Forty-three students from Santa Barbara High School’s Visual Arts and Design Academy’s (VADA) AP/Honors Studio Art classes worked with international mural artist David Flores to create a bold new set of six 8′ x 8′ murals for the exterior doors of businesses on the Yanonali Street side of 131-137 Anacapa Street in the Funk Zone.
The six murals are portraits of influential modern and contemporary artists: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Frida Kahlo, Yayoi Kusama, Diego Rivera, and Ai Wei Wei. Flores, a former Santa Barbara resident, is best known for his large-scale, street-art style murals painted on walls around the world, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Microsoft, Hong Kong’s Time Square, and locally, at the Los Prietos Boys Camp and Church of Skatan/REI.
The murals are prominently featured at: Area 51 Winery, Riverbench Winery, Cutler’s Spirits, and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, on the Yanonali Street side of the Anacapa Project building (also home to The Lark and The Lucky Penny). The murals are best viewed before 11:00 a.m. and after 11:00 p.m., when the businesses’ industrial doors are fully closed. The murals will be displayed for 6-12 months, after which they will be used to fundraise for the VADA program. This project is funded in part by the Community Arts Grant Program using funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture. Additional support was provided by Hayward Lumber and Young Construction.
Previous iterations of the VADA Artist-in-Residence mural project in the Funk Zone have included collaborations with VADA students and lead artists Joe Shea/Yoskay Yamamato, and Michael Matheson. In September 2015, VADA, along with the building’s architect AB Design Studio and Young Construction, was awarded the Santa Barbara Beautiful Hugh Peterson Award for Art in Public Spaces, and the project has also received a state Senate Certificate of Recognition from Hannah Beth Jackson. VADA integrates rigorous academic coursework with project‐based, career‐focused art and design instruction in a supportive and creative environment. VADA serves over 200 culturally and economically diverse students in grades 9-12 and is a California Partnership Academy funded in equal parts by the California Department of Education, the Santa Barbara Unified School District and the Friends of VADA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.