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“Outstanding Contemporary Art Experience”

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
Ranked #96 of 177 things to do in Santa Barbara
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Owner description: The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF) is an alternative art space presenting cutting edge exhibitions in visual, new media, andperforming arts. Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2011, CAF is the premier venue for contemporary art between Los Angeles and San Francisco and is dedicated to the exhibition, education, and cultivation of the art of our time. With FREE admission, CAF is the main scene for the arts in Santa Barbara!CAF is located at the Paseo Nuevo Mall Upper Arts Terrace in downtown Santa Barbara, CA and is open Tuesday - Saturday: 11 am to 5 pm, Sunday: noon to 5 pm during the run of our exhibitions and on First Thursdays for our popular Forum Lounge series.
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Outstanding Contemporary Art Experience”
Reviewed July 5, 2012

I'm going to be honest; there really isn't much contemporary art in Santa Barbara that is exciting, engaging, or even relevant. I am often disappointed with the venues that show contemporary work, but the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts was an absolute exception. The exhibition that was being shown when I visited was intriguing and challenging, and the work spanned across a wide variety of mediums. The work was very representative of the current trends in contemporary art , and it was a relief to find somewhere in Santa Barbara that shows demanding, arresting work, and I am looking forward to their upcoming exhibitions and events!

Visited May 2012
1 Thank SteveJames41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Always interesting!”
Reviewed May 24, 2012

Their shows are very, very good. Themes are sometimes beautiful, sometimes thought-provoking or challenging. Always worth the trip!

Visited August 2011
Thank barbaraa822
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
“Hidden Gem and a MUST see!”
Reviewed January 28, 2012

I wasn't sure what to expect when merely reading the name in my travel book, but I'm glad I went with my instincts because this hidden gem is a must see. I was given the opportunity to meet the director and curator Miki Garcia and what a delight she is! I felt like I was on a private tour at the Guggenheim with her grace and knowledge of contemporary art. I look forward to returning in the future for more artistic surprises!

Thank ehahaph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, CA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Emerging artists on display at this little known Santa Barbara Art Space”
Reviewed July 30, 2007

The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum is a little known art space located upstairs in the Paseo Nuevo Mall, and is the only space in Santa Barbara committed to showing and promoting contemporary art. It's free to enter and makes a great art escape and break from shopping while downtown.

They aren't a museum (they don't have a permanent collection) and they aren't a gallery (they aren't in the biz of selling work) - they are a place to enjoy contemporary curated shows. They show artists from the local area and around the globe and have had some great shows by known artists like Marc Swanson, Jane Callister, and Linda Starke. They also show a lot of emerging artists. While they don't sell artwork, they often commission artists to do limited editions which are inexpensive and fun ways to bring art into your home.

While not open every night, they often have nightime events with drawing competitions, karaoke, bands, music to videos and poetry series, so it's good to check their calendar if you are visiting for only a short while.

4 Thank Kimberly41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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