Sunflowers arrive on State Street in Santa Barbara.
The sculpted flowers will be mounted on State Street from March through May in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s Vincent Van Gogh exhibit, “Through Vincent’s Eyes.”
The State Street exhibit is organized by the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture.
The sculptures are made of steel, wood, mesh and epoxy resins, and were created by local artist firm “The Environment Makers”, consisting of Kym Cochran and Jonathan Smith.
“I think they’re wonderful and I’ll try to refrain from picking a flower,” Steve Hausz, a member of the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission, said at last week’s meeting.
Students from several local schools, including Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara, and San Marcos High Schools and Goleta Valley, Santa Barbara, La Colina High Schools, painted the flowers during art class.
The Environment Makers developed and produced the sunflowers at The Arts Fund Gallery and invited members of the community to join in the production of the flower petals during workshop hours.
The artists offered virtual painting lessons to participating students.
Sunflowers created by ‘The Environment Makers’ ready to be painted by local students. (photo added)
“Making this project as inclusive as possible in representing the talents of local artists and residents was important to us,” Cochran said in a statement.
Exhibits will be up to eight feet high and three feet wide. The flowers will have flexibility for wind and movement, but enough stiffness to keep them durable and upright, said Sarah York Rubin, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture.
The six sculptures will be affixed to blocks between Carrillo and Victoria streets.
“Santa Barbara Beautiful is thrilled to be a collaborative funder of this year’s Sunflowers on State Street exhibit,” said Deborah Schwartz, Chair of the Board of Santa Barbara Beautiful. “Sunflowers by internationally acclaimed artist Vincent Van Gogh are among his most famous works and some of the most iconic paintings in the world.
Project sponsors include the City of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Beautiful, American Riviera Bank, Farmers and Merchants Trust Company, Fess Parker Winery, Stephen and Libby Erickson, Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Village Properties, Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Downtown Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, Vista Paint, Home Depot, the Santa Barbara Public Library and The Arts Fund.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on March 3 at the Sunflower Sculpture in front of Old Navy, 1137 State St.
“I think it’s going to be beautiful, and I’m very supportive of it,” said Michael Drury, member of the commissioner for historic monuments.