Beloved Santa Barbara artist Tony Askew, Westmont professor emeritus, offers a retrospective of new and old creations in an exhibition Aug. 30-Nov. 7 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. A free, public opening exhibition for “Looking Back/Going Forward: R. Anthony Askew” is Thursday, Aug. 30, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.
Askew, who teaches art at the Santa Barbara School of Extended Learning, retired from Westmont a decade ago. He has been a local printmaker, collage and assemblage artist, and a watercolorist for more than 46 years.
“He is a beloved art teacher, arts advocate and, more importantly, an amazing artist,” says Judy Larson, R. Anthony Askew professor of art history and museum director. “He remains active in the community, attending nearly every art opening in town, and jurying important exhibitions. He has a gift for affirming students and friends through his kind and gentle spirit.”
When he came to Westmont, Askew and John Carlander created Arts Ascent Day Camp (a summer art camp for children). Askew led the formation of the Art Council, a community-based group that supported the creation of the Westmont Art Department and the construction of Reynolds Gallery, which he directed for 19 years. An excellent teacher, he received the Teacher of the Year award in the humanities in 2000.
He earned a Master of Fine Art at California State University, Los Angeles, and chaired the Santa Barbara High School Department of Art for nine years before coming to Westmont in 1982.
A published catalogue with essays by Josef Woodard and Siu Zimmerman will be for sale at the museum. The exhibition and catalogue are funded in part by $10,000 gifts from Walter and Darlene Hansen and Lillian Lovelace as well as other significant gifts from 160 of Askew’s friends.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162.