1925: The Santa Barbara Earthquake

Jardin de las Granadas, Santa Barbara, California
1925 sculptures in Jardin de las Granadas, Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara

1925 at Jardin de las Granadas, Santa Barbara

With grants from both Santa Barbara Beautiful and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, we created “1925” for Jardin de las Granadas in the center of Santa Barbara.

After discussing how to work with the four immovable “art pads” in the park, we settled on creating four sculptural pieces that would be like frames in a movie. Santa Barbara is susceptible to earthquakes and in 1925, a big one devastated the downtown area. We realized that though the 1925 temblor was a singular event, earthquakes shook the region long before humans arrived and will continue to do so long after we’re gone. We often say metaphorically that things are “written in stone” but it too has its limits. To show the Santa Barbara area’s past, present and future, all at the same time, we made the four sculptural movie “frames” about a piece of local sandstone breaking apart during a powerful earthquake. In essence, it shows the impermanence of all things; in a single shattering moment, the world is altered and all that can be done is to accept this reality and move on.

To honor the unveiling, and the memory of the 1925 quake, we also created a collection of movies that were projected on to the rocks and a screen on Opening Night.  Here is the main movie that played at the Opening.

Santa Barbara “1925” from Jonathan PJ Smith on Vimeo.

Front of the postcard for the opening of 1925. It shows the original concept art for the piece.
Postcard front (with original concept image) for the opening of 1925
Back of the postcard for the opening of 1925
Back of Postcard for the Opening
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