The downtown Santa Cruz development debate in art

"After the White Guys Are Gone" by Russell Brutsche, acrylic on canvas.
(Via Russell Brutsche)

Longtime local artist Russell Brutsche has some thoughts on the build-now mentality he sees powering the wave of construction in downtown Santa Cruz, and you can see those thoughts set to canvas in a First Friday exhibition.

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If you have feelings or ideas about all the development going on in downtown Santa Cruz, circle June 2 on your calendar. That’s the next First Friday art tour, and one of the highlights of the evening is sure to be Russell Brutsche’s paintings.

Brutsche is a longtime local painter (and musician too!) who likes to share his views on what’s happening in his hometown through big and provocative paintings, shot through with exaggerated satirical humor and pointed commentary. His latest collection, “Hi-Rise Santa Cruz,” presents a kind of nightmarish vision of what Santa Cruz might become with all the new tall buildings going up. Brutsche is highly skeptical of the build-now mentality, and it shows in his dazzling visions (special guest appearance from King Kong!).

Artist Russell Brutsche makes his viewpoint known about changes in Santa Cruz with exaggerated and pointed paintings.
Santa Cruz artist Russell Brutsche makes his viewpoint known about the changes in Santa Cruz with his exaggerated and pointed paintings.
(Via Russell Brutsche)

Check them out for yourself at Wallflower, 103 Locust St., right around the corner from Pleasure Pizza on Friday, June 2, from 5 to 9 p.m. They may delight you. They may enrage you. But they certainly won’t bore you.

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