Prints are in. Out of county artists are out.
It’s a new day and a new way at the waterfront Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show along Cabrillo Boulevard.
The City of Santa Barbara is poised to unleash several changes designed to make the Sunday show more popular.
Among the changes likely to go into effect next year are the blending of arts and crafts into one section. Historically, the arts were on one side of Stearns Wharf and the crafts on another. Prints of artwork will be allowed, as long as they are printed by the original artist.
The city will also look to allow events coinciding with the Sunday show to create more energy. In addition, the city plans to strengthen enforcement and action when vendors squabble or complain about one another.
And, as always, only Santa Barbara County residents will be allowed to sell at the show.
The changes are likely to go into effect in January.
The show is one of Santa Barbara’s enduring attractions. For more than 50 years it’s been the go-to place for artists and craftmakers to sell their jewelry and art. It’s also a popular tradition to stroll the boulevard on Sundays.
The Arts & Crafts show, suffered during the COVID-19 crisis when it was forced to shut down by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lockdowns. Now the show is looking to get back on its feet and expand.
Among the most significant changes are the allowance of prints from original artwork. Currently, prints for photography and artwork created through a digital/computerized process had been the only type of reproduction. According to city officials, the practice gave photographers and digital artists a significant advantage over artists using traditional mediums.
A number of changes are ahead for the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show, but it will still be limited to Santa Barbara County artists. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)
The new rules allow painters, illustrators and other artists to sell prints of their original artwork as long as they comply with the same rules as photographers, which includes using their own equipment.
Artist Yin Ping Zheng has sold his original paintings at the show for more than a decade. Each piece is an original, and it’s one of the selling points of his work.
He told Noozhawk that he hopes a majority of the paintings at the show remains original work.
“Maybe at the beginning it’s OK, easier for artists to make a bunch of prints for sale to compete with photographers,” Zheng said. “But then, 10 years later, the show, everybody’s talking, ‘oh, ‘they are all prints.’ By that point, I think it would be better to stay the way it is.”
He said there could be a limit on the number of prints, something like 200, so that the show maintains its attraction as a quality, unique show, but that it’s just his opinion and he doesn’t have strong feelings either way.
Photographer Dave Schrader said he has no problem with painters selling prints, but they could be in for a “rude awakening.”
“They are going to have to buy printers and they are going to have to have compatible computers and software in …….