Saturday, July 20, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 20

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on September 5th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 27 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 27

The Santa Maria Public Library hosts the work of Floyd and Barbara Snyder

By Rebecca Rose

For its latest public art exhibit, the Santa Maria Public Library hosts two unique artists who have made a name for themselves on the Central Coast.

Barbara Snyder’s Spiny Cactus, a giclee photograph printed on canvas, is on display through Sept. along with more of her and her husband, Floyd Snyder’s, work at the Santa Maria Public Library.

Floyd and Barbara Snyder's collaborative work speaks to a kind of inside joke, but there's nothing to laugh at when it comes to their captivating work. The joke is a wink and a nod to locals who live their lives in the skin of the world the Snyders portray. It's a world that can sometimes blend into the background, lost among the daily routine of Central Coast life. But in the Snyders' gaze, the everyday becomes the extraordinary. 

Quite the pair
Peace and Tranquility, a collaborative art show featuring the work of Floyd and Barbara Snyder, runs at the Santa Maria Public Library’s Shepard Hall through Sept. 24. The library is located at 421 S. McClelland St. More info: (805) 925-0994.

The couple works largely in "giclée" printing, a word that loosely translates from French meaning "to spray." The process utilizes fade-resistant inks for artists to make large-scale reproductions of their work. The result is highly saturated pieces that have little to no quality loss from their original format.

Shepard Hall is filled with examples of how the Snyders have each mastered the giclée technique. The gallery includes pieces such as Golden Dolphin, a giclée photograph printed on canvas by Floyd. His composition is subtle, using the high points of the buildings and the long path of the dock to draw the viewer's eye into the canvas. 

Barbara's Blue Macaw is a striking animal portrait, marked by a strong demarcation of color in the lines of the bird. Barbara takes her time with the image, capturing the bird's gaze at just the right moment between curiosity and steely animosity. She understands the use of harmonious colors to not just carry the viewer's gaze but to help tell a broader story about each image.

Blue Macaw is one of more than a dozen images that are free to view at the Santa Maria Public Library’s Shepard Hall. The gallery is currently featuring the work of the couple Floyd and Barbara Snyder in the show Peace and Tranquility.

The Snyders do a remarkable job with landscapes, but some of their real strength comes in their other nature work. Floyd's Red Sunflowers Large conveys a conversation about color and symmetry, striking in its bold use of white in a simple background. For both artists, the devil really is in the details; it's when you get up close to the canvas that you see the intricacy of each stroke. Floyd especially has a ginger love of fine details, noted in the carefully marked lines in the seams of each and every petal.

A star standout in this show is Spiny Cactus by Barbara. The artist shows an unbridled attack on form, creating movement out of centuries-old rocks. She constructs a symphony of wavy lines, each one taking a different path through the canvas. The curves of the cactus bend achingly towards a blue sky, warped by ripples carrying it off to another part of the world. The rocky landscape swirls below all of it, effortlessly merging into the life forms that creep their way out of its doomed soils.

The connection between all of this work is found in the title of the show. Peace and Tranquility refers to what lurks behind the banalities of our modern existence, the Snyders quietly proclaim. It takes a moment, but once you realize the artists are capturing a world anyone can find outside their doors, the feeling is easy to find. 

Arts and Lifestyle Writer Rebecca Rose is extremely prickly. Contact her at

Weekly Poll
What do you think of the changes Santa Barbara County made to its cannabis ordinances?

It was too early to make any changes. The industry is still new.
The changes were necessary. Cannabis farms are ruining our quality of life.
The changes are too restrictive and could stifle a growing industry.
More changes are needed to address the odor problems and other issues.

| Poll Results