If you're feeling underexposed to Santa Barbara's art world, this is your week to correct the situation.
More than 75 artists and about 20 galleries and museums will be participating in the "Art About Town" art walk sponsored by the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum.
"We're going to have museums, art galleries and artists' studios open. Some artists will have interactive activities. Downtown public art sites will be available," said the forum's Rita Ferri. "We'll have receptions and different events all over."
The cooperative art festival will kick off Friday at 5:30 p.m. with receptions at the Channing Peake Gallery and at the Santa Barbara Public Library's Faulkner Gallery. The official opening will get under way at 6 p.m. at the Ro Snell Gallery.
On Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m., all participating venues will be open for art viewing, lectures, demonstrations and more. Among the scheduled participants are the Waterhouse Gallery, Gallery 113, Frameworks, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Karpeles Manuscript Museum.
"Art About Town" will close with a reception at the downtown Acapulco Restaurant on Sunday from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
"Santa Barbara has never had a comprehensive event with museums, artists and galleries all organized together," said Ferri. "I think it's given more energy to our art community."
Admission to all galleries and museums is free. For a complete list of participants, and a map, drop by the forum on the second level of the Paseo Nuevo shopping center at Chapala and De La Guerra streets.
Two other weekend art events to mention: The Arts Forum will host a party Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for its "Home Work" exhibit. The show is made up of homes created by artists, architects and designers. There are houses for pets, dollhouses, drawings of houses, miniature houses and house sculpture. Twenty of the works will be up for auction during the evening. Admission is $30. Call 966-5373.
Also in conjunction with "Art About Town," the Santa Barbara Sculptor's Guild will hold a symposium Friday through Sunday at Santa Barbara City College. Friday's 8 p.m. opening ceremony will feature a slide show and lecture by sculptor Manuel Neri. All events are free. For more information, call 965-0581, Ext. 2411, or 964-5340. City College is at 721 Cliff Drive.
The Santa Barbara Shakespeare Festival will present "Acts to Grind," a series of four one-act plays, Friday through March 25 at the Presidio Chapel. Two plays will be performed per seating.
"A Need for Brussels Sprouts" and "Pvt. Wars" will be staged Friday, Sunday and March 24; "The Ugly Duckling" and "Desdemona, A Play About a Handkerchief," will take their turn Saturday, Wednesday and March 25. Tickets, available at the door, are $5. Call 965-3830, Ext. 3, for more information. The Presidio Chapel is at 123 E. Canon Perdido St.
When you gotta move on, you gotta move on--the California gray whales know that as well as anyone. This is the time of year when they make tracks off the California coast, from Baja north to the Bering Sea. To catch a glimpse of them you may want to join the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's whale-watching excursions Saturday and Sunday. An 88-foot vessel will depart from the Santa Barbara Harbor at 9 a.m. and return at 11:30 a.m. both days. Museum staff will be on board to provide information. Tickets are $22 (adults), $12 (children). Call 682-4711.
Santa Barbara's Contemporary Music Theatre company will perform the David Shire-Richard Maltby Jr. musical "Closer Than Ever," Friday through April 2 at the Lobero Theatre. The show looks at contemporary middle-class life, and the comedy, tragedy and opportunity it has to offer. Show times are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. General admission for this Friday's preview is $12.50. After that it's $16.50 Thursdays and Sundays, $18.50 Fridays and Saturdays. Call 963-0761. The Lobero is at 33 E. Canon Perdido St.
The Santa Barbara Oratorio Chorale, under the direction of Phillip McLendon, will perform works by Cherubini and Brahms on Saturday and Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Performance time is 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 (general), $12 (seniors, students, and the disabled). Call 967-8287.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies will conduct the BBC Philharmonic in concert Tuesday at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre. Davies will lead the orchestra in a program consisting of two of his own compositions and a Mendelssohn piece. Swedish trumpet virtuoso Hakan Hardenberger will be the featured performer. Concert time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $19, $25, $37 and $49. Call 966-4324. The Arlington is at 1317 State St.
The Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera has announced its schedule of musicals for the 1995-1996 season. It includes "The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue" (Sept. 22-Oct. 15), "The Music Man" (Nov. 24-Dec. 17), "West Side Story (Feb. 2-25, 1996), "Jesus Christ Superstar," (March 29-April 21, 1996), and "Crazy for You" (May 31-June 23, 1996). Season tickets range from $95 to $149. Call (800) 366-6064.