Board Members

July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023

President:  Cathie Smith

Vice Presidents:  Jacqui Bravo and Nancy Hull 

Treasurer:  Jacqui Bravo (805) 564-7019

Recording Secretary:  Lori Call

Correspondence Secretary:  Cathie Smith

Directors:  Ron Abeles, Jim Felland, Bill Hull, Colin Schildhauer, and Brian Tepper

Past President:  Cathie Smith

President:  Cathie Smith (805) 963-1026

I feel I was always meant to be an artist. I got my first easel at the age of 4 and never looked back. When my baby brother (now an architect) came along, I even had the nerve, at 7, to grade his drawings. I majored in art at college, moved to Los Angeles, and got a job as a mechanical artist – not quite the same as capturing the environment that is my focus now. I had a 42 year career in Marketing and Advertising in Los Angeles and Chicago before retiring and moving to Santa Barbara to care for my mother.

Once here, I discovered SBCC Adult Education classes and eventually the Santa Barbara Art Association. I am so proud of what I have been able to contribute to both organizations. My 6 years as President of the SBAA brought me tremendous satisfaction and both organizations have given me my wonderful circle of friends that I treasure.

I continue to explore different ways to express my love for the natural world with graphite, pen & ink and watercolors. I hope you enjoy my work when you see it!

Vice President:  Nancy Hull 


As a native of southern California, most of my life has been spent within walking distance of the beach, and that proximity has always had a pervasive influence, perhaps more and more as I get older. I’m a relative latecomer to art, as in college my artistic endeavors were limited to a bit of classroom scientific illustration and ceramics. Much later, while working for the Santa Barbara City College Chemistry Department, I began taking art classes through the (now) Extended Learning branch of the school, first in stained glass and later drawing, watercolor, and finally pastel, which for the last 5 or 6 years has been a passion. Besides working in pastels, travel is another passion; and combining travel and art as I explore and paint dramatic landscapes is even better!

I was juried into the SBAA in 2014, joining the board soon thereafter. Mainly I’ve been working at the managing the show.

Vice President & Treasurer:  Jacqui Bravo (805) 564-7019 

clip_image002As vice president in a large international management consulting company, I had a successful but stressful career developing large mainframe computer systems in the USA and Europe. I retired early in 1998 to Santa Barbara where I had graduated from UCSB in 1968.

In 2002, I took beginning drawing and watercolor classes through SBCC’s Adult Education Program just to see if I could paint. I realized immediately that my paintings had a linear style rather than the painterly style of the artists I admired. I concluded that my analytical approach and obsessive compulsive behavior were not going to change, so, I decided to select subject matter to fit my natural inclinations.

I have painted landscapes, buildings, and portraits but find the greatest joy in painting flowers. I am fascinated by the infinite variety and the intricate structure of each flower. My goal is not to paint botanically perfect flowers but to capture the flowing movement inherent in each bloom.

MEMBERSHIPS: Santa Barbara Art Association: President 2011 – 2012; Vice President 2006 – 2011 and 2012 – 2018; Treasurer 2013 – present; Goleta Valley Art Association: Vice President 2007 – 2008 and Director 2008 – 2009; Los Padres Watercolor Society: President 2003 – 2016


Ron Abeles


My Uncle Joe gave me my first camera while I was in junior high school in Los Angeles: A Yashica Mat 124 twin-lens Reflex camera. This was a highly successful knock-off of the now classic Rolleiflex that Joe used as a professional Broadway portrait photographer. He taught me the basics of getting the right exposure without a light meter and gave me a few rolls of film. Then I was on my own. Twenty years and three cameras later, I took my first photography class at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where I worked for thirty years.

Photography has taught me to see and appreciate more deeply places and objects that are seen but mostly not observed. I look for beauty in everyday places, even in Santa Barbara’s parking lots and garages. Of particular interest to me are landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes in terms of vistas and isolated details.

I moved here full-time three years ago to marry Santa Barbara poet Carol DeCanio. In a way, it has been a home-coming. I lived in Los Angeles until I left for graduate school and the East Coast in 1966. Santa Barbara means a return to Southern California where streets signs are often in Spanish. The English-named street signs of Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland never sounded quite like home.

Jim Felland 


Born in Chicago and grew up in Indianapolis.  My artistic beginning was at age 8.  Entering a third grade poster contest my appetite for art work was initiated by winning 1st place with my entry.  Through my public school years I would doodle, draw, paint and otherwise create as I found it satisfying to express myself at how I viewed the world.  When in high school I participated in all available art classes and their various mediums.  Attending Ball State in Muncie I was given further experiences and challenges in the art world and my vision grew.  Under the tutelage of a gifted art director, Dr. A. Nichols, I worked in oil, sketched with ink, formed sculptures, created mobiles.  The scope of my vision was enhanced after joining the Army as a staff photographer for 2 years in Germany.  As a civilian again I became a newspaper and freelance photographer that added width and depth to my view of life and this world.  Upon retirement I realized a new approach with art that gave life to water color.  With numerous Adult Education classes and various talented instructors I added pen and ink to my medium.  A 4 week stay in Norway added to my love of nature, color and form.  My most recent addition to my works came from a 3 week visit in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I am a member of Santa Barbara Art Association and Goleta Valley Art Association.

Bill Hull

I have enjoyed creating art since 1970 and have been a lover of nature since a child. Born in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. I graduated from Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. with a degree in art and biology/pre-med in 1963 and then served as a medic in the U.S. Army in Korea between 1963-1965. Following my discharge, I worked in the biology department at SBCC for 32 years, and during that time I began taking classes there through the (now) CCL program, focusing on plein air oil painting, stained glass, drawing, botanical illustration and watercolor.

Lately, my focus has shifted to taking workshops, especially when there is an opportunity to travel, too.  After being juried into the SBAA, I offered to help as a board member; currently I select jurors and help at ingatherings, occasionally help with hanging the smaller shows, and mainly do whatever I can to help Nancy with managing the shows.

In addition to SBAA, I’m a member of the Mesa Artists Studio Tour and S.C.A.P.E.

Brian Tepper 

Bio PicBrian has been professionally creating art pieces for the past fifty years. His art education includes an Arts Degree from Pierce College, tutoring under the German portrait painter Hans Duddenhaus, and various art classes.

A highlight of his career was a seven-week traveling tour of his paintings throughout Europe under the auspices of the United States Army.

He enjoys being on the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara Art Association and is a member of the Carpinteria Art Association.