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Wed, Jan 27, 2021

Introducing 'In These Uncertain Times' Exhibition & Programs

This isn’t the first global pandemic, and it won’t be the last. Covid-19 serves as a reminder that our lives are always marked by uncertainty. But thankfully, art can give us space to grieve, process, and heal during these difficult times. If the pandemic is a portal for imagining a better world, our creativity can provide us with the tools we need to move through it.

From memorials and portraits in isolation to artworks providing emotional support to essential workers, our new exhibition, In These Uncertain Times, offers an opportunity to share our collective experience of this moment through the eyes of 60 local artists.

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As part of the MAH's exhibitions team, I found organizing this exhibition to be a really healing and cathartic experience during an otherwise challenging time. The idea took root in early March, shortly after we closed our doors. We knew we wanted to create space to continue connecting with local artists and wanted to be able to share these personal experiences with the community.

This exhibition gave us an opportunity to see and hear from artists from across the county and learn more about how people were using art to process this moment. Dozens of phone calls, emails, and zoom meetings later we opened the exhibition at the MAH on January 15, 2021 to an audience of two - myself and our Director of Exhibitions & Programs Marla Novo. Since we couldn’t physically open up the space just yet we hosted a Virtual Gallery talk for MAH members and it was a huge success.

Over the next few months, we will be revisiting that experience through a series of in-depth Virtual Gallery Talks that will be available for anyone to “Zoom” into. Starting February 12th, this weekly series will dig deeper into the artworks and themes shared as part of the exhibition, In These Uncertain Times.

Each week you’ll hear from exhibiting artists and MAH staff as we highlight the artwork and creative process of individuals from across Santa Cruz County. So grab a drink, a cup of tea or order your favorite local take out and join us every Friday at 6pm for an hour of art and conversation.

Upcoming Events

What is Essential? | Friday, February 12 from 6-7pm
The rapid spread of Covid-19 has significantly impacted the daily lives of people in our community, and all over the world. While shelter in place orders have many people spending more time at home, others must continue to live and work with caution. These artworks reflect on the impact this crisis has had on our lives and on those who work tirelessly on the front lines of this pandemic each day. Register for the Event >>

Grief & Remembering | Friday, February 19 from 6-7pm
This pandemic has laid bare the inequities created by our social systems for centuries. The disproportionate impact of this virus on the health and well being of black and brown communities sheds light on systemic injustice in our country. As we make time to collectively grieve and recover from this virus, we must also work to heal the trauma of systematic racism to create a more equitable world for everyone. The artworks shared as part of this event highlight ways that artists are using their practice to grieve, remember, and process the complicated emotions brought about over the last year. Register for the Event >>

Abstract Feelings | Friday, February 26 from 6-7pm
This global pandemic has opened a portal to a whole range of emotions. As we experience the fear, anxiety, and isolation of this moment, many have turned to art as a way to help process complex emotions. The artworks shared in this program use the visual language of shape, color, and form to embrace the unknown. Register for the Event >>

Reflecting & Connecting | Friday, March 5 from 6-7pm
Covid-19 has impacted us all differently. Masks, gloves, protective barriers, and social distancing have become the new normal. But despite all these barriers, people continue to find ways to creatively reconnect with themselves and their communities throughout this difficult time. From art by mail projects to creative at-home studio interventions, this event highlights artworks that creatively reflect and connect us. Register for the Event >>

Creativity in Quarantine | Friday, March 12 from 6-7pm
This pandemic has forced many of us to slow down and take stock of our lives. And in the months since March of 2020, it has continued to be a moment of collective pause and deep reflection. For some it has provided time to experiment with their creativity, while some have used this space to dig deep into their artistic practice. From weaving and handmade paper to rehabilitated cuckoo clocks, these artworks span a whole range of creative practice. Register for the Event >>

Virtual Film Screening | Friday, March 19 from 6-7pm
A night of short films featured in the exhibition highlighting the creativity and compassion of Santa Cruz County during this global pandemic. Register for the Event >>

This series is organized by MAH staff with the support of Emma Lazor, a Practicum Student working with the MAH as part of her Masters in Art Education & Community Practice and currently works as the Assistant Director of Study Abroad at UCSC where she engages students in intercultural learning opportunities abroad. We’re thrilled to have Emma on board to help support our programming for this exhibition and all sorts of upcoming projects at the MAH, including our 25th-Anniversary Celebration.

Ways to Get Involved

Virtual Exhibition, At the Present Moment an online exhibition in collaboration with the Sesnon Underground Gallery. This virtual exhibition features artwork made by student artists and creators at UC Santa Cruz during the Covid-19 pandemic. Each student has brought their unique perspective to this collective moment, and their work is a testament to the enduring creativity of our campus community.

3 Minutes Moving (3MM), a series of short videos designed to increase physical engagement and promote health and wellness. 3MM is a project of UCSC Online Education in collaboration with the Dance Faculty of UCSC’s Theater Arts Department, with support from Porter College, UCSC’s Arts Division, and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.

Pandemic Dispatch What have you learned during these uncertain times? Throughout the run of this exhibition, we’d like to hear your stories as we navigate this global pandemic together. If you’d like to share a story, please call 831.429.1964 x 7022 and leave a short message (5 minutes max). Selected stories will be shared as community dispatch in an upcoming MAH podcast.

Tag Us! Share how you’ve been using art to process this time. Use #MAH_ITUT on your public Instagram account and we can reshare your work in our stories.

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COVID-19 Information & Updates

At the MAH we're planning for a phase re-opening based on California and Santa Cruz County Tier Guidelines. Learn more about our plan and how you can be the first visit once we swing open our doors.