As you start to plan your annual celebrations, be sure to add a visit to the Tannery Arts Center to your list of local destinations.
To some, the Tannery Arts Center is an enigma. To others, it is home. It’s also a first-in-the-nation, interdisciplinary, and multicultural arts campus providing an accessible, sustainable, and vibrant Home for the Arts in Santa Cruz County - and you! Visit the Tannery this winter to explore public art with family and friends, meet artists, and buy art from the source. Read on to find out what’s happening and how you can be a part of it.
Winter Art Market
Kick off the holiday season with the Winter Art Market, coming to the Tannery Saturday, December 10, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It’s free, family-friendly, and features over a dozen open artist studios with gifts for the holidays, guest artists, and live music. Bring a friend and the kids and make a day of it. There’ll be food, locally crafted beer, and free activities for all ages.
This year’s lineup includes music by Anna May, Isla Byrne & Jamie Schnetzler and eats from Honey B Market, Epoch Eats, and Areperia 831 with Woodhouse Blending & Brewing. Make sure to pop by Radius Gallery’s Small Works show to take in and buy work from local artists. Pull up for a fun day of art, noshing, community, treasure and scavenger hunts, and interactive fun for all ages with artists Gazelle Walker, Suzy Radonsky, and Linda Cover.
“The Winter Art Market is a meaningful way to celebrate this season. When you buy directly from artists, you support more than local creative entrepreneurs. You invest in the local economy and community,” says Mercedes Lewis, Tannery Program Manager for Arts Council Santa Cruz County. “Bring the whole family, enjoy music, activities, and food, and find the perfect gift.”
Explore Public Art
From kinetic sculptures, murals, and banners to artful benches hidden under trees and in pockets of greenery in the Margaret Salz Lezin Memorial Garden, new art is continually popping up on the Tannery campus.
I Spy, Creatures of the San Lorenzo River, a mural by Sarah Bianco, Jasmine Schflake, and Rachel Barnes, invites you to search for river creatures and explore color. Get up close and personal to Kirk McNeill’s Sharky Go-Round in front of Radius Gallery. Visit on a First Friday, when the sculpture becomes a swirling kid-powered ton of fun.
A favorite among children, Kathleen Crocetti’s Ebb & Flow mosaic was created as part of the 2015 Ebb & Flow River Arts Festival. There’s something to see at every turn.
The Tannery’s A Home for the Arts public art series is in full swing this fall through spring. New pieces from 22 artists are now popping up on campus, including sculpture installations, murals, and free, family-friendly community engagement activities at First Fridays.
A Home for the Arts includes works from the Tannery’s own Heejin Lee, Maha Taitano, Brian Sarinova, Linda Cover, Gazelle Walker, Suzy Radonsky, and Rebeca Escobedo. You can check out the complete list of projects here.
“First Friday at the Tannery is always full of creative surprises. This public art series will spark even more positive energy in an already lively and engaging monthly event.”
— Bree Karpavage, Director of First Friday Santa Cruz and a Tannery studio artist
Heejin Lee’s Unlimited Language is located in the heart of the campus, by the playground. This is her first mural in America and reflects the diversity present in the Tannery Arts community, which Heejin is proud to call home. While creating this mural, she connected with passersby and residents, reflecting and listening to their experiences viewing it.
“I want people to see beauty and feel a sense of connection and belonging when they see the mural,” says Heejin, “to feel like they are welcome and included, to enjoy and participate in the diverse forms of art at the Tannery.”
“The Tannery Arts Center is a platform for so many artists. This innovative public art series is a way to pull some of the creativity in art studios and behind closed doors into the public eye.”
— Ann Hazels, director of Radius Gallery
Produced by Arts Council Santa Cruz County, A Home for the Arts is presented by the Tannery Arts Center in partnership with Radius Gallery, First Friday Santa Cruz, the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Department ,and Artspace Inc.
Take a Class, Attend an Event, Visit a Studio
The Tannery Arts Center is home to 28 artist studios, including the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center, Radius Gallery, Indexical, Everyone’s Music School, Catamaran Literary Reader, Camp Tannery Arts, Printmakers at the Tannery and others. Every day, the Tannery buzzes with creativity from classes, rehearsals, exhibits, and the quiet work of art. There’s so much to explore and many extraordinary people to meet if you just step on campus. Visit the Tannery website, plan a First Friday night out, or schedule an appointment to visit an artist’s studio.
About Arts Council Santa Cruz County
The Arts Council generates creativity, vibrancy, and connection in Santa Cruz County. For more than 40 years, we have fueled our creative community, supporting individual and collective artistic expression and building bridges and bonds between people throughout our county. We know that art changes lives. In Santa Cruz the arts are also an economic driver ($32 million of economic activity annually), contribute to civic pride, and are one of the most powerful vehicles for bringing people together, creating community dialogues, and strengthening relationships.
Through grants to artists and arts organizations, arts education programs that serve more than 21,000 youth across Santa Cruz County, and community initiatives such as Open Studios, the Tannery Arts Center and the Watsonville Movement for Arts & Culture, we help Santa Cruz County thrive. Learn more on our website.