Walk With Nature exhibition by Oak Group Artists

to benefit Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Meadow Revival Project

February 11, 2014

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's iconic California wildflower Meadow has inspired generations of visitors and artists since it was first planted in 1940. Opening on Wednesday, March 5 and continuing through Saturday, March 29, 2014, The Oak Group will hold an art exhibition to benefit the Meadow’s restoration at the Faulkner Gallery. Walk With Nature: The Oak Group Paints the Garden will open with a public reception on Friday, March 7 from 5:30 to 7:30pm in the Faulkner Gallery which is located in the Santa Barbara Central Library on 40 E. Anapamu Street in downtown Santa Barbara. There is no charge to attend the reception or exhibition. The Faulkner Gallery is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00am to 8:00pm, Friday and Saturday 10:00am to 5:30pm, and Sunday 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

"Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows…"
~ John Muir

The Santa Barbara County-based Oak Group, with members as far away as Marin County and New York State, are a group of plein air artists who are passionate about nature and committed to preserving land for wildlife, recreation, ranching, or farming. Working with conservation groups and landowners in many parts of California, Oak Group members record the beauty of these endangered landscapes to draw public attention to their beauty and fragility, and to help generate funds to protect them. Paintings included in Walk With Nature reflect the group's diverse and masterful command of using the landscape as subject matter.

"For nearly ten years Santa Barbara Botanic Garden was my virtual backyard. The Meadow—from below looking at the borrowed landscape of Arlington Peak or from the top looking out at the ocean—became my 'go to' place to paint," said Marcia Burtt, artist and Oak Group member. "I and the entire Oak Group fully support the Garden in its plan to restore the Meadow to its original glory."

Oak Group Artists’ Interpretations of The Garden’s Iconic Meadow

top left: “Sundown on the Meadow” by Linda Mutti, top right: “Winter’s Light” by Margaret Ladeau
lower left: “Meadow Song” by Chris Chapman, lower right: “Upper Meadow” by William Mitchell

Over a year ago Oak Group members met with the Garden's Executive Director, Dr. Steve Windhager, and received an update on the Garden's renovation and building plans. They were particularly moved by the Meadow Revival Project—a major 2-year overhaul of the Meadow to eliminate invasive weeds and return its plant palette to the historic mid-century designs of landscape architects, Lockwood DeForrest, III and Beatrix Farrand. Shortly after that meeting, the Oak Group voted to dedicate a portion of all sales from this exhibit to support the Meadow's restoration, which was also funded with support from the Hind Foundation, the Smart Family Foundation, the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Mosher Foundation, the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, and private donors.

“The Meadow’s expanse of native wildflowers and grasses, plus the Santa Ynez Mountain vistas have been dazzling visitors and residents for over 70 years," said Dr. Windhager. "We are honored that this famous group of environmental artists have chosen to help us return the Meadow to its historic designs so that future generations of both visitors and painters can experience its beauty."

The following Oak Group member artists and guest artists (indicated with an *) will have artwork featured in Walk With Nature: Meredith Brooks Abbott, Whitney Brooks Abbott, Marcia Burtt, Chris Chapman, John Comer, Wm. B. Dewey, Whitney Brooks Hansen, Jeremy Harper, Wyllis Heaton*, Ray Hunter, John Iwerks, Larry Iwerks, Manny Lopez, Laurel Mines*, William Mitchell, Linda Mutti*, Margaret Nadeau*, Rob Robinson*, Ann Sanders, Richard Schloss, Skip Smith, Arturo Tello, Thomas Van Stein, and Sarah Vedder.

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About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: 
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a 78-acre educational and scientific institution fostering the conservation of California’s native plants and serves as a role model for sustainable practice in Santa Barbara, California. The Garden was founded in 1926 and is among the nation’s oldest botanic gardens focused exclusively on native plants.

To arrange an interview or to request high-resolution photos, please contact:

SBBG Communications Coordinator
(805) 682-4726 ext. 132