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GOINGS ON : Art Exhibit Is Literally a Find

September 09, 1993|LEO SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

What would you think if you saw miniature figurines of 36 U.S. presidents just laying around on the ground somewhere? Well, if you're like artist Susan Tibbles, you would think art.

In fact, those 36 presidents, from Washington to LBJ, have made their way into Tibbles' current exhibit at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.

Those familiar with Tibbles' work should hardly be surprised to find the presidents in a starring role. The Montecito artist is making a name for herself by creating art out of objects she finds. All 37 pieces in her latest show contain such items.

There's the piece titled "Bird Study," made with an old 48-star American flag, some pencils, a dartboard, and a metal bird. And there's the one called "As Time Goes By," featuring Humphrey Bogart and an upright piano hanging on a wall.

Yes, even the piano was found--by a couple of Tibbles' friends.

"They had been away from home," she said, "and when they came back found the piano dumped in their driveway."

The exhibit, at the Westmont's Reynolds Gallery, will be on display through Oct. 8. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The college is located at 955 La Paz Road. Call 565-6162 for more information.

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Artist Erica Daborn heard feminist attorney Gloria Allred speak at a Santa Barbara women's conference a couple of years back. She remembers two things in particular about the presentation.

Daborn remembers being astounded by the number of women in the audience who raised their hands when asked if they had been raped or otherwise physically abused by a man, or knew someone who had been.

She also recalls Allred's closing comments that day.

"She said everybody should do something when they leave the room," Daborn said. "I thought, 'What can I do to bring light to the issues of women?' "

Out of that question comes the "Backtalk" art exhibit opening Saturday at Santa Barbara's Contemporary Arts Forum. The show, which Daborn co-curated, will present the works of 13 women artists, sharing their views on women's issues.

"We tried to keep it to women who are making statements about feminism today," Daborn said. "We had a very strong women's movement in the '60s and '70s, but what really happened? Where are we now? Are things any better?"

Daborn said she hopes the work will again get people thinking about the societal status of women. "I think there is a sense that women are back on their own again," she said. "There's a kind of sadness there."

The show will run through Oct. 30. CAF is located on the second floor of the Paseo Nuevo shopping center at Chapala and De La Guerra streets. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 966-5373 for more information.

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Tickets are on sale for the San Barbara Civic Light Opera's production of the classic Rogers and Hammerstien musical "Oklahoma." The show will run Sept. 24 through Oct. 17 at the Granada Theatre. Show times are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. An additional matinee, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m., has been added to the schedule. Tickets range from $18 to $29.50. Call the Granada Theatre Box Office at (800) 366-6064.

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You watched the drama unfold on TV. Now see it re-enacted live at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

Yes, watch Anita Hill make allegations of sexual harassment and watch Clarence Thomas deny them, right before your very eyes, Friday through Sunday, in "Unquestioned Integrity: The Hill/Thomas Hearings."

The production stars Monica Lynette Benton, a graduate of UC Santa Barbara's drama department, as Hill and John Cochran, a professor of drama at Westmont College, as Thomas.

"Since the subject of the event, itself, was so provocative, dealing with sexual harassment and racism, pitting two Afro-Americans against each other, there were very few people in the United States who weren't aware of it," said Director Frank Condon. "Everything you will see was taken from the transcripts. The theatrical version is distilled down somewhat. We've taken out all the boring parts."

The play was first performed in San Francisco and is making its way across the country.

Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. General admission is $25, with proceeds benefiting The Santa Barbara County Legal Aid Society and the Santa Barbara County Bar Assn. The courthouse is located at 1100 Anacapa St. There will be a panel discussion on the legal aspects of sexual harassment in the workplace, following each performance.

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Speaking of live theater, the Santa Barbara City College Theatre Group has announced its 1993-1994 season: "Lend me a Tenor" (Oct. 15-30), "The Runner Stumbles" (Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 1-11), "Dancing at Lughnasa" (March 4-19), "J.B." (April 22-May 7), and "Cabaret" (July 8-23). Season subscriptions are on sale now, at $36 and $44 (general admission) and $34 and $40 (seniors). Single show tickets will go on sale the last week of September. Call the school's Garvin Theatre Box Office at 965-5935.

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Hungry?

Try the 12th Annual Taste of the Town fund-raiser for the Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo Branch of the Arthritis Foundation, Sunday at the Riviera Park Research and Communication Center gardens.

Thirty-seven local restaurants--including Acacia, Flavor of India, Emilio's, and the Mona Lisa Cafe--and thirteen local vintners--the Gainey Winery and Firestone Vineyards among them--will share their specialties from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. The center is located at 2030 Alameda Padre Serra. Call 687-1592.

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Laurence Olivier stars in the 1965 British production of Othello, to be screened Sunday at Santa Barbara's Riviera Theatre. Show time is 11 a.m. The theater is located at 2044 Alameda Padre Serra. Call 966-4556.

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