1st Thursday

1st Thursday is an award winning program highlighting downtown arts, culture and entertainment on the first Thursday of every month. All 1st Thursday attractions are free from 5-8pm.

Click on one of the links below for more information:


1st Thursday is an evening of art and culture in downtown Santa Barbara. On the first Thursday of each month, participating galleries and art-related venues offer free access to visual and performing art in a fun and social environment from 5-8pm. 1st Thursday venues feature attractions, such as art openings, live music, artists' receptions, lectures, wine tastings and hands-on activities. Many Downtown partners partake in this event including non-conventional galleries, retailers and restaurants. In addition, State Street comes alive on 1st Thursday with performances and interactive exhibits. Look for previews of forthcoming plays, symphony performances, concerts and dance productions, as well as local up-and-coming performers. The Downtown Organization also partners with Santa Barbara cultural groups for one-time 1st Thursday attractions.

1st Thursday is for locals and visitors alike. It provides an opportunity for residents to indulge in local culture, mingle with neighbors and participate in the arts community. The program also offers visitors the chance to experience, in one evening, the diversity of downtown Santa Barbara’s visual and performing arts scene. is aimed at developing a lively atmosphere downtown as well as showcasing the cultural variety that Santa Barbara has to offer.

The 1st Thursday Passport is a printed guide and map to all of the 1st Thursday attractions and are available at participating galleries and venues, MTD shuttles, The Visitors’ Center and hotel concierge desks. OR you can download a printable version above.

The next 1st Thursday event is September 4th.

*Below is the information for the August's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content.*


Back to the top



11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
SUMMER MIX: In its 2014 summer exhibition, Artamo Gallery presents a group show with fresh works by a wide selection of artists from California and beyond, especially featuring paintings by Ann Baldwin, Janet Bothne, András Györfi, Christina Hall-Strauss, Cody Hooper, Kaori Fukuyama, Françoise Issaly, Elana Kundell, Ana Marini, Rose Masterpol, Michael Moon, Julia Pinkham, Silvia Poloto, and Ashleigh Sumner.


1103 A State Street, 805-966-1707
SKETCHES FROM THE WEST- EDWARD BOREIN: Presenting a most important collection of original etchings, drawings & paintings from one of the best-known artists of the American West. This will be a rare chance to own a piece of Santa Barbara's rich heritage. COWBOY UP!  Enjoy a wine tasting of our house blend Cabernet Sauvignon. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


1528 State Street, 805-962-6444
Presenting the lovely paintings of Carrie Givens, Mike Rider, and Ellen Yeomans in the different media of pastel, watercolor, and oil. Come sip  a glass of wine in this beautiful gallery while enjoying this summer delight.


1333 State Street, 805-882-1058
Plein air landscape painters Chris Potter and Wyllis Heaton bring you new paintings from abroad. Wyllis spent two weeks in Morocco and Chris spent two weeks on the North East Coast. Come take a visual vacation with us over a glass of wine!


40 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-7635
45 Years of Art and Activism: An eclectic mix of Environmental Artists join for benefit art show for the month of August at the Faulkner Gallery to commemorate 45 years since the oil blow-out in the Santa Barbara Channel, which helped inspire the Modern Environmental Movement and the work of Get Oil Out! Artist/Activist panel at 6:30pm.


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
Beth Taylor, Artist of the Month, has studied graphic design for the past 15 years. She enjoys learning new, fun and creative ways to express her art through digital collage. She has taken her photos to another level with photo collage created in Photoshop and Illustrator, using her personal photo collection with watercolor or acrylic backgrounds to bring out the vibrant colors of each piece.   The featured artists are Carrie Givens and Jerry Martin upstairs, Carol Dixon and Virginia Butterfield downstairs.  (Open 11am – 5pm, Monday - Saturday and 1pm – 5pm on Sunday.)


