September 25, 2019

SBCC's Atkinson Gallery Presents Jane Mulfinger's "West is South" Exhibit

Santa Barbara City College's Atkinson Gallery presents a solo exhibition by Jane Mulfinger, "West is South," on display in the Gallery Sept. 27-Dec. 6. Local artist Mulfinger's work explores the premise of spatial disorientation with our local seawater as an entryway into our own sense of belonging.

An opening reception will be held Friday, Oct. 4, 5-7pm in the Atkinson Gallery on SBCC's East campus. The exhibition is supported by the SBCC Foundation, a Community Arts Grant from the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture.

About the exhibit: At the end of Stearn's Wharf in Santa Barbara, there is a painted compass on wooden timbers. We become aware that while looking out over the ocean, we are not looking west, we are in fact looking south unlike the orientation of most of the California coast. It's a spatial conundrum shared by most people in this region that has a fundamental geological premise. This disorientation is a result of thousands of years of seismic shifts, in which part of the Pacific plate broke off, moved northwards and pushed into the coastline that formed this place.* The ground we stand on is actually from what is now upper Baja California, San Diego and the border region. As we look out across the ocean, we are looking back toward the place this land came from.

Mulfinger is using this premise of spatial disorientation as an entryway into a work that asks for thoughts from the public regarding the sensation of belonging. This subject is particularly resonant at this time - a time of insecurity for many people - especially in the centuries-old human movement between the north and south. So many stories are out there. This work seeks to extract and share narratives. The art of detailed narrative - descriptions of sounds, sights, smells, textures, qualities of light, are aspects that will be the foundation for this roving, publicly sited work.

This work will be installed at the Atkinson Gallery and at temporary stations around Santa Barbara. Both at these sites and online, diverse groups in Santa Barbara are asked to describe where they belong. These texts will be displayed in multiple languages within the Atkinson Gallery and at other sites. If you would like to participate anonymously, please use this link: West Is South.

Jane Mulfinger is an artist and UCSB Professor in the Department of Art, (janemulfinger.com , mulfinger@arts.uscb.edu, cell 805-705-0913).

(*Tanya Atwater, Emerita, UCSB)

For more information, please visit the SBCC Atkinson Gallery