If you’re looking to indulge yourself in a full sensory experience that is just slightly left of center, may we suggest to you Santa Barbara’s own Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF). Nestled cozily above the wafting aromas of the Paseo Nuevo California Pizza Kitchen, this gallery-come-communal space has spent the past couple of years reinventing itself into what is now considered the leading contemporary arts presenter in California. A far cry from your everyday gallery, CAF plays host to a slew of local and not-so-local artists exhibiting in mediums ranging from sculpture and photography to video animation and interactive installations. Run as a nonprofit community venue and helmed primarily by young, eager up-and-coming curators, the forum provides an ideal showspace for new and lesser-known artists worldwide. This coming February, CAF will present the public with a number of experimental, socially conscious and tongue-in-cheek exhibits that play with artistic ideals just as much as they work to delight.
On Feb. 18, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum will usher in two new – and decidedly diverse – collections. Both exhibitions will include numerous public events and programs that revolve around artists’ driving themes and motifs. The latest in a series of exhibits, titled “Bloom Projects,” David Florimbi will showcase “Imminent Domain” – a group of landscape paintings that resemble 19th-century works with a twist. Florimbi creates what amount to rich, colorful, almost dreamlike property listings that play with the ideas of expansion, inflation and the financial as well as metaphorical value of a square foot of space. “Imminent Domain” consists of five of Florimbi’s “ads” and will take up wall space at the forum through April 9.
Already garnering its fair share of artsy hype is “Type A: Contender,” a collection of videos, photos, drawings and cross-stitch by the