances of John Williams come to CAF

Above and below: John Williams performs "Record Projection" in 2009, with the help of record players, slides, Super-8 projectors and other mixed media. Courtesy photos

Above and below: John Williams performs “Record Projection” in 2009, with the help of record players, slides, Super-8 projectors and other mixed media.
Courtesy photos

Artist John Williams works in sound, light and color in a way that’s polar-opposite to the film composer who shares his name and makes Internet searching difficult. His work has vacillated between photography and sculpture since his days at CalArts, but all the while, his 2-D work has been trying to leap or peel itself off walls.

Still evolving after all these years, his “Record Projection” series comes to Contemporary Arts Forum this Thursday night as part of First Thursdays. The 45-minute piece is part-installation, part projection, part performance, part sound collision. It’s all Williams, though.

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A Thing of Vision – 16 local collectors share their private works at CAF

Martin Eder's "Chasse aux Papillons," from the collection of Mike Healy and Tim Walsh. Photos Courtesy of CAF

Martin Eder’s “Chasse aux Papillons,” from the collection of Mike Healy and Tim Walsh.
Photos Courtesy of CAF

The idea for “Visionaries,” Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum’s new show opening tomorrow night, came from the various trips Miki Garcia and Valerie Velazquez have taken as part of their job. Not trips far afield or to other museums, but ventures closer to home, to the houses of the board members of CAF. While discussing business or making social calls, the two couldn’t help but witness the collections on display and how the members supported not just CAF, but the artists in the gallery and contemporary art as a whole.

“Seeing how people incorporate these pieces in their home is an art in itself,” Velazquez says.

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Biggers than Most — The ever-expanding world of Sanford Biggers

SANFORD BIGGERS

SANFORD BIGGERS

Sanford Biggers, "Constellation," 2009, Steel, Plexiglas, LED\u@019s, Zoopoxy, cotton quilt, original printed cotton tile. Dimensions variable, Installation at Harvard University. Courtesy the Artist and Michael Klein Arts, New York, N.Y.

Sanford Biggers, “Constellation,” 2009, Steel, Plexiglas, LED\u@019s, Zoopoxy, cotton quilt, original printed cotton tile. Dimensions variable, Installation at Harvard University. Courtesy the Artist and Michael Klein Arts, New York, N.Y.

Sanford Biggers, "Smirk," 2009 Aluminum, plexiglas, LEDs, timer. 30 x 26.5 x 10.5 in. Ed. 3 + AP. Courtesy the Artist and Michael Klein Arts, New York, N.Y.

Sanford Biggers, “Smirk,” 2009 Aluminum, plexiglas, LEDs, timer. 30 x 26.5 x 10.5 in. Ed. 3 + AP. Courtesy the Artist and Michael Klein Arts, New York, N.Y.

Quiet and thoughtful in tone, multidisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers says a lot in his sit-down interview, but even more in his art. Large trees sprout from disco floors and through pianos. Huge mandalas quoting Buddhism double as floors for break-dancing competitions. This is what Biggers loves to do — take culturally loaded objects (lawn jockeys, Buddhas) and “bling” them out in a similar way.

His re-appropriations aren’t obscure, and the commonplace nature of many objects in his art provokes and amuses upon first sight. A chance to sample Biggers’ most recent work is happening this month, with a new exhibition already open at Contemporary Arts Forum, part of a series of events stretching into April that intend to introduce the artist to a larger audience.

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Deep in Red — CAF’s Valentine’s Auction one of the year’s biggest

All hail the Red, White and … Pink!

It’s time again for “La Vie en Rose,” Contemporary Arts Forum’s annual Valentine’s exhibition, benefit auction and fashion show. The exhibition side — featuring works from a slew of Santa Barbara artists like Stephanie Dotson, Warren Schultheis, Zacarias Paul, Mary Heebner and more — is already up, but Saturday night’s gala event is the time to really show the love.

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