Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
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Looking Ahead: MAH Exhibitions Opening in 2021

Take a sneak peek at the MAH’s newest showcases and exhibitions coming in 2021!

With the ongoing support of our members and donors, our team here at the MAH had the opportunity to pause and adapt a lot of our offerings to meet the needs of our community better. We met the moment with eyes wide open, finding exciting possibilities to build new, intentional spaces for creativity and connection.

While we all remain optimistic about what 2021 holds, here’s a sneak peek at the exhibitions we can’t wait to share with you. We look forward to the day we swing open our doors and welcome you back inside the Museum. Until then we hope you will consider making a donation and supporting the work of the MAH. You can learn more in our full Case for Support.

In These Uncertain Times

Opening Winter 2021

Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History exhibit
(Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History)

Showcasing the creativity and resilience of Santa Cruz County’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this exhibition will coincide with the MAH’s reopening in early 2021. Through community-sourced artwork, individual stories, and objects from the MAH’s history collection, In These Uncertain Times will explore the ways that creativity and community can support us through times of uncertainty.


Opening Spring 2021

"¡Méjico, Mexico!,” by Frank Romero painting
"¡Méjico, Mexico!,” by Frank Romero, 1984
(Cheech Marin Collection / MOLAA)

Exploring those personal, intimate connections we can find with art, Conexiónes invites Latinx collaborators from across Santa Cruz County to be community curators. These folks will be selecting artworks to fill the exhibition from the Museum of Latin American Art’s (MOLAA) collection and sharing how that piece relates to their heritage, culture, and lived experiences.

Lost & Found

Opening Summer 2021

burned item from a house
(Shmuel Thaler)

History was made in the Summer of 2020 when the CZU Lightning Complex Fire burned more than 80,000 acres, led to the evacuation of more than 60,000 people, and the destruction of over 900 homes. Lost & Found will showcase the voices, stories, and art that came from a public-call out to the communities impacted as we recognize the resilience of Santa Cruz County.

Presented by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz. Additional support provided by History Forum.


Opening Late Spring 2021

Hotel Acatlan painting, Second Day lithograph by David Hockney
Hotel Acatlan, Second Day lithograph by David Hockney, MAH Permanent Collection.
(Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History)

Did you know the MAH is turning 25 in 2021? As part of the host of happenings in celebration of our silver anniversary, the exhibition Twenty-Five will feature art and artifacts picked from the MAH’s permanent collection that corresponds to each of the 25 years we’ve been open.

Santa Cruz Speed Wheels

Opening Summer 2021

boy skateboarding photo
(Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History)

Celebrating the surrealist, eye-popping work by Jim Phillips, creator of the Screaming Hand, Santa Cruz Speed Wheels at the MAH will kick off a global tour of the exhibition. Developed in partnership with NHS the exhibition will hold the largest collection of Phillip’s work with pieces largely unseen since the 1980s.

RedBall Santa Cruz

Tuesday, June 8 - Sunday, June 13, 2021

red ball sculpture
(Kurt Perschke)

Discover, track down, and pose alongside the inflatable mobile sculpture by artist Kurt Perschke. Through a mixture of vision and wit, the RedBall will be squeezing into different locations throughout Santa Cruz County. From bridges to alleyways, the Redball fills those mundane, overlooked places with whimsy and possibility.

Do You Know My Name?

Opening Online Winter of 2020 & In-Person Fall 2021

people of  Santa Cruz in the 19th century
(Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History)

Get to know the overlooked, hidden, and relatable histories of the people of Santa Cruz County from the 19th century to today. Pulling from the MAH publication by the same name, Do You Know My Name?, uncovers the stories of ordinary people who never made the news, never rose to fame, yet overcame adversity to find fulfillment in art, invention, or community.

Presented by the Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz.

Ocean of Light: Submergence

Opening Fall 2021

woman in a dark room light exhibit
Submergence by Squidsoup
(Paul Blakemore)

Step inside an immersive and interactive installation of lights, sounds, and movement created by U.K.-based digital arts collective Squidsoup. Opening inside the Museum, Ocean of Light: Submergence will kick off the MAH’s new four-day art, sound, and digital-culture festival, Frequency.