.Local Arts Groups Look Ahead to Going Virtual for Fall Exhibits

An exhibit at Cabrillo College’s art gallery in Aptos was only open to the public for five days in March before it had to close down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since then, Cabrillo Gallery staff has kept connected to art lovers by posting about the show, “Six Years Smitten,” regularly on social media. Each piece is featured, giving the artist a chance to give a statement about their work. They also moved their Student Exhibition online in April.

Gallery Director Beverly Rayner said the social media postings have been “very well received,” and praised Program Coordinator Victoria May for her dedication in promoting the work.

“Victoria has been doing a really beautiful job at reaching out,” Rayner said. “I think the frequency of the posts has really helped us stay in touch with people.”

The physical “Six Years Smitten” exhibit will most likely be taken down at the end of September, May said.

After that, there is plenty more to look forward to in fall 2020. Switching to an all-online format, the gallery will open “Navigators,” a show featuring the work of more than 40 Cabrillo staff and faculty. The work will span all disciplines, from painting to sculpture and photography to mixed media. 

Rayner said she hopes the show will be as uplifting to Cabrillo staff and faculty as the Student Exhibition was for students. 

“Students were separated from the campus, from their instructors, from each other,” she said. “To have that kind of exposure. It was really nice to give that to them. We hope we can give the same to our [colleagues].”

“Navigators” will be online to view Sept. 28-Oct. 23 and include a series of virtual artist talks.

In November the gallery’s annual “12×12 (x12)” open invitational will be held, albeit in a different format. It will run online Nov. 2-Dec. 4.
The show, which allows artists of all levels to submit equally-sized works from various mediums, is one of the gallery’s most popular exhibits of the year.

“It’s a real community celebration,” Rayner said. “Everybody gets involved. We don’t want to let that go. It’ll be interesting, but we’re looking forward to it.”

More art happenings

Pajaro Valley Arts

“Sculpture Is” — Sculpture exhibit at Sierra Azul Nursery, 2660 E Lake Ave., Watsonville. A portion of art sales goes to support PVA. Ongoing through Oct. 31. 

“Members’ Exhibit: People, Places and Poetry” — PVA’s annual member’s exhibit will be held virtually this year. An online gallery will be live in the next week. Stay tuned for more updates.

“Mi Casa es Tu Casa” — Annual exhibit inspired by Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). PVA invites the community to send digital images of family members who have passed. A virtual exhibit will be created from the images. Submit Entry and Release Form to he****@pv****.org (opens in a new tab)">he****@pv****.org by Sept. 20.

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History 

“Community is Collective Care” — A new exhibit in the museum’s garden features a mural by artist Irene Juarez O’Connell. The show also displays information and advice on navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, and offers free “Creativity Kits” to attendees. 

“In These Uncertain Times” — Opening in late fall, the exhibit will showcase the creativity and resilience of Santa Cruz County’s response to shelter-in-place and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Queer Santa Cruz” — MAH’s first all-virtual exhibit explores the important contributions, impact, and history of Santa Cruz County’s LGBTQ+ community. Available to view online.

Sesnon Art Gallery

“Irwin 2020: Collective Solitude” — The 34th annual Irwin Scholarship Award exhibition showcases the work of a select group of UC Santa Cruz’s most promising young artists. The virtual show aims to explore our present, estranged world where everyone is experiencing some form of loss and separation.

“Barring Freedom” — A bi-coastal exhibition of contemporary art organized by UCSC in collaboration with San José Museum of Art. The show makes visible the troubled history and radicalized present of the prison-industrial complex. Opening virtually Oct. 20.

First Fridays Santa Cruz

“Virtual First Fridays” — Local artists are featured every week on First Friday social media accounts. Artists take over the group’s Instagram account, posting images, stories and videos about their work.

Santa Cruz Art League

“Art League Journal” — Every Monday the league will post a new theme on social media for the community to participate and share in. Post an artist or artwork that you enjoy using the hashtag #artleaguejournal. Ongoing.

Open Studios

“Virtual Arts Network” — Arts Council Santa Cruz County is bringing Open Studios to an online format this October. The network is a curated directory of local visual artists and their work. Artists will be able to show off their work through images, statements, contact information, sales portals and more.


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