A historical and illustrative exploration of the Central Coast's diverse religious settlements, their distinctive houses of worship and universal spiritual paths amid the stunning landscape of Santa Barbara, California.
Santa Barbara has had a remarkable history as a place of spiritual wealth, diversity, beauty, and tranquility. Over the centuries, people from every culture and religious persuasion have been drawn to the Central Coast of California. They have made this area a place of physical beauty and inspiration-a microcosm and metaphor of humankind's universal search. The moving stories of the people who have settled here, together with their rituals, traditions, and artistic expressions posses a timeless meaning for us all. May this book prompt you to reflect on events of times past, savor the tapestry that is the region's rich religious heritage, and stimulate you to embark on inspirational journeys of your own.
About Genevieve Antonow
As a newcomer to Santa Barbara, Geneviève was inspired to document her ongoing exploration of her new home with enthusiasm and passion to unveil the historical roots of this exceptional region. As she began her personal quest for peace and enlightenment and sought out inspirational sites and landscapes in the Santa Barbara region, she was struck by the number of chapels, temples, synagogues churches stood as monuments present in the area and as historical testament of faiths. These diverse sites, along with ashrams, sweat lodges, dance circles are the physical embodiment of a mortal search for answers to life deepest questions.
Who are we? Why are we here? What is our life purpose?
Geneviève’s formal education included studies in art history at the École du Louvre in Paris. Further studies led her to the U.S., where she was trained as a language teacher at Loyola.
Once settled in Chicago, Geneviève augmented her arts background with photography studies at Columbia College. Business courses through the University of Chicago prepared her for a career in arts marketing and promotion. She created International Art Network, an organization she founded in Chicago in 1993 to facilitate the advancement and appreciation of the arts through programs, exhibitions and cultural exchange events. Prior to this she was director of the Chicago International Antiques Show and the International Works on Paper Fair. Later she became the director of Gallery Vienna, where she organized lectures, special events and openings. With her strong overseas ties, Geneviève has successfully promoted a cadre of international artists. Geneviève has curated two exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center. Her own photography was exhibited in Chicago through the Illinois Arts Council.
Geneviève’s spiritual path is intertwined with her international arts background. Her first involvement as director of International Art Network was to develop the exhibition “Chicago to Tibet,” for the Chicago Tibetan Resettlement Program, commemorating the Dalai Lama’s historic visit to Chicago. With a team of volunteers, she also negotiated and supervised a related exhibit on Tibetan artifacts and traditional clothing for the special collections department of the city’s Main Library, as well as a photography exhibit on Tibet at a Chicago art gallery. In the course of these activities the author had the opportunity to share the challenging immersion of the newtibetan community and meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama .
This exposure heightened her interest in spiritual matters and led her to pursue the wisdom of many faith traditions. She discovered that their rituals and beliefs are manifestations of the beauty she strives to promote in all her artistic and creative endeavors.
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