Sacred Art in the Age of Contact: Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara

Event Date: 

Saturday, September 16, 2017 to Friday, December 8, 2017


Spanish Colonial, Walking Priest, c. 1725, Wood, gilt , 22 x 9 1/2 x 8 in.  Art, Design and Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara, Gift of Mrs. Edwin Brooks

The exhibition Sacred Art in the Age of Contact, Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara  will be on view at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara from September 16 - December 8, 2017.  The exhibition will concurrently run from September 14, 2017 - January 14, 2018 at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.  Sacred Art  brings together for the first time a diverse array of approximately one hundred objects, from local collections that include the Mission Santa Ines, Mission La Purisima Concepcion, 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. 

Sacred Art  is an official participant of the Getty initiative, Pacific Standard Time LA/LA, Latin American & Latino Art in LA.  This initiative is a collaboration of numerous arts institutions in California, and explores the historical relationship between Latin America and the greater Los Angeles area through a series of thematically linked exhibitions.

Sacred Art  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, our exhibition investigates the mutually transformative interaction among these tradtions, and will draw implications for the ways in which we can understand the cultural dymamics of Santa Barbara County today.  Twentieth - century and contemporary Chumash visual production will be exhibitioned alongside these 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 cutlural 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 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. 

For all Santa Barbara Historial Museum events related to this exhibition, please visit their website at  Thank you. 


Exhibition Sponsor


Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA brings a unique opportunity specifically to Santa Barbara, encouraging cross-cultural dialogue and critical investigation of Latin American art in a local context. 

Exhibitions include:

Valeska Soares: Any Moment Now at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, September 17 – December 31, 2017

Guatemala from 33,000 km: Contemporary Art, 1960 - Present at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, and the Community Arts Workshop, September 17 – December 17, 2017

The Schoolhouse and the Bus: Mobility, Pedagogy, and Engagement.  Two Projects by Paglo Helguera and Suzanne Lacy / Pilar Riano-Alcala at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara, September 27 – December 8, 2017

Sacred Art in the Age of Contact: Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara
September 16 – December 8, 2017  and Santa Barbara Historical Museum September 14 – January 14, 2018

Accompanying the exhibitions, each organization offers a season of educational programming, including lectures, workshops, and a Latin American Film series. The Santa Barbara collaboration culminates on the weekend of October 20 – 22, 2017, with each institution hosting panel discussions, symposia, performances, and lectures.

Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty with arts institutions across Southern California. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.