If you’ve been to the Bishop Arts District in the past several months, you’ve likely noticed the charming new development that houses The Botantist, Good Companions, and Paradiso–cocktail bar, coffee shop/natural wine bar, and restaurant, respectively–owned by Exxir Group. The latter is the prettiest restaurant I’ve stepped into in some time, perfectly curated with colorful furnishings and details–and it just introduced a new artist-in-residence program to add to the ambiance.
“It’s about how their pieces speak to our space and vice versa. We think of our walls as a gallery space that will be rotating organically, so there are no set times for display. We also encourage the sale of pieces—as artwork sells, we replenish with new art,” says director of hospitality Natasha Nazerian.
When Paradiso opened, there was a wide selection of work by Bishop Arts-based artist Kyle Steed on view. Most of those pieces have sold already, freeing up room to bring in a new perspective from Santa Barbara-based Taiana Giefer, a textile artist and longtime friend of Nazerian. Giefer dabbles in fashion as well as fine art, having collaborated with design houses like Calvin Klein. Several of her chunky woolen sculptures are scattered throughout Paradiso for the residency. As with Steed’s work, the pieces are all for sale.
The restaurant doesn’t have a set schedule for each artist-in-residence, but plans to move forward organically and swap installations every few months. Nazerian says they plan to include more local artists in the future, as well as throwing some out-of-towners in the mix. The restaurant welcomes submissions from any artists who are interested, by the way.
Next time you want to go somewhere undeniably cute for a bite, head to the newest corner of Bishop Arts. Our dining critic Eve Hill-Agnus wasn’t the biggest fan of Paradiso, but as someone with a much less sophisticated palate, I liked it there. I’d recommend taking in the atmosphere with a Paradiso Soda and hummus with wood-fired flatbread. Your Instagram will thank you later.