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An award-winning artist and a 5th generation Santa Barbaran, Rod Lathim creates neon sculptures that explore the fascinating interaction between matter and light. Often incorporating vintage objects in a new context, and marrying various artistic styles and epochs, his work references pop, minimalism, retrofuturism and deconstruction, by turns playful and deeply spiritual. New York-based art critic Benji Su has described his work as “a dualistic reminder of art history.”

In order to achieve colors and textures not traditionally seen, Rod employs solid neon and beaded neon – a spectacular and rare effect resulting in a chain of little light beads traveling through the glass tubes – by subtly manipulating the energy field. He is drawn to the spiritual essence of neon – in his mind, the closest semblance to spiritual energy that one can see with one’s eyes in the physical world.


In addition to his work as a visual artist, his career as a playwright/director/ producer spans over 40 years with critically acclaimed original theater pieces which have toured across the USA, and to Canada and England. His pioneering work in accessible theater garnered him national television exposure and prestigious awards from the Princess Grace Foundation USA (presented by Frank Sinatra and HSH Prince Albert of Monaco), America’s 100 Heroes, State of California Governor’s and Media Access Awards and numerous Humanitarian Awards.


He created assemblage pieces for decades before turning his focus to neon. His mantra is to evoke stories by combining whimsy and spirituality, matter and light. With his tales of hope, spiritual journeys, redemption and triumph, Rod is a sought-after artist by patrons and commercial clients. Two large, commissioned assemblage works hang in the main lobby of the Boston Quincy Marriott Hotel.


Commissioned Works for Commercial Settings:


CommonUnity Gallery – Custom Neon Logo Design - Santa Barbara, CA 2021

Soho Myriad – Atlanta, GA

2 Custom 40” x 40” Assemblage Sculptures

Installed in the lobby of the Boston Quincy Marriott Hotel

Boston, MA – 2017


Currently Represented by DAC Art Consulting in Atlanta, GA

For commercial designs and commissions

Exhibition History

Kate Oh Gallery- Madison Ave & 72nd New York, NY- Solo Show 

November 3-24, 2022

The Voice Gallery - Santa Barbara, CA November 1 - December 30, 2022

Unite To Light Art Exhibit - CAW - Santa Barbara, CA - October 6-8, 2022

Helena and Mason Gallery - Funk Zone in Santa Barbara, CA 2022 - current


Music Academy of the West - Holiday Art Auction - Montecito, CA 2021

GraySpace Gallery Holiday Show - Santa Barbara, CA 2021

CommenUnity Gallery – Santa Barbara, CA – 2021

“Neon Night Art Show” – Neon Sculptures and Collaborative works with painter Chris Gocong


Goldfield Home & Art – Palm Desert, CA – 2021-23

Resident Artist


Thomas Reynolds Gallery – Santa Barbara, CA – 2021

Group Show – Neon Sculptures and Collaborative work with painter George V. Wolf


CommenUnity Gallery – Santa Barbara, CA – 2021

Resident Artist


Goldfield Home & Art – Palm Desert, CA – 2021-22

Resident Artist / Collaborative works with painter George V. Wolf


Locals’ Collective Santa Barbara, CA – 2020-21

Group Show – Neon Sculptures


GraySpace Gallery – Santa Barbara, CA - 2020

Solo Show – Neon Sculptures


Imageville Gallery – Palm Springs, CA – 2020

Solo Show “Illuminations” – Neon Sculptures


Letter Perfect Gallery Art Exhibition – Summerland, CA - 2019

Group Show


GraySpace Gallery “Poetic License” – Santa Barbara, CA – 2019

Group Show


CAW (Community Arts Workshop) Grand Opening Show – 2018

Santa Barbara, CA

Group Show


Art Without Limits Mentorship Artists Show – Santa Barbara, CA - 2018

Group Show


2nd Friday Show – Santa Barbara Tennis Club – Santa Barbara, CA - 2016

Group Show


Indigo – Santa Barbara, CA – 2016

Group Show


Indigo – Santa Barbara, CA – 2015

Group Show


Plum Goods – Santa Barbara, CA - 2014

Solo Show


Ridley Tree Art Museum – Westmont College – Santa Barbara, CA – 2013

Group Show


Plum Goods – Santa Barbara, CA - 2013

Solo Show


“One Night Stand” – Brooks Institute Gallery – Santa Barbara, CA - 2012

Group Show


“One Night Stand” – Brooks Institute Gallery – Santa Barbara, CA - 2011

Group Show


Art From Scrap Gallery – 2010

Group Show


“Reinventions” - Art Resources Gallery – Santa Barbara

Solo Show – 2009



(partial list)


Leadership in the Arts Award – Santa Barbara Arts Commission – Santa Barbara, CA 2012


Founders Award – Dream Foundation – Santa Barbara, CA 2004


Top Ten National Theatre – Stage Directions Magazine – Las Vegas, NV 1998


President’s Award for Leadership in the Arts – California Association for Post-Secondary Education, Santa Barbara, CA - 1997


Outstanding Service Award – Dystonia Medical Foundation – Los Angeles, CA 1996


Outstanding Achievement Award/Grant – Princess Grace Foundation USA – 

Beverly Hills, CA 1995


Big Canvas Award – Santa Barbara Magazine – Santa Barbara, CA 1995


America’s 100 Real Heroes – Maxwell House Coffee – Nashville, TN 1992


Alumnus of the Year – Santa Barbara Education Foundation – Santa Barbara, CA 1989


Media Access Award – 1987 & 1998 – Beverly Hills, CA

Rod is collected across the USA by art lovers including: Jeff Arch, Anthony Edwards & Mare Winningham, Kate Mulgrew, Bennett Zier, Heidi Winston Jensen, Rod and Anne Hare, Pimm and Jeannie Fox, and many others.

10.9.22 Art show flyer draft4.JPG




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