by Susan Zamudio-Gurrola When doing your holiday shopping, consider stopping by El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park to browse through the selection of items at La Tiendita. Each purchase will help support the mission of SBTHP, and SBTHP members will receive their member discount on all purchases. Betsy Green’s new book, Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1914, recounts newsworthy events that were featured in articles written during 1914 in the Santa Barbara Morning Press and the Daily News & Independent. Interesting and often amusing things to make the headlines included declaring that the tango incited the “looseness of morals”; the account of a storm flooding Santa Barbara severely enough to wash away homes, sections of bridges and pavement; photographs of the Mexican Revolution being brought to the U.S. and shown to the public at the Mission Theater; Paris fashion dictating at the time that “ankles will now be freely displayed” instead of discreetly covered; famous individuals such as Helen Keller visiting Santa Barbara; and the legendary dancer Martha Graham once living in our beautiful city. Grab a copy of this enjoyable read today! For fashionable gentlemen who happen to also be history buffs, we have a new button-down, collared shirt which features beautiful renderings of California Missions, including the Santa Barbara and Santa Inés missions! The shirt is 100% cotton, is designed and manufactured by a family-run company based in Southern California, and is available in sizes small through XXL. Come see these high quality, attractive shirts in person at La Tiendita. For many of us, the rainy weather stirs up a craving for warm, comforting beverages – such as hot chocolate. To satisfy that craving, we carry discs of Taza brand Chocolate Mexicano, as well as molinillos (traditional Mexican wood-turned whisks for mixing and frothing). You might enjoy trying your hand at the molinillo. It takes a little skill to maintain momentum when turning the handle in between the palms of your hands to create froth. Stock up on Taza hot chocolate today in preparation for the next cold or stormy day. Lastly, we are pleased to introduce one-of-a-kind tiles created by a Los Angeles-based duo of artists, featuring their original photographs of the Presidio. Their images are unique and beautiful, as you can see for yourself! If you are in need of a holiday gift basket, please contact the gift shop manager, Susan Zamudio-Gurrola, at (805) 965-0093 about putting one together with items from La Tiendita. We have various books, note cards, art prints, hand-painted ceramics, DVDs, and our own olive oil made with olives from our Santa Inés Mission Mills property.
By Susan Zamudio-Gurrola
The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation would like to announce the addition of a new staff member: Susan Zamudio-Gurrola. Having previously worked for two museums in Ventura County, Susan will be utilizing her prior experience to assist our Director of Education as well as be in charge of the gift shops at the Visitor Center at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park and Casa de la Guerra.
Susan and other staff members will be featuring unique and fun items for sale during Old Spanish Days Fiesta at the booth and gift shop that SBTHP holds outside of the very entertaining Casa Cantina, in the Mercado at Plaza de la Guerra. Proceeds from the sale of these items will help support the mission of SBTHP, and SBTHP members will receive their member discount on all purchases.
Stop by Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 6:30pm, to shop our diverse offering of items including:
Fiesta apparel: various styles of sombreros for adults and children, charming fans for ladies who are aiming for the coy señorita look or just trying to beat the heat. We also have a special item that you can’t find just anywhere! Colorful satin sashes, made by members of the Tierra del Oro Parlor Native Daughters of the Golden West, that have been worn for decades as part of fiesta costuming. Wrapped around the waist and tied to one side, it makes a beautiful accessory.
Fiesta décor for your own celebration: “papel picado” banners, paper flower bouquets, colorful woven baskets and hand-made ceramic shot glasses. We’ll have many other fun party items including adhesive mustaches for the señores (come on, you know you want one!) and music-making maracas.
Go green during Fiesta! We will also offer reusable bags to take with you while you’re out on the town.
Susan Zamudio-Gurrola is the shop manager and education assistant at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.
by Katie Sorensen
Local artwork has always been a vibrant component to the community of Santa Barbara. Perhaps it is the natural beauty, architecture and lighting that inspires so many artists to paint. In an effort to support local arts, we have created a new art wall in the Visitor Center at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park called ‘Support Local Artists.’ Rotating exhibits will feature art that relates to the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, be it art featuring the historic sites we manage, or themes such as early Californian and the Asian American experience. Proceeds of sales go to the artist directly with 10% of commissions supporting preservation efforts at the Presidio. This month, ‘Support Local Artists’ features Goleta based artist Chris Potter.
Chris grew up in Santa Barbara and spent much of his leisure time outdoors, exploring the local beaches and bluffs and hiking in the mountains. Left free to ramble in the wild, Chris was able to experience the beauty of the Santa Barbara coastline at a young age, observing the details of the natural world. This ability to observe small details in the wild, led to an appreciation for nature. He later went to college, deciding to pursue art and made a commitment to create art every day. Graduating as a budding artist, Chris creates some of his most stunning works of art in nature. Instead of painting from a photograph, he paints outdoors, setting up an easel and translating what he observes in the wild onto canvas. Chris paints primarily with oil on canvas and oil on panel. His work can be seen at various galleries around town including Distinctive Framing at 1333 State Street. Currently on exhibit at SBTHP’s ‘Support Local Artists’ are paintings, “Presidio Chapel Two’s,” “Presidio Sun and Rain,” “de la Guerra,” and “Presidio Chapel Nocturne.” His paintings range in size from 6” by 8” to larger 3’ by 6’ works of art.
Currently Chris is teaching Plein Air painting classes that last two hours and takes place on Stearns wharf. Classes are $40.00 and include easels, brushes and paint. For an additional ten dollars, small panels are provided. To reserve a class e-mail Chris at email@example.com or visit his blog at chrispotterart.blogspot.com
Katie Sorensen is the shop manager at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
by Katie Sorensen
This month, La Tiendita, the Santa Barbara Presidio gift shop, is pleased to be carrying 2013 Volunteer of the Year, Jeannie Davis’s pottery. Jeannie Davis is a sixth generation descendant of the de la Guerra family on her mother’s side and has been working with the Santa Barbara Trust for historic Preservation for many years.
In January, Jeannie created pottery with a Mediterranean theme to complement SBTHP’s Santa Inés Mission Mills Olive Oil. We are carrying dishes and trays and each piece has a one-of-a-kind glaze featuring olives, with a green or lavender border.
Jeannie began working with clay in 1984, cultivating her skills through practice and instruction. Over the years she took many classes and in 2003 became a Duncan Certified Teacher, instructing classes in air-brush, brushwork, silk-screening and glazing techniques. Duncan certified teaching was created in 1968 by Robert Duncan to create a teacher Certification Program which later became a pillar of ceramics knowledge and is an international supplier of ceramic paints and crafts.
Jeannie created each piece using a low-fire earthen technique with emphasis on quality brushwork. Jeannie loves working with people and giving back to the community by working with clay. Her ability to “speak with clay” is reflected in the quality and character of her work. Her items can be found in both the Presidio gift shop and Casa de la Guerra gift shops. Please call (805) 965-0093 with questions or visit the gift shop.
Katie Sorensen is the shop manager at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
by Katie Sorensen
The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation has a long running relationship working with local ceramic artist Armando de la Rocha and this year we are pleased to be presenting a unique tile of Saint Barbara he created to sell in our gift shop at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. Armando is a local resident of Santa Barbara and a third and fourth grade ceramics teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School. Born in Sinaloa, Mexico in 1971, he arrived in Santa Barbara in 1993. He began working with clay in 1994 and after completing Santa Barbara City College courses in 2001, participated in his first solo show at the City College gallery for the annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration. Over the years he has established a reputation as a gifted potter, dedicated to preserving traditional Mexican folk art, in particular Dia De los Muertos imagery. Often his work features skeletons and skulls, symbolizing themes of mythology and Hispanic history. Creating the Saint Barbara tile this year for the Presidio adds a different theme to Armando’s repertoire of work and is a way for him to honor his Catholic heritage. He sells his work locally at the Arts and Crafts show on Cabrillo Boulevard on Sundays and participates in festivals throughout California. We are pleased to carry Armando’s work in our gift shop.
Armando’s depiction of Saint Barbara is based on a painting that can be viewed inside the Presidio’s Chapel. In 1783, José de Alcibar painted a portrait, approximately 9’ by 5’, of Saint Barbara in Mexico and later it was brought to Santa Barbara where it hung in the Presidio chapel until it was removed in the 1850’s. In the 1980’s the painting was discovered in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, to which many of the contents of the Presidio chapel had been moved in the mid-19th century. The church returned on a permanent loan to the Presidio Chapel, where it hangs today.
Armando’s Saint Barbara tile incorporates the tower Saint Barbara was banished to by her father. According to the legend of Saint Barbara, she was a beautiful maiden with noble goals. Barbara’s father followed a Greco-Roman religion and did not want his daughter attracting unworthy suitors. Locking her in a tower for years, she received food, water and clean laundry by means of a basket tied to a rope. While living in isolation Barbara’s devotion to Christianity grew after reading a book that a stranger sent to her with her food supplies. In time, her father sent suitors but Barbara’s interest in marriage had waned as she began to contemplate Christian theology. While her father was away for many months on a journey, a private bath house was to be built for her. During construction, Barbara had three windows built to symbolize the Holy Trinity, instead of two that were originally specified. When Barbara’s father returned, her conversion to Christianity was revealed, whereby her father threatened to kill her. Myths depict Barbara’s fate in different ways and because she held true to her faith, despite torture, she was able to heal miraculously. Eventually she was condemned to death by beheading and her father, after completing the death sentence himself, was struck by lighting and perished in the flames. Barbara was later buried as a Christian and her burial tomb was believed to become a site of miracles. As a result of the events surrounding her death, she is often regarded as Saint for artillery, and is invoked for protection against mine explosions, fires and war. She is often depicted with a chalice and symbolizes faith in the Holy Spirit.
Saint Barbara first became connected to our area in 1602 when Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino sailed through the channel on an expedition. A priest aboard ship named the channel after Saint Barbara as they traveled through on her feast day, December 4. Later the Presidio founded on the coast in 1782 took on the same name, as did the Mission founded four years later, and in 1850 Santa Barbara became a city in the new U.S. State of California.
We are looking forward to carrying Armando’s de la Rocha Saint Barbara tile to honor our city’s patron saint. To purchase an Armando de la Rocha tile, please stop by the Presidio’s holiday sale this Saturday on December 14th. The sale is scheduled from 12:00 to 3:00 and will be located on the front porch of the Visitor Center at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. Unique gifts, books and stocking stuffers will be sold as well as a book signing for local author Cherie Rae, on her new book about Pearl Chase. Save time to tour the Presidio and view holiday decorations and José de Alcibar’s Saint Barbara painting inside the chapel. We are looking forward to the event and hope you will join us.
Katie Sorensen is the shop manager at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.