Bacara Partners with Artist David Shelton on Christmas Tree Art Installation

David Shelton Christmas


Our Santa Barbara resort is honored to partner with renowned artist David Shelton to create a one-of-a-kind Christmas Tree Art Installation.

Showcased in Bacara’s festively-adorned lobby, the 12-foot sculpture combines dramatic contrasts of whimsically-sculpted steel from David Shelton Studios with hand-blown glass by Saul Alcaraz.

The tree is not intended to compete with a natural tree but rather offer a playful interpretation of one. “It’s a visual dance,” says Shelton. More than a tree, the eco-friendly art installation will serve as the focal point of Bacara’s new holiday tradition.

“This tree is a beautiful reflection of innovation and community collaboration,” said Kathleen Cochran, general manager of Bacara Resort & Spa. “We are honored to partner with David to create something truly magical for our guests that they can enjoy with their loved ones for years to come.”

The theme of this year’s tree is “Monarchs in Flight” in honor of the nearby Ellwood Butterfly Preserve. Monarchs, much like Bacara’s guests, retreat to the resort to bask in the sea and sun of the Gaviota coast. To help protect its natural coastline, glass ornaments on the tree will be available for purchase and will benefit the Gaviota Coastal Conservancy.

“Butterflies seem to ignore gravity,” said Shelton. “The luminous color of their fluttering wings captures the sun in their random flight like jewels; this year’s tree pays homage to their beauty.”

Resort guests and locals are invited to view Shelton’s masterpiece at the resort’s Winter Solstice Ceremony on December 14, 15, 21, 22, 23 and 24 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Led by music professor and master musician Jim Grippo, the ceremony will begin with a “ringing of the bells” leading into a special collection of winter solstice music traditions from around the world, followed by the lighting of the tree. After, guests can relax with a glass of hot cider while enjoying Grippo’s enchanting solstice music.

In addition to the ceremony, Bacara is embracing the holidays in Santa Barbara by hosting Christmas Eve and Night dinners; a tea and trunk show; miscellaneous family activities throughout the month and New Year’s Eve Midnight Masquerade.