The river's Journey: one year, six artists, ninety-two miles


Rose Compass artist statement


America’s rivers are part of our nation’s consciousness. They flow through our collective memories, stories and backyards. Rivers feed us, quench our thirst, carry us and so allowed our country to gro. They unite us by linking communities and divide us when we fight over water rights. They are a source of relaxation and recreation as well as powering our homes and businesses. Rivers are also home to innumerable animal species that depend on them and can live nowhere else.

Santa Ynez River

Flowing through our own backyard is the Santa Ynez River. With its headwaters at the border with Ventura County and its mouth draining into Surf Beach in Lompoc, the river has been a vital resource for our county—both for generations of humans beginning with the Chumash people and for native animal and plant species that depend on it. Over the last century, three dams and reservoirs were built to meet the growing water needs of the Santa Barbara community.

In the last decade, our County has struggled with significant drought and the need to raise a new consciousness among citizens for ongoing water conservation efforts. 


The River’s Journey Project was developed by Rose Compass, a small collective of Santa Barbara artists, and serves to connect our community to their limited and valuable water resource. They have opened dialogues with key water management organizations, naturalists, and environmental advocates. Their work offers a visual journey of our water resources. They have partnered with other community non-profits and public water agencies to increase awareness of water: where it comes from, how do we use it, and how can we protect.

This exhibition was produced as a partnership between the City of Santa Barbara and Rose Compass.

Learn more about the Rose Compass and its artists  here !

Learn more about the Rose Compass and its artists here!

Learn more about Santa Barbara’s water conservation efforts  here !

Learn more about Santa Barbara’s water conservation efforts here!

Opens August 2, 2018

Location: City Hall Gallery

Opening Reception:

September 6, 2018

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Take a look how the treatment of water on a larger scale has been connected with arts and culture similar to The River's Journey Project here in Santa Barbara County! Click here for more information!