27 East Coat Street, 805-690-4913  
The works presented in this exhibit, from four alumni photographers of Brooks Institute, are each a unique study of relationships. For Greg Cooper’s work he uses the vast channels of the web to funnel his experience of loss and longing. With Matt Perko’s portrait project on his autistic son there is an imaginative bond expertly crafted and furthered in the process. In Ellen Webber’s project ‘Our Lady’ the symbolic color exploration of the ubiquitous statue of Mother Mary commonly found in the neighborhoods of Boston shows a motherly connection both longed for and abandoned. Brian Wilson’s project he embraces his place in the Marine community and shows a personal and familial side of life that abounds amidst this regimented branch of society.


14 Parker Way, 805-845-4558
Simply sublime, to terrifically titillating, to exquisitely exciting--paintings to performance, all here now, at the JadeNow Gallery, featuring fine contemporary carving and visionary art in beautiful downtown Santa Barbara. From top to bottom, awakening consciousness is our intent! Come see what’s new at the JadeNow Gallery and join us for an evening of art, music and wine!


653 Paseo Nuevo Terrace, Upper Arts Terrace, 805-966-5373
Having premiered in October 2013 at Italy’s foremost museum for contemporary art, Castello di Rivoli, Marinella Senatore, Building Communities is a thoughtful retrospective of Senatore’s operatic work, often taking the form of collaborative films. Creating new possibilities for public involvement, this exhibition features past artwork, creative writing workshops, community dances, and interactive photo shoots, using the creative process itself as a subject. This event is open to public participation.


1108 State Street, 805-962-8111
Oliver & Espig Gallery is honored to present a selection of beautiful bronze sculptures by Sue DiCicco. Already a gifted author, illustrator and animator, Sue reveals her additional artistic talents through her sculpted bronze portraiture. A notable recent artistic honor, Sue DiCicco’s majestic bronze John Denver Remembrance Monument, entitled “Spirit,” will be installed at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Currently, she is sculpting collector pieces and commissioned portraits. Join us to meet the talented Sue DiCicco.


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Featured Artist for August: Danae Michele Liecht grew up in Santa Barbara. After studying art in Paris and Florence and traveling in Europe, she attended the UC Santa Cruz and graduated with a degree in fine art. She has designed a line of silk clothing and handmade velvet and straw hats, and owned Enchante, a boutique featuring her wearables. Danae’s specialty is one-of-a-kind hats. Her hats have been modeled by actress Helena Bonham Carter and featured in Vogue Magazine. She also designs scarves, skirts, tops, barrettes, pins and other wearable art, made with hand-dyed silk fabric. Recently she has discovered a new passion for crochet and felting. Her designs are sensuous and romantic. Also join us for a book signing of Santa Barbara Then and Now by Neal Graffy. Wine poured by Grassini Family Vineyards. 


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
Project Fiesta! – Building a Complete History of Old Spanish Days
In celebration of the 90th anniversary of Old Spanish Days, the Museum invites the community to view our latest exhibition, Project Fiesta! Experience the pageantry, fashion and traditions of our city's most cherished cultural festival. Featuring vintage posters, artwork, restored costumes, artifacts and historical photos, the exhibit will continue to grow as we collect your viva la fiesta memories and images. Anastasia & Vasily, winners of the International Dance Championships and owners of “Dance Fever Studios” will be onsite to perform and give impromptu Latin dance lessons.  All ages welcome.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364

Family 1st Thursday: Bring the whole family to enjoy 1st Thursday together in SBMA’s Family Resource Center.

Color Field Landscapes
Apply a color base coat with liquid tempera using a palette knife, then overlay transparent sheets of contrasting hues to create a “heat sensor” landscape, inspired by Jack Goldstein’s Untitled, on view in the Left Coast exhibition. Time:  5:30 – 7:30 pm, Free

Exhibitions on View:

