Old Spanish Days – Fiesta

Santa Barbara, CA. July 31 - August 4, 2024

Online Auction to Benefit Fiesta

Posted Jul 27, 2020

Local artists including Grace Fisher, Chris Potter and Richard Schloss
bring hope and joy to first-ever online auction

SANTA BARBARA, CA – July 27, 2020 – Organizers of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara invite the community to participate in their first-ever online auction. The auction is open through Sunday, August 9, 2020 and proceeds will benefit Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to honoring and preserving Santa Barbara’s history, spirit, culture, heritage, and traditions.

The auction, open now at www.sbfiesta.org/auction, features 10 limited-edition 2020 Fiesta posters printed on metal. The 2020 Fiesta poster is an original graphic design by local Santa Barbara artist Andrew Leonard. The poster captures iconic scenes of Santa Barbara like the Santa Barbara Mission and the waterfront and prominently features a dancing couple.

"In a normal Fiesta year we would auction the limited-edition metal posters during scheduled Fiesta parties like La Primavera,” said El Presidente Erik Davis. “This is just another way that Fiesta is different this year and we hope it provides a greater opportunity for the community to participate in a meaningful way.”

Local artists have also come together to showcase Fiesta influenced works of art like the one-of-a-kind original painting by Grace Fisher that was inspired by a photograph of the 2020 Spirit of Fiesta taken by local popular photographer Fritz Olenberger who commissioned the piece and donated it to the auction.

In 2014, during her senior year of High School, Grace Fisher’s spine was ravaged by Acute Flaccid Myelitis, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down. She paints with the paintbrush held in her mouth. A movie of her life “Amazing Grace” premiered at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. 

“I was thrilled when Gracie agreed to do this painting,” said photographer Fritz Olenberger.  “Grace is a remarkable person, who shares with Alena, the Spirit of Fiesta, the qualities of humility, talent, and self-determination.  I see in this painting a story of two young women connected by their passion for artistic expression — one through dance and one through painting.  It is a story of joy.”

"This project was fun because it incorporated four art forms: dance, music, photography, and painting.  Although very different in nature, they all have a prolific way of bringing us together,” said Grace Fisher.

The community is invited to watch a time-laspe video of Grace creating this work of art.  Proceeds from the sale of this piece will also benefit the Grace Fisher Foundation.

Another unique item available in the auction was painted by Santa Barbara Plein Air Painter, Chris Potter on July 31, 2019 during the live performance of La Fiesta Pequeña at the Old Mission Santa Barbara.

This beautiful piece of art is the result of a community collaboration between Chris Potter, Fiesta, and the Old Mission Santa Barbara.  Each year since 1927 the Franciscans of the Old Mission have welcomed all to enjoy the official opening of Old Spanish Days Fiesta.  While we cannot gather this year, the joy of Fiesta past serves as an important reminder of the better days that are ahead.  Proceeds of the sale of this item will also benefit the Old Mission Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Fine Art Artist in Residence and one of the original Oak Group members, Richard Schloss also contributed an original piece to the Fiesta online auction.

On June 14, 2020, Richard captured the actual moment when the names of the Spirit of Fiesta 2020 Alena Velasco and Junior Spirit of Fiesta 2020 Alexandra Nocker were added to the iconic marquee at the historic Santa Barbara Arlington Theatre.  Special thanks to Richard and to the Arlington Theatre for being part of this important day. 

“This was one of the proudest moments I’ve experienced during our reimagined Fiesta,” said El Presidente Davis. “Working in collaboration with the Arlington Theatre to put the names of these talented dancers on the marquee was a moment of hope, resilience and joy during this unprecedented time that will stay with me forever.”   

Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation dedicated to honoring and preserving Santa Barbara’s history, spirit, culture, heritage and traditions.  Putting the health and safety of the community first, Fiesta 2020 has been reimagined and will hold many of its signature events online, on television or in ways that adhere to physical distancing practices, all while promoting and encouraging community-wide participation. 

The theme of this year’s Fiesta is “¡Vamos a Bailar!”, in English, “Let’s Dance!”.

 More information about Fiesta 2020 can be found at www.sbfiesta.org