Hugh Margerum has been an exhibiting artist for many years. His work is in numerous collections in Santa Barbara and around the country. Primarily working with oil paint - on canvas, paper, and monotypes - Margerum’s abstract work reflects his interest in exploring relationships of scale, figure and ground, and most of all color. Practicing his art in Santa Barbara since 1978, he has also during that time been a printmaking instructor SBCC’s Adult Education program, a concrete artisan, a curator, co-author of two books on plants of the Santa Barbara foothills, and most recently, he spearheaded the creation and branding of Santa Barbara's Presidio Neighborhood.. In 1981, he and his brother Doug founded the Wine Cask Restaurant and Hugh was involved as owner/manager until 2001 when he left to pursue his artistic and other endeavors.
From a statement by the artist:
"My work is an abstract interpretation of things that happen in nature and everyday life. I find I’m often dealing with reconciling opposites and dealing with contradictions, in life, philosophy, and art. In the work, this process of reconciliation serves as a metaphor for things we deal with as humans. As with anyone involved in making serious art, I’m attempting to make something ‘real’, which in my case can be loosely defined as an attempt to find and re-present the poetry in the world around us .
Making things by hand, painting with oils oftentimes seems to be an old-fashioned endeavor in this digital age. By utilizing the romantic nature of oil paint, exploiting the qualities unique to the medium; the lush color and two-dimensional plasticity -- I’m able to express feelings, thoughts, and impressions that have arisen as a result of my ‘research’ in the field; the observation of nature and pondering the nature of human-ness."