Museum of Art, Design and Architecture reopens at UCSB

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KENNETH SONG / NEW PRESS PHOTOS
On Saturday, two visitors chat inside the museum of art, design and architecture on the UCSB campus.

UCSB’s Museum of Art, Design and Architecture reopened on Saturday for the first time since March 2020, once again welcoming students and members of the public to enjoy its new exhibits.

The museum initially closed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and officially made a comeback over the weekend. Visitors who have not been able to enter the museum for 19 months are now invited to come back and enjoy the museum’s three new exhibits.

Upon entering the museum, visitors are immersed in one of the new exhibits titled “Irresistible Delights: Recent Gifts to the Art Collection”. This collection includes an array of paintings, photographs, carved wooden statues and colorful textiles, all of which have been donated to the museum by friends, patrons, alumni and teachers over the past decade.

Inside the museum’s main gallery, visitors will notice a variety of African artwork, including sculpted statues and textiles. The gallery also displays a collection of pottery by Pablo Picasso, which has been donated to the museum’s permanent collection.

The main gallery also houses a collection of paintings and photographs which have been donated by UCSB graduates, current and former professors and friends of the museum.

“What you see (in this exhibit) is a bit of everything,” Silvia Perea, acting director of the museum, told News-Press on Saturday. “There are paintings, sculptures, ceramics and woodcarvings for students and visitors to see and appreciate the richness of art in all its expressions,” she added.

In addition to the exhibition in the main gallery, the museum also has two special exhibitions in its side galleries by May 2022.

A carved wooden statue from Nigeria is on display at the museum.

The first, titled “The Sound of a Thousand Years”, features instruments, costumes and photographs that depict gagaku, classical music and the dance of the Japanese imperial court. The gallery displays a range of instruments in a traditional gagaku orchestra, and visitors can hear the orchestra’s Asian-inspired melodies playing in the background.

The second special exhibition, titled “From Riggs to Neutra and Niemeyer: Tremaine Houses”, features architectural sketches and drawings of four houses built in Santa Barbara during the 20th century. The four gallery walls each feature a different architect who designed houses in Santa Barbara. The four architects are Lutah Maria Riggs, Richard Neutra, Oscar Niemeyer and Paul L. Soderberg.

According to Ms Perea, two of the houses are still standing in Montecito, one of the houses was destroyed in a fire and the other was never built.

After facing a 19-month closure, Ms Perea said the reopening is a “very significant moment” for the museum. She said that while the museum has remained connected to the community during the pandemic through Zoom events, she is happy to be back in person.

The Museum of Art, Design and Architecture on the UCSB campus can be seen near the Storke Tower on Saturday.

“We have always operated in a very personal way with our openings and our tours and with our lectures and our programming,” Ms. Perea said. “And so the museum was used to having a very individual kind of relationship with our clients, and that has changed dramatically with COVID. ”

“We are therefore delighted to reconnect with people in a physical way and to relaunch our programming in person here at the museum,” she added.

Entrance to the museum is always free and its opening hours are from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday. Masks are mandatory inside the gallery, and visitors from outside UCSB must complete a form Selection survey on demand on the day of their visit and receive approval before arriving on campus.

Visitors affiliated with UCSB, including faculty, staff and students, will need to complete a COVID-19 screening survey and receive subsequent approval before entering the museum.

For more information, visit museum.ucsb.edu.

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