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Santa Barbara artist looks to donate collection to help non-profit

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A Santa Barbara artist is looking to transform her life's work into a lifeline to help others. 

Margo von Phul (KEYT/Beth Farnsworth)

"This is a lot of work and if a foundation or whatever got ahold of it ..." Margo von Phul said as her voice trailed off. 

von Phul, a pioneer of the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show on Cabrillo Boulevard said she is willing to part with her personal art collection she created over the decades for a good cause.

"I hate to divide it up because I think a lot of it goes together. But, I want the sale of it to go to helping people like Direct Relief, like St. Jude. And I don't want a dime from it. I'm not rich. I'm not taking anything with me. I'm donating my body to science," she said with a laugh. "So, it's a good thing, all along."

Her apartment and working studio is chockfull of paintings, handmade cards, art books and storybooks for children. A hand embroidered quilt adorns the bed while her framed creations, including her favorite shoe series, fill the walls. 

"It's been the most fun because people asked when I first started, 'Did you change your booze?' von Phula said with a laugh. "That's the alphabet," she  said while holding up a sparkling silver stiletto. 

Ideally, she hopes someone will take it all off her hands, sell the pieces, and donate the proceeds.

"When this city was booming, it was because of the artwork," von Phul said. "Because even though they see the beautiful sea and the beautiful mountains, after you've seen that you need something else to attract your attention."

She wants to see the city bring back the popular artist pop-ups and believes art is healing -- especially during the pandemic and after.

If you or someone you know might be interested in von Phul's art collection, send her an email:

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here


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