Local Artists Celebrate National Park Week
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
National Park Week is ushered in this year with a special art exhibit created by well known local artists Larry Iwerks, John Iwerks, and Manny Lopez. Each artist has been connected to Channel Islands National Park for years as contributing members of The Oak Group of Santa Barbara—a group of about 25 artists who paint in support of protecting natural landscapes and the environment.
The show, titled “Time and Tides,” includes landscapes from each of the five park islands with a focus on volcanic geology and the energy of winds and tides. This display of over 40 fine watercolor and oil paintings will be featured at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center from April 17 to June 30, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. A special public reception to meet the artists is scheduled for Saturday, April 17, 2010, from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.
The two Iwerks brothers come from a lineage of artists that includes their grandfather who collaborated with Walt Disney in the creation of Mickey Mouse. The eldest, Larry Iwerks, studied art and anthropology at San Francisco State University and has been a practicing painter since then. He has been acknowledged twice by the National Park Service in the Arts for Parks competition and his painting of the Grand Canyon was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution. In 1992 he prepared an exhibit of 21 artists that was featured at the U.S. Capitol to promote the Desert Protection Act.
John Iwerks studied landscape painting, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking at Santa Barbara Art Institute, Mendocino Art Center, and Santa Barbara City College. He has painted murals for Santa Barbara Island, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural history, The Nature Conservancy, several colleges, and dozens of other community venues. He has taught landscape painting and sketching at Santa Barbara City College since 1991.
Brothers in art, the Iwerks have partnered with fellow Oak Group member Manny Lopez since 1986. Lopez studied engineering at Pierce College in Woodland Hills and the University of California, Los Angeles. After working for a number of years as an electronic design engineer he pursued a serious study of painting and later attended Sauk Valley College in Dixon, Illinois. Lopez is also a long-time member of the Santa Barbara Art Association and is presently the director of Gallery 113, a non-profit cooperative gallery fostering local art. His work has been in exhibitions in California, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that all 392 national parks will have free admission during National Park Week, April 17 to 25. Parks will also offer additional family friendly activities and special offers on tours, lodging, food, and souvenirs. A listing of parks and promotions is available at www.nps.gov/npweek.
Did You Know?
The world's most complete pygmy mammoth specimen was discovered on Santa Rosa Island in 1994. These miniature mammoths, only four to six feet tall, once roamed island grasslands and forests during the Pleistocene.