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GOINGS ON SANTA BARBARA : Seeing Art Anew : For blind painter Frank Livingston, images travel from his mind's eye to his fingers.


Frank Livingston had always relied upon his photographic memory to provide him with scenes for landscape paintings.

He could never copy from photos or pictures, or set up an easel and paint the scene in front of him. Instead, he would paint the images in his head. And during his long career, the images wound up on walls throughout the world, including those of Buckingham Palace and the Vatican, he said.

Livingston still relies on memory to create his art. Ever since July, 1990, when he went blind, literally overnight, the Santa Barbara artist has been calling upon his mind's eye to create in clay the landscapes of Bora Bora, Tahiti, Mexico and other memorable locales. His ceramic works, including vases, plates, mosaic bun warmers and etched landscapes, will be on display at Gallery 113 through the end of this month.

A reception will be held Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m.

A blue vase in the exhibit depicts the seascape and tall, leaning palm trees of Tahiti.

"Before, a scene went through my eyes to my brain and to my fingers," he said. "Now it goes directly from my mind to my hands. I see the palm trees in my head and then I mold them in the clay. If I want to make a mountain, I use a needle to scratch in the outline."

Livingston began working with ceramics at the Braille Institute of Santa Barbara shortly after he woke up one day and discovered he was blind.

"You better believe that was a shock. Somehow the part of the brain which controls eyesight didn't get enough oxygen for a while, and there was nothing I could do to correct it. Luckily, I lost no time in getting to the institute and that has been a wonderful help. If I didn't have this creative outlet in ceramics, I'd be absolutely climbing the walls."

Gallery 113 is located at 1114 State St., Santa Barbara. The phone number is 965-6611.

For a beautiful landscape that children will always remember, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden will hold a free NatureKids class from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Children are invited to be caretakers of the garden for the morning.

And through the many hands-on projects, they can see for themselves what the plants and animals are doing this time of year.

Call 563-2521 to register.

Peter, Paul and Mary, who made a name--or three--for themselves in the '60s with hits such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Puff, the Magic Dragon," will celebrate their 30th anniversary in Solvang, March 21 and 22, with concerts to benefit the Arts Outreach program.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday shows start at $25. Call 688-6628.

Theatre Pacifica, Santa Barbara's newest nonprofit theater, begins its first full season Friday with "Talking With...." Performances will be every Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. throughout March at La Casa de la Raza, 601 E. Montecito St.

The play features monologues by 11 characters, including a frustrated housewife who feels comfortable only when dressed up as a character from "The Wizard of Oz" and a homeless woman who finds her only solace in the clean and untarnished buildings of McDonald's.

A special benefit performance for the Rape Crisis Center will be held 8 p.m. today; tickets are $25. Regular performances are $10.

For those interested in the relationship between shamanism and quantum physics, or the newest in brain research and dreams, Dr. Fred A. Wolf will lecture Saturday on "A New Vision of Mind, Matter and Spirit" at Santa Barbara's Schott Center.

Wolf, author of "Taking the Quantum Leap" (Harper & Row) will speak from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No charge. Call 687-0812.

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, now in its 96th year, will perform at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, Saturday at 8 p.m.

Conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos, the program will be: Liszt's Symphonic Poem No. 2, William Walton's Suites No. 1 and 2, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. Tickets range from $18 to $48. Call 966-3535.

UC Santa Barbara's University Symphony will perform works by Bizet, Prokofiev and others, 8 p.m. Friday.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, the UCSB Indian Music Ensemble will present "An Evening of North Indian Classical Music." Both shows are at the Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Tickets are $8 for each show. Call 893-3535.

Sam Shepard's play "True West," which pits a desperado of the desert against his preppy brother, will be performed at 8 p.m. tonight, Friday, Saturday and March 19 and 20 at Santa Barbara's Center Stage Theater in the Paseo Nuevo shopping plaza.

Tickets are $10. Call 963-0408.

And at the Klausner Gallery in Paseo Nuevo, "From the Garden," an exhibition of paintings by Jens Pedersen of Santa Barbara, will open with a reception, 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

The free exhibit will continue through April 18. Call 966-5373.

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