Elverhoj Museum Inaugurates Latest Art Exhibition, “Landscape Portraits of Solvang” | Arts and theater


Elverhøj Museum of History and Art opened its latest gallery exhibition on Saturday, “Widening Circles: Landscape Portraits of Solvang,” showcasing works by artists from the Santa Ynez Valley and husband / wife duo Chris Chapman and John Iwerks.

The artists’ works focus on the historic sites and structures found on the 8,883-acre plot purchased in 1911 to establish a new Danish settlement in the Santa Ynez Valley.

“Some of the layers on display are very present, like cattle ranching and Old Mission Santa Inés,” Chapman said, “while other sites, such as dairy farms, no longer exist.”

The couple have been making art together for over 25 years and working in various mediums: Iwerks uses watercolors and oils, while Chapman uses pastels, watercolors and oils.

The artists explain their approach. Typically, their work begins outdoors – preferring the “sensory life” offered by being outdoors – and ends with a more meditative approach inside their art studio.

An image of an old mill is part of the exhibition “Enlarged Circles: Landscape Portraits of Solvang” currently on display at the Museum of History and Art in Elverhøj.

While the pandemic has postponed the opening of the art exhibit, according to Chapman, the extra time allowed the couple to explore unique surrounding places in more depth.

“Beautiful open landscapes, barns, mills, fields, city and river inspired us to paint them with the historical presence of layers of time,” he said.

Also included are tributes to the habitat in the form of small works depicting native plants and animals.

A reception for the artists will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 25 and represents the museum’s first event since February 2020.

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Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, both produced by the Santa Maria Times.

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