Sacred Art in the Age of Contact focuses on the relationship between art and religion in both Chumash and Spanish traditions in the early Mission period. Highlighting themes of devotion, sacred space, language and materiality. The exhibition investigates the mutually transformative interaction among these traditions, and will draw implications for the ways in which one can understand the cultural dynamics of Santa Barbara County today. Twentieth-century and contemporary Chumash visual production will be on view alongside sacred objects, demonstrating the continuity of the culture’s rich artistic practices. Sacred Art will provide an unprecedented point of entry into the artistic and cultural production of Chumash artists working within and alongside the Mission system, a story that has not yet been told on this scale in Santa Barbara County.
The exhibition is curated by Margaret Bell and Diva Zumaya, Adjunct Assistant Curators and Doctoral Candidates, History of Art and Architecture, UC Santa Barbara and is organized by the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. This exhibition brings together, for the first time, a diverse array of approximately one hundred objects, from local collections that include the Mission Santa Inés, Mission La Purísima Concepcíon, the Santa Barbara Mission Museum and Archive-Library, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, and the Repository for Archaeological and Ethnographic Collections at UC Santa Barbara.
The exhibition will be presented at two venues, the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara, opening reception September 27, 2017, 5:30 - 7:30pm, and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, opening reception September 14, 2017, 5:30 - 7pm.