The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Contribute your art to Everybody’s Ocean

Posted by on October 13, 2014

Everybody’s Ocean

Your art. Everybody’s ocean. This is your chance to submit salty, seaworthy, sultry, swirling visual art art about the sea.

When: December 19th, 2014 – April 19, 2015, opening reception Friday, March 20th at our monthly festival 3rd Friday: Blue.

What: Everybody’s Ocean is part crowd-sourced, part curated. It’s a visual art exhibition presenting your stories about the sea. Share your art about the ocean, and join the story at the MAH.

What to Submit: Your painting of West Cliff at sunset. Your two-year old’s drawing of the beach that’s been on the fridge for five months. That awesome GoPro footage you took while surfing. Submit all of it. This show will feature visual art of all kinds. There are only two catches: You must live in Central or Northern California, and your submissions must depict or represent a personal relationship to the ocean.

We are accepting your work in two waves (get it?): December 2014 and February 2015 (details below.) All works must be ready-to-hang (e.g. hanging hardware attached). You’ll also be asked to sit for a short audio or video interview.

Why: Everybody interprets the ocean in different ways. Your work has unique inspiration. Let’s share it with each other.

The ocean represents anything from womb to tomb. We personify it as a wrathful god, a seductive spirit, or an indomitable force. The four oceans of the world cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and link us to primordial pasts. The ocean is a living, shared space and one of the greatest unexplored mysteries of the world.

Jump through some sections here:
How Artwork Will Be Selected
How to Submit
Exhibition Dates
Artwork Delivery Dates
Artwork Pick-up
Frequently Asked Questions


Janice Shane Mann, California Seas, 2013.

Janice Shane Mann, California Seas, 2013.

How Artwork Will Be Selected

This is a non-juried exhibition with no cost to enter. We support all forms of visual art, media and artists at all stages of their careers. The MAH reserves the right to reject work that poses a risks to people or facilities, or that is in conflict with the museum’s mission and commitment to welcoming people of all ages. The museum’s curatorial team will review all submissions for appropriateness and applicability to the theme.

A selection of anchor artworks will be on display for the duration of the exhibition, including Baby, a handmade, collapsible Pacific outrigger canoe by Michael Arcega, Quantum Tunneling, a video projection and soundscore by Kadet Kuhne, Tides, a mirrored video installation by Ana Teresa Fernandez, Needle to Sea Bottom, a 6’ handmade etching by Jesse Gotesman, a (TBD) project by Constance Hockaday, an 70’ long interactive rope measurement system designed, built and hand colored by Carrie Hott, and The Bone Series, an eight foot-long ceramic installation reminiscent of a whale’s vertebrae by Jenni Ward.


How to Submit

Email Justin Hoover, MAH’s Curator of Exhibitions at to share your interest in participating. He’ll answer any questions you may have and coordinate delivery of work on the days below. Upon delivery, sit for a short video or audio interview.

Important things to know:

  • Make sure your work is ready to hang (e.g. hanging hardware attached)
  • Make sure artist contact information is attached (e.g. secure label on back with name, phone and email)
  • All submissions must fit through the museum doors. No cranes, lifts, jacks etc. available
  • One submission of an artwork or installation by each artist
  • Video submissions will loop on a group screen with headphones
  • Digital sound files will loop in a group on a dedicated set of headphones
  • The MAH curatorial team will gladly review proposals for social practice, performance or public intervention work as well.
  • MAH will accept digital A/V files on a memory stick, portable hard drive or on data disc. For return of media device, provide a self addressed stamped envelope.
  • Artworks submitted during Wave II may take the place artworks submitted during Wave I by discretion of the curators.  At this point you may be requested to pick up your work.
  • Video specs: We accept any video files under 8 minutes long formatted as .MP4, .MOV, WMV or .AVI


Exhibition Dates

Wave I Exhibition period: December 19th – February 15th.

Wave II – February 27th – April 19th


Artwork Delivery Dates and Interviews

There will be two waves of submissions. Deliver your artwork to the MAH on the following public dates, or by appointment.  When you deliver your work you will also be required to sit for a short video or audio interview lead by our curators and our youth media interns.


  • Tuesday, December 9th from 12-7pm
  • Thursday, December 11th from 12-7pm
  • Saturday, December 13th from 12-5pm


  • Tuesday, February 17th from 12-5pm
  • Thursday, February 19th from 12-5pm
  • Saturday, February 21st from 12-5pm


Artwork Pick-Up

  • Wave I pick up period: You will be notified on February 23rd if your work needs to be picked up.  Pick up period is the same week from 10-5pm.
  • Wave II pick up deadline: Tuesday, April 22 – Sunday, April 26, 11-5pm


You are expected to pick up your artwork by the specified dates above. If not, you will be contacted. If you do not respond within a week of being contacted, then you are wilfully giving MAH the right to sacrifice these works to Poseidon and releasing the institution and all employees and volunteers from harm or liability.

Frequently asked questions

How much room do I get?

Each artist can submit one artwork or one installation. Play with whatever that means to you


Does my art need to be framed?

Only if you think it does. But, it must be ready to hang. Therefore, if you give us a drawing on paper and we can’t hang it because we don’t have the proper clips, then it’ll be rejected. Provide all hardware (or instructions) for hanging.


Are you accepting sculpture or video?

Yes, we accept all forms of media.


I am a performance artist, can I perform for the show?

Perhaps. Propose your performance and we will review it. Most likely, we’ll say yes or ask for slight changes to make it work with our space.


Who gets to apply?

Anyone! And you must live in Central or Northern California (sorry SoCal).


Why are you making me sit for an interview?

We want to know why you are making this work so that we can share this great info with our audience. Your point of view ignites our audience.  We love providing access to your point of view and what you have to say is valuable.


Are you commissioning new work?

Unfortunately not this time. But we will gladly promote, insure, interpret, steward, talk about, and help build an audience for you and your work.

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A Legacy of Caring: Evergreen’s Passionate Caregivers

Posted by on September 11, 2014

Written by Sangye Hawke//(c)2014 S.L.Hawke
This weekend we will be celebrating Evergreen Cemetery’s legacy. The families that chose Evergreen for their final resting place, have descendants who still  stay connected today. Those families that are no more, have been replaced by our team of volunteers, whom we lovingly refer to as The Evergreenies.
EVR_MainGate_DeEtteWheelThe Evergreenies themselves have a legacy that began back in the 1870s. It started with a decoration day, sponsored by the Masons and the G.A.R. who still maintain their sections today. Nature became involved and restored Evergreen to her liking, letting overgrowth, mudslides, and earthquakes rearrange Evergreen’s plots.
In 1906, DeEtte Newcomb (the lady in the wheel barrow), discovered Evergreen and set about her task, one of which included the installation of the wonderful iconic Main Gate Columns you see today.
She turned her task over to the Evergreen Cemetery Association which lasted until 1968. Again Nature volunteered her services. In 1969 another woman, Renie Lehman, discovered an overgrown cemetery called  Evergreen while taking a walk.  Times, they were a-changing! (See the flood photo below)
In 1974, Renie laid out ground rules and a roster for us to use. She called the organization H.E.L.P. From the Association’s books and DeEtte’s family’s memoirs these Evergreenies worked tirelessly through the 1990s. They gave us a reconstructed roster of interrees, one we are building off of today.  Nature came back for awhile, but only part time.
Today, we live by the rules of all our previous Evergreenies, plus a few of our own, such as excavation of older sites and cataloging found objects, an APP tour (in development), maintaining secure archival and historical data, and reestablishing connections between the past family plot and its current family descendants.  We even wear a green tee shirt.
What does it take to become an Evergreenie?
Volunteer and find out!
(If you are interested in becoming an Evergreenie contact diana[at]santacruzmah[dot]org.)

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How Watsonville Taiko Group developed a performance with 200 people about the drought

Posted by on August 27, 2014

As part of our ongoing Participatory Performing Artist-in-Residence Program (PPAIR), Joyce Smith of Watsonville Taiko Group writes about their experience developing a co-creative Taiko performance for our 3rd Friday: Games & Folklore event. Check out pictures here.

In May our business manager, Taeko, told us about a grant from the MAH for a family event, August 3rd Friday’s Games and Folklore. We knew there needed to be audience participation in the performance, but more so than our usual community performances that involve a performance followed by an opportunity for kids and adults to try out the drums and learn a simple song.  Each of our members will be actively participating with the audience in the creation of this performance at the MAH.

playingWe knew there would be a number of meetings with the museum staff to develop the program, that there would be workshops and then a performance. Our first job? Come up with a basic theme or story for the event.

Ikuyo chose Tolstoy’s story, “The Big Dipper.” The girl’s kindness and compassion, the magical elements, and the story revolving around a drought all make this the perfect starting place. Ikuyo asked me to take the short translated story and play with it.

Ikuyo, Taeko and I met up with MAH staff members, Emily and Stacey. What a fun meeting! Ikuyo shared comments/goals, which lined up perfectly with the vision of the museum staff. We shared the basic story line, discussed possible workshops, and the schedule for the day, etc. Ideas flew between the five of us. Thunder tubes … fish crafts … sandpaper makes a nice dry brittle sound … How much should Watsonville Taiko (WTG) drum … Taiko history … a very productive first meeting. I went home and started working on a rewrite of the story.

I have been working on a California version of the story, connecting Tolstoy’s themes and plot into a California setting. WTG will drum a song that Ikuyo wrote called Takinobori. This song is based on a Japanese legend about a fish fighting its way upstream and over waterfalls. I want to incorporate this song because it can represent our local Salmon as well as the carp of Japan. Salmon, coyotes, and horses became part of the tale.

Emails went back and forth with Ikuyo and Taeko… clarifications from Ikuyo of her artistic vision … revisions… editing … more emails and more changes … watching a YouTube version of the Big Dipper … visualizing the emotions and sounds Ikuyo hoped to create. Over the next few days the story started coming together. I sent off another version and another. By our next meeting with the MAH, we have a working script. At class that night we share the script with our drummers, their first real introduction to the project.

In July we gathered at the museum, and worked on refining details.  We looked at the number of people it would take to man the workshop tables, choreograph our young fish and stars, and teach the music and rhythms to our audience performers. Adjustments are made, activities refined.

After a quick dinner break it was off to Watsonville for Friday classes. We learn that we will be working with the script with the community performers on Saturday.

booksWe practiced drumming for an hour, then started looking at all the percussion instruments– cymbals, rain sticks, bowls with pebbles in them, chimes, bells, all colors and shapes. As a group we start signing up for different activities and workshops. We plotted it all out, discussed, laughed, and experimented. Bonnie’s summer kids workshop could possibly drum the sound of the horses.  Sandy has learned a wonderful way for people to create rain sounds with their hands and bodies.  Suzie is a dancer, Kay a primary school teacher. They will choreograph the stars and the fish.  Hiroshi will lead the origami workshop.  On and on it went. Such a great community feeling!

After an hour of class time, we practiced songs for the Church Street Fair, which was coming up in 2 days.  Then at 9:00, when the drums must go silent, we worked on the MAH project.  Shifting of assignments, more instruments passed out, and a very rough run through of the story. We were joined by several GreyBear drummers as well as Kathie’s granddaughter.

Taeko tried out teaching folks to play Twinkle Twinkle with the colored bells, and we all had fun becoming happy coyotes.

Bonnie’s kids had their first class the previous Sunday, and were finding their way around the practice drums.

peopleIn early August, I prepared for a meeting at 2pm with the museum staff. Looking around my computer room I saw scripts, “cast” lists, and instruments– so many instruments. The event was one week away.  Will we be ready? Will it go smoothly? Only time will tell, but it has been a wonderful experience so far.

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You’ve still got time. Dolkas Awards submission deadline is September 1st

Posted by on August 14, 2014

If you’ve got a local history project, we’d love to help you! Apply for a Dolkas Award. You’ve still got time.  Submissions must be turned into the MAH by September 1st. Go for it!

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Redwood Logging and Conservation in the Santa Cruz Mountains: A Split History

Posted by on August 4, 2014

Mountains of Santa Cruz 1875-1880 by Jules Tavernier

History Journal #7

The history of the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods consists of many stories: stories that tell of the thousands of years these aged giants thrived as the Ohlone people managed the landscape; that tell of the settlers who came from afar and saw the seemingly endless forests as a source of profit; that tell of the far-sighted women and men who joined together to preserve groves of these ancient trees. The stories progress to the present day as the split interests of logging and conservation continue to collide.

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