Daumier’s Salon: A Human Comedy
In the second half of the 19th century, Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) was employed by popular rags, such as La Caricature and Le Charivari to produce often hilarious lampoons of Parisian daily life. A prolific artist working in a variety of media—in addition to lithography, Daumier produced a vast number of paintings, drawings, and sculpture—Daumier was intimately familiar with the art, artists, and audience to whom he gravitated time and again in his caricatures. This selection of lithographs from the permanent collection, curated by former SBMA exhibition intern Elizabeth Saari Browne, situates Daumier’s observations of the art world within the context of the annual Salons, the exhibitions in which art and its producers, consumers, and critics were brought together. Spanning almost 25 years of his career, these lithographs not only showcase Daumier’s attitudes toward the exhibition, valuation, and commercialization of art, but also reveal his knowledge of contemporary art practice and the history of art through the artist’s habitually trenchant puns and witty references, which are illuminated in detail in the exhibition didactics. Through the recent gift of more than 1,500 Daumier lithographs by long-time supporter, Robert M. Light, SBMA is now one of the richest repositories of the work of this celebrated master of 19th-century caricature on the West Coast.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is open every Thursday 5 – 8 pm for free as part of Chase Free Thursday Evenings. 


7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460
Old Spanish Days are upon us - the dancers, the horses, the costumes, the food, the drinks, the fun. To add to the celebration, Sullivan Goss will provide the art. From folklorico paintings from Mexico and Los Angeles, to historical paintings of las Doñas of the Casa de la Guerra, to paintings both historical and contemporary of the icons of Fiesta, Sullivan Goss says, “Viva la!” Also on view: The Summer Impressionists, Jon Francis, Susan McDonnell, and Ken Bortolazzo.


1114 State Street # 9, 805-962-8885
The Gallery is going on its 30th year and 23 years in La Arcada. It features artwork from some of today’s finest nationally-known painters. Southwest Art Magazine recognized Diane & Ralph Waterhouse among “10 Prominent People’ in the Fine Art Business. Ralph Waterhouse will give a painting demonstration at 6pm.


1013 State Street, 805-845-7375
Danielle Blade will be at ZFolio Gallery to explore and describe her and Stephen Blade’s unique style and approach to art glass sculpture. Partners since 1996, they combine ideas, techniques and experiences to create original works in both blown and sculpted hot glass currently focusing on original interpretations of objects used in rituals and worship. Natural elements such as bone, wood, vine and rock formations combine with highly original color palette to inform their signature pieces that merge traditional hand blown glass techniques with innovative color applications and original sculpting techniques.



735 Anacapa Street
The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, in partnership with the Downtown Organization, will lead a curated Art Crawl through the 1st Thursday festivities.  This month's guest curator is assemblage artist Sue Van Horsen. The Art Crawl starts at 5:30 in de la Guerra Plaza on the back steps of City Hall (735 Anacapa Street, then head around to the back).


Corner of State & Anapamu Street, 805-969-0859
Friendship Center's Family Services Director, Kristen (Kai) Hoye, MSW, will lead short sessions of qi-gong, a gentle exercise mode similar to tai chi. This ancient practice promotes vitality and is a relaxing and energizing component of the innovative Brain Fitness for Successful Aging, a six-week series she developed based on the research of world-renowned neurologist Dr. Kenneth Kosik and neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, PhD, for those approaching and experiencing "middle age". In addition, memory-enhancing games and puzzles will be available for a further taste of Brain Fitness.


900 State Street, Marshalls Patio
Enjoy the music of local musician Jamie Green, a two-time L.A. Music Award-winning singer-songwriter. Jamie’s music spans the genres of rock, soul, funk, hip-hop and folk, showcasing her signature storytelling and catchy pop melodies.


Paseo Nuevo Center Court
John Marks is proof that you don’t have to be from Chicago to have the blues in you. Switching from drums to guitar in his early teen years, John settled in San Diego after a stint in the Navy. Over the years, John has played with blues luminaries such as Earl King, Floyd Dixon, Lightning Hopkins and William Clarke. Morganfield Burnett has performed at many local venues for the past 35 years.



1230 State Street,
Introducing Brazilian culture to Santa Barbara with an Eat-Drink-Move vibe. Eat and Drink in the restaurant, which features traditional Brazilian menu items, most of which are organic and healthy, while still indulging in some of the country’s most delectable offerings and popular street food.  Move inside our studio where you can learn Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) or take exciting Samba classes, learn Afro Brazilian dance, sweat it out in intense boot camp, or learn Brazilian Portuguese.  This 1st Thursday, experience an authentic Capoeira experience and admire art from local artists.  As you step inside Brasil Arts Café, feel the beat of Brazil and get immersed in our culture!  Junte-se a nós – Come join us!


23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448
Time for Art: It’s a discipline and a joy. Meet local artists who've taken the time and meet the editors of Let the Clock Run Wild: Wit and Wisdom from Boomers and Bobbysoxers, Judy Warner Scher & Jewell Reinhart Coburn. Live music, refreshments!


1201 Anacapa Street, 805-962-7164
Syd McCutcheon calls herself a lifelong art major - always learning, always wanting to see more, never finished studying. She likes her work to be happy and make you smile. She accomplishes this by using vibrant colors and often whimsical images and titles. Syd is a mixed-media artist, working mainly in acrylics. Fiber art, assemblage and teaching are Syd’s current art interests. Syd has recently collaborated with her vast network of creative friends to open a co-op in Solvang call Art Hus, featuring work by talented local artists,, open every day from 11 am until 5 pm (except big holidays) and well worth a visit. She also teaches workshops locally and in Oaxaca, Mexico, with two other artists.


19 E. Haley Street, 805-962-1413
The entire Estate of Plein Air paintings by Ejnar and Jorgen Hansen, including beautiful portraits, abstracts and fantastic works on paper, are now on permanent display and sale. Ejnar Hansen was a notable figure painter in southern California and received many commissions, notably for his interior work on The Adamson House in Malibu.


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
POP UP TRUNK SHOW: We will be featuring handmade leather items from WILL LEATHER GOODS from 2 - 8 PM along with other local artisanal goods (clothing, jewelry, perfume). We will also be serving up local vino + live jazz via the BLUE MOON QUARTET from 6 - 8 PM. See you there!


909 State Street, 805-845-3900
Summer time and the livin’ is easy. This 1st Thursday we’ll feature a collection of work from our favorite artists, including Tami Snow, Matti Berglund and Lily Lambert. Plus: the Plum Goods bar and great music. Join the party and see what else we have in store.


740 State Street, 805-963-7258
In celebration of Old Spanish Days, head down to North America’s largest Himalayan Salt Cave to sip sangria and enjoy this festive time in Santa Barbara! We will be featuring shot glasses carved from Himalayan Salt, which make a perfect vessel for your favorite tequila! They are also a unique
hostess/host gift. Viva la Fiesta!


38 West Victoria Street #120, 805-770-7702
The Santa Barbara Public Market will feature TheAbstract10, a group of 10 working artists who live in Santa Barbara. Established in 2010, this select group came together to cultivate their unique visions of contemporary abstract art. Wine tasting provided by Summerland Winery.


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Join us for an Open House with Windstar. With tall billowing sails, sun-drenched teak decks, lavish newly designed staterooms, gourmet cuisine and no more than 310 guests, your voyage on Windstar feels like your own private yacht. Get closer to the world’s most engaging places on a graceful sailing ship large enough to pamper and entertain you, yet small enough to tuck into tiny harbors and hidden coves. Windstar presentations: 6pm & 7 pm.


791 Chapala Street, 805-962-8500

We are showing off our new Happy Hour menu! Please join us for live music, beer and wine (at Happy Hour prices) and samplings of our new apps. Join us for healthy delicious food, great selection and a one-of-kind dining experience!


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
What’s going on at the Soj? Join us for music from Pat Hackney and Robert Brown of Mission Canyon. We are also showcasing artist Chris Potter. Wine tasting, great food and friends will complete your evening – a great place to begin or end your 1st Thursday jaunt!

2014 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

  • Thursday, August 7 (NO 1st Thursday: After Hours in August)
  • Thursday, September 4
  • Thursday, October 2
  • Thursday, November 6
  • Thursday, December 4

Back to the top