A piece from "The Blessings of the Mystery" by Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas
A piece from “The Blessings of the Mystery” by Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas at the UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences.
City Life

July’s First Friday brings no shortage of fun across Santa Cruz

From the Westside to the Tannery and beyond, Wallace Baine notes just a few of the spots you should consider for this First Friday’s arts bonanza.

This story was originally featured in this week’s Weekender newsletter. Be the first to hear about arts and entertainment news in Santa Cruz County — sign up for Wallace’s email newsletter here and and text alerts here.

It’s First Friday time again, and here’s a couple of curios you might want to be aware of:

— The Institute of the Arts and Sciences on Santa Cruz’s Westside — yes, I agree, the IAS desperately needs a snappier, less generic name — is hosting an after-hours Friday reception for a provocative exhibition called “The Blessings of Mystery” by artists Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas. It’s a sweeping presentation of the cultural, economic and political forces that have shaped North American history told through the prism of West Texas (though it also ties back into Santa Cruz). While there, you can also check out Sadie Barnette’s “Family Business,” an installation that investigates one family’s history through a fantastical living room. 5 to 7 p.m.

— The Radius Gallery at the Tannery is the site for “Melanated Expressions,” a group show of diverse media featuring the works of more than 20 artists of color throughout the Bay Area, curated by Isabel Contreras and Chris Mosley. 5 to 8 p.m.

Chris Mosley's "Blue Bird" from the Radius Gallery's "Melanated Expressions" group show.
(Via Radius Gallery)

— First Friday is always an ideal time to visit the grand old Wrigley building (so called because it used to be a chewing-gum factory) where the R. Blitzer Gallery will host a new show featuring a number of fine artists. 5 to 8 p.m.

— Artists Edward Martinez III and Brian Garrison will unveil some of their metal sculptural art at the pioneering local coworking business NextSpace. 4 to 8 p.m.