Potter’s Point at Ellwood Bluffs

Renowned local artist Chris Potter will forever be remembered and honored at a place he loved so dearly. On May 7, the Goleta City Council voted unanimously to name a special spot along the scenic Elwood Bluffs “Potter’s Point” in honor of the legendary local artist Chris Potter who passed away on February 3 at the age of 49.  Chris had been battling a rare form of cancer but was reportedly cancer free at the time of his passing.

The “Potter’s Point” location holds special significance to the late artist, as it was a place he often frequented for inspiration and artistic expression. Even during his darkest moments, thinking of that spot brought him joy as referenced by a social media post read at the Council meeting by his friend Penny Owens.

“I’d close my eyes on the radiation table and attempt to let joy in,” wrote Potter. “It came in the form of me standing and painting on the bluffs at Ellwood at ‘my spot.’ Then I was a redtail hawk taking off from that spot and gliding along the cliffs. Then flying out over the ocean in a big loop, drifting up to hover, and then looking down at myself painting. Joy came to me and I accepted that no matter what happens I was here and I made my mark. I’m proud of myself and the life I’ve led. I might have cried a little while making this, but they were tears of joy.”

Dozens of friends and fans wearing light blue Chris Potter shirts packed the Council meeting to show their support of naming Potter’s Point and to share what the famous artist meant to them. 

In addition to the outpouring of support shown at the council meeting, more than 1,900 community members signed a petition in favor of Potter’s Point.  The process is underway to determine what commemorative object will be placed at Potter’s Point in his memory. 

Chris has strong ties to Goleta.  He was born at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital on January 29, 1975. He attended Ellwood Elementary, Goleta Valley Junior High, Dos Pueblos High, and studied art at UC Santa Barbara.

For more info on Chris Potter read this Independent article. To view his beautiful art, go to www.chrispotterart.com.

Pictured above: painting of Ellwood Mesa by Chris Potter

Supporters at the May 7, 2024, City Council meeting (photo credit: Matt Kettmann)