At the top of one of those winding Santa Barbara roads tat climb step hills to the middle of the sky, there's a gleaming white house with a perfect green lawn and an "ooh" view of the ocean.
On a clear blue day, not only can you see the islands, but the trails on them as well, where some of what most of us would call junk might have been discarded by unthinking tourists.
Chances are good that if Anne Luther were on hose trails, she'd pick up that broken wooden stick or that piece of torn lace, or even a feather or tow, and use everything in one of her collages.
A native of New York City, Luther attended Parsons School of Design there. Although she continued to do art on weekends and vacations, she graduated with master's degree from Columbia University's business school, and developed strong glutes and calf muscles running up the corporate ladders at Simplicity Patterns, Estée Lauder, Revlon and Domaine Chandon Möet Hennessy for 32 years.
Traveling all over the world on a corporate business, Luther made a point of scouting out garage sales and flea markets everywhere. For her art, she has collected scraps of fabric, lace, coins, beads, vintage and handmade papers, old letters that date as far back as the 1800's, and cigar boxes.
Recruited to open Bacara Resort & Spa, she moved to Santa Barbara. Soon after that assignment was completed, there was a tragedy in Luther's life. Her mother died. Realizing there was no someday

anymore, Luther decided this was the time to switch gears, and live her life. So she slid down that last corporate ladder, and went right into her studio.
Although she has only been creating her collages full time for a few months, she has become a strong, positive force in the art community here. President o the Santa Barbara Arts Alliance, she is a board member of the Santa Barbara Film Festival, is on the Girls Inc. One Hundred Committee, and sits on the advisory council of the John E. Profant Foundation, which recently commissioned several of her pieces.
Luther's collages take many forms. Sometimes take many forms. Sometimes she decorates cigar boxes with vintage and hand-made papers. At other times, she uses the same materials to make personal journals with magical, secret pockets. Often, she creates framed assemblage pieces, again using materials found in garage sales and flea markets... And she also does oil paintings.
But no matter which kind of piece she is doing, absolutely every one of them is clever, thoughtful, nostalgic, romantic, sensuous, and makes a beautiful keepsake.
The centerpiece of her art is a stunning quilt project recently displayed in the Glass Box at the Contemporary Arts Forum. From a distance it looked like any large quilt stitched in the traditional star patter. But it's much more than that.
Luther asked 29 women she knew to each give her a scrap of their lives - from a Hershey bar wrapper to a hand mirror to pair of lace panties donated by someone having a lusty, secret affair.
Making a different, textured, paper patchwork square for each woman, including herself, Luther has created a lasting nostalgic and yet contemporary work that shows the diversity and strength of women in our community, held together by invisible threads, common goals and dreams.
Although that piece is no longer at the Contemporary Arts Forum, it will be featured in Luther's one-person show at the Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Library next spring.