The Wildling’s mission is to inspire our community and visitors to enjoy, value, and conserve wildlife and natural areas through art. We provide artistic, educational, and field experiences of nature for that purpose. Our vision is to be recognized as an exceptional and innovative leader in inspiring our communities and visitors to value wilderness and other natural areas through the lenses of a diversity of artists. The museum strives to collaborate with others for the betterment of our communities.
The Wildling Museum was founded in 1997 by Santa Barbara artist Patti Jacquemain who felt that a museum showcasing beautiful art of wilderness areas could help to educate and inspire new audiences to care about the preservation of our country’s dwindling natural areas.
The museum first opened its doors at the historic Keenan Hartley House in Los Olivos in 2000 and began its a tradition of organizing inspiring art exhibitions and programs. In 2008 the Wildling expanded to a new location on San Marcos Avenue. In 2011 the Wildling board and staff began an extensive planning process with the support of SCORE of Santa Barbara counselors and the amazing team at Fielding Graduate University and the input of many stakeholders. In 2012 it was determined that a move to a new facility in Solvang would allow us to address many of these goal areas and that move was accomplished at the end of the year. The new, completely remodeled facility at 1511 B Mission Dr. opened to the public on August 24, 2013.