Exhibits at SBMM take you on a winding journey through two floors where you will learn about: Early Explorers, the Chumash, Whaling, History of the Waterfront, Commercial Diving and Technology, Commercial Fishing, The History of Oil in the Santa Barbara channel, Surfing, Navigation, Shipwrecks, Channel Island Ranching, Point Conception Lighthouse Lens, and Santa Barbara Lighthouse Women Keepers.
Interactive exhibits include: sustainable fishing in a kelp forest, raising a sail, sorting trash into world gyres, virtual sport fishing, tattoo parlor and virtual dive. SBMM inspires learning through these interactive exhibits.
Our Art Gallery is currently displaying Fishing with Paper & Ink: Nature Prints by Dwight Hwang & Eric Hochberg through March, 2020. The objective of nature printing is to express the essence of nature through the medium of paper or cloth and ink. The simple elegance of common subjects is preferred. Whether leaf, shell, crab or fish, each plant or animal has its own unique texture, shape, and energy. By isolating the subject in the negative space on a sheet of paper this signature can be identified. The results are Zen-like renderings that praise the diversity and beauty of nature. Gyotaku is a traditional Japanese method of nature printing that uses fishes, sea creatures, or similar subjects as ‘printing plates’ in its process. Dating back to the mid-1800s, it was used by fishermen in Japan to record their catches, and it is still utilized today. There are various approaches to nature printing. The direct method of nature printing involves applying ink directly to the surface of the fish or other subject to be printed. Paper is then placed over the inked subject and rubbed by hand to transfer the ink to the paper and create the art work. This hands-on method to transfer the ink allows the artist to feel not only the shape but the texture of the fish. In the indirect method, ink is dabbed onto the surface of thin damp paper molded over the surface of the fish or other subject. In both methods, eyes—and sometimes fine details—are painted in later.
Our newest exhibit is History of Oil in the Santa Barbara Channel. Oil has been a part of our maritime history for thousands of years. The Chumash utilized the natural seeps in our channel for their tomols and baskets, the world’s first offshore oil well stood off Summerland Beach, commercial diving technology flourished in Santa Barbara due to oil production, and the modern environmental movement grew out of the 1969 Oil Spill. Today, oil affects every facet of our lives, even as we move towards renewable energy sources.