Ray Strong: A Collector’s Passion
In the pantheon of Santa Barbara artists, perhaps no star shines brighter than Ray Strong (1905-2006). Prolific, diverse and influential, he left a beautiful legacy of work, much of which celebrates the wild lands of Santa Barbara County, and northern California. For Strong, painting was both documentation of an area and his personal communion with nature.
One collector, David Parker, is sharing his Ray Strong paintings with us, as well as his stories of how he built his collection of over thirty pieces. The collection has an admirable range of artworks (stylistically and geographically) and was guided by Parker’s passion and determination, as well as advice from other collectors and galleries.
Humans have been collecting art for millennia and today, for some wealthy people, it can be a business investment, with collections being warehoused as they grow in value. But for Parker it’s all about his passion for Ray’s vision of the landscape and now, sharing that with the general public.
Our exhibition will also celebrate Strong’s artistic legacy, through his influence on other area artists and in co-founding The Oak Group with Arturo Tello. This network of artists shares Ray’s passion for the outdoors. By raising funds through benefit sales of their work, The Oak Group has helped preserve tens of thousands of acres within parks, preserves and open spaces throughout California.