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Artist Feature

Wed, Oct 21, 2020

Jamie Keil

Jamie Keil - Learning & Engagement Manager

Día de los Muertos: October Chalk Artists

Día de los Muertos is fast approaching! Usually, you would be getting ready to join the MAH for a large, boisterous, colorful festival and procession, but this year looks a bit different.

Inspired by the recent neighborhood chalk art, we've been inviting 3-6 Santa Cruz artists every month to share their talents with Downtown Santa Cruz with 6ft chalk circles in Abbott Square. This month we're pleased to welcome in new artists to create art around the theme Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. The art will be debuting on Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 and will be up until the community ofrenda viewing on Saturday November 7th at the MAH.

Now on view, breeze through to see the completed works and grab a bite to eat. Bonus points if you also wander back into the Secret Garden to view Irene Juarez O'Connel's mural in our outdoor exhibition, Community is Collective Care.

Take a moment to be surrounded and enamored by the art, greenery, and power of collective mourning and care. Abbott Square is open for dining Tuesday-Sunday, 8am-9pm. Also while visiting, please do your part to keep these happenings safe by staying at least 6-feet apart and wearing a mask while in the