JuxtaPOSE Art Review in This Week's Independent

The following is an excerpt of the article written by Charles Donelan for the Santa Barbara Independent, originally printed July 2, 2018.  Click here to read the full article.

‘JuxtaPOSE’ at The Arts Fund

Four Artists Expand the Field of Portraiture

Monday, July 2, 2018
By Charles Donelan

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Nothing says anthropocentric like a good old-fashioned portrait. Isolated, regally upright, and centered among objects chosen to enhance its prestige, classical portraiture celebrates men and women as the measures of all things. In JuxtaPOSE, the group exhibit currently on view at The Arts Fund, curator Ashley Woods Hollister has gathered works by four artists — Connie Connally, Sommer Roman, Lindsey Ross, and Leslie Lewis Sigler — into a provocative examination of what portraiture might become in an expanded field extending beyond the limits of unaided human perception.

For millennia, human understanding has been confined to our species umwelt, meaning the world as it is experienced by a particular organism, in this case that of Homo sapiens. As we learn more about how other species perceive the world — and in particular how they depend for evolutionary survival on senses we lack, such as a bat’s sonar hearing or a migratory bird’s internal magnetic compass — our knowledge of the world is revealed to be what it has been all along: a small sliver of the fabric of physical reality as a whole.


Blue Sky Center 555 Artist in Residency Exhibition Coming Up!

In April we partnered with the Blue Sky Center for their inaugural artist in residency program, 555 Rural Artist Residency.  In a few short weeks, on July 26th, Blue Sky Center will be coming to Santa Barbara to exhibit the work of the five artists who were in residence, Seeing Rural, Through the Eyes of Visiting Artists in the Cuyama Valley.  The exhibition will be at the Art from Scrap Gallery.  We hope you will join us!

From The Blue Sky Center:
"The Blue Sky Center team invites you to join us in celebrating the completion of our first ever artist residency program in the Cuyama Valley. Generously supported by the Squire Foundation, Santa Barbara County Department of Arts & Culture, and in collaboration with Explore Ecology and the Art From Scrap Creative ReUse Store, we hosted five artist teams for five days in our five Shelton Huts on the Blue Sky Center campus, encouraging artwork made in, with, and about the Cuyama Valley communities. Just a two hour drive north of Los Padres National Forest, the Cuyama Valley is home to three unincorporated townsites and its own school district in the northeast corner of Santa Barbara County. With this exhibit, we invite the Santa Barbara community to learn more about the valley and support the arts in our rural place."


  • Ben Guzman and Angela Wood  // Small Medium Large Productions — Los Angeles CA
  • Noé Montes — Los Angeles CA
  • Tom Gottelier and Bobby Petersen // Designers on Holiday — Los Angeles and Oslo
  • Butchy Fuego — Talkeetna AK
  • Nicole Lavelle — Lagunitas CA
  • RESIDENCY FACILITATOR: Mary Rothilsberger — Palouse WA
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Ruben Espinoza and a Mural at the Far West Tavern Building in Guadalupe

photo by Ashley W. Hollister

On Sunday, June 24th the Dunes Center, in partnership with The Squire Foundation, held a mural unveiling celebration.  Ruben Espinoza, one of The Squire Foundation's Artist in Residence, began working on this new temporary mural on June 18th.  The mural is on the side of the former Far Western Tavern building.  Perhaps some of you were able to see the work in progress.

The mural is the result of a collaborative effort between The Squire Foundation and the Dunes Center in Guadalupe with the goal of sharing public art pieces that bring the community together.

The painting, designed and installed by Ruben Espinoza, will be representative of the dynamic community of Guadalupe.

Ruben Espinoza is a local artist born and raised in Santa Maria and currently an Artist in Residence with the Squire Foundation. Espinoza’s work can be found around the Central Coast and Southern California and he is known for his installations that facilitate public engagement.

Click here for more about Ruben and the project.

Animal Sculptures Visiting Preisker Park

News Release
June 25, 2018

The City of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department is pleased to host a temporary exhibition of animal sculptures this summer at Preisker Park, 330 Hidden Pines Way. The exhibition will be brought to the park on Wednesday, June 27th and consists of four sculptures.

The animal sculptures were created by late Santa Barbara County artist Morris Squire and are on loan from the Squire Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to civic and educational programs for artists, curators, and all manner of creative people.  The four sculptures, Reclining Tiger, Golden Jaguar, Flying Eagle, and interactive ram, are part of the Squire Foundation’s mission to bring more public art to the North County.

Residents will have the opportunity to decorate the interactive ram during the reception and community painting on Saturday, July 7th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.    

This program made possible through a partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and The Squire Foundation.

Questions may be directed to the Recreation and Parks Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 2260.


Local artist set to capture the charm of Guadalupe’s vibrant community on local landmark.

far west tavern building

GUADALUPE, CA— One of the Squire Foundation’s Artists in Residence, Ruben Espinoza, will soon begin working to install a new temporary mural on the side of the former Far Western Tavern building.

The building was originally constructed in 1912 as The Palace Hotel where it remained until the Minetti family established the Far Western Tavern there in 1958. When the restaurant moved to Old Town Orcutt in 2012, the building was donated to the Dunes Center as the location for a new museum.

The mural will be the result of a collaborative effort between Santa Barbara’s Squire Foundation Artist in Residence Program and the Dunes Center in Guadalupe with the goal of sharing public art pieces that bring the community together.

“We are excited to continue the tradition of art with the building that holds a special place in the heart of this town,” says Dunes Center Executive Director, Doug Jenzen, “Those who frequented the old Far Western Tavern probably remember the remarkable murals painted on the walls in the bar. Those murals still remain and we’re looking to continue that tradition by adding another piece of art that community can enjoy together.”

Join the Dunes Center on Sunday, June 24th as it hosts a public event to celebrate local art with the unveiling of the new mural. The painting, designed and installed by Ruben Espinoza, will be representative of the dynamic community of Guadalupe.

Ruben Espinoza is a local artist born and raised in Santa Maria and currently an Artist in Residence with the Squire Foundation. Espinoza’s work can be found around the Central Coast and Southern California and he is known for his installations that facilitate public engagement.

Though the event for the mural’s reveal is to be held on June 24, Espinoza will start working on the mural on Monday June 18. Visitors are encouraged to come watch the mural’s progress and post photos on social media with the hashtag: #thesquirefoundationpublicart

The Dunes Center is a natural history museum in the heart of historic Guadalupe, CA that works to conserve the unique ecosystem of the local dunes through education, research, and cooperative stewardship. Well known for its display of artifacts from Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 The Ten Commandments, the Dunes Center also offers a variety of guided community hikes, classroom education programs, and nature field trips that focus on the history of the area, as well as local flora and fauna.

For more information, visit www.dunescenter.org


About Ruben Espinoza: Born and raised in Santa Maria, first generation Mexican American, and first in my family to graduate from college. After graduation I spent 6 years working in the animation industry as a designer. I moved back to Santa Maria four years ago this August. I’ve been creating public art and painting murals in Southern and Central California for the past 8 years.

Visit https://www.chingondesignco.com for more information.

JuxtaPOSE Opening Reception and Exhibition

Exhibition on view at the Arts Fund May 18 - July 14th, 2018

How do artists negotiate the portrait? A classic conundrum. All portraiture—form aside—communicates a personality with a story; and yet, this story always assumes the artist and her process: In JuxtaPOSE, Connally, Roman, Ross and Sigler explore portraiture in their respective mediums: figurative painting, wet plate collodion photography, surrealist drawing and still life painting. When assembled together, their disparate practices create a dialogue that challenges the traditional understanding of portraiture, revealing individualities, particularities and narratives. This exhibition is curated by Ashley Woods Hollister of the Squire Foundation.

The Squire Foundation and The Arts Fund bring together four outstanding local female artists - Connie Connally, Sommer Roman, Lindsey Ross, and Leslie Lewis Sigler - each of whom represent mastery in their respective expressions and process. We have grouped them together at the table of one of the most important forms of artistic representation: the portrait.

Healing Hut For Soul Repair with Colleen M. Kelly

Healing Hut for Sould Repair,    title.jpg

The Squire Foundation has partnered with artist Colleen M. Kelly, creator of Healing Hut for Soul Repair to help her bring this creative form of healing to the community. 

Healing Hut for Soul Repair is a temporary public art installation created in response to the Santa Barbara region’s recent Thomas Fire and January 9th mudslide disasters. Inspired by shared childhood memories of making blanket forts in our living rooms and bedrooms, artist Colleen M. Kelly has created a movable, adult-sized ‘healing hut’ for area residents of all ages. Designed to recreate those forts’ cocoon-like sense of safety and comfort, Kelly notes, “I want people to experience the Healing Hut as a quiet place to escape, reflect, and de-stress. The fire and mudslide changed the lives, the terrain, and the spirit of our community. We need many modalities for healing--art is one.”

 Image provided by artist, Colleen M. Kelly

Image provided by artist, Colleen M. Kelly

The Healing Hut for Soul Repair will pop-up, where invited, to locations around Montecito and other South Coast areas. It is meant to be a quiet gift, spontaneously offered.

Colleen M. Kelly is a multidisciplinary artist based in Santa Barbara. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. She is a staunch art advocate and believes that art saves lives.

On March 28th, the Healing Hut for Soul Repair popped up at Westmont College, in the Voskuyl Library.  Over 45 people visited the Healing Hut for Soul Repair for a full sensory experience. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION & FUTURE LOCATIONS: contact Colleen M. Kelly at cmknsb@yahoo.com or call 805-965-7247 and leave a message.

Painted Locks Community Art Activity


Squire sponsored a free community art activity on May 3, 2018, in conjunction with the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture's State of the Art Gallery 2018 Exhibition, featuring sculptures made by local artists.  The activity was led by local artist Emily Murray

Follow the links below to read more about the California Love Locks Project and about the State of the Art Gallery Exhibition. 




Jodie Hollander Poetry Readings in Chicago

Squire Artist in Residence Alum, Jodie Hollander, is currently on a book tour reading from her new book of collected poetry, My Dark Horses.  Most recently, she had four stops in Chicago, Illinois.  Next, she heads back to her home state of Colorado. 

To find out more about Jodie and her poetry, visit her website

A BOX - by Jodie Hollander

All those years
of trying to understand
which of this is her,
which of this is me?
Getting at the truth
was always so confusing
amidst her craziness;
how to separate?
And though the shrink said
Put her in a box—
I never quite could
until that Saturday
when the doorbell rang:
and there stood a man
thin and bedraggled,
dripping in the rain.
He held a clipboard,
a small warped box,
containing my mother
or rather her remains.
Sign here, he said,
and handed me the box.
Funny how this came
surprisingly unbidden,
though I’ve often wondered
if in a weak moment
I didn’t wish for this.
But now that it’s here
what am I to do
except to hold it close,
feel its roughness
up against my cheek,
smell that terrible smell
of factory cardboard
now finally between us.

Images courtesy of Jodie Hollander