A Brush With Preservation

Hank Pitcher
Creative studies art instructor Hank Pitcher paints a cycle of seasons at Coal Oil Point Reserve

When Hank Pitcher first set out decades ago to paint Coal Oil Point, one of his favorite subjects, he was doing it to memorialize a place he thought was going to disappear forever.

“I grew up in a time when Isla Vista went from about a hundred families, and cattle, and bean farms, and fields of wildflowers from Abrego Road to the freeway, to one of the most densely populated areas in the world, just during my lifetime,” said Pitcher, who teaches art at UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies. A residential project was once slated for construction at the Point, with high-end homes and a marina replacing the gently rolling dunes. Manicured landscapes were to replace the windswept grasses and coastal scrub. Read the full article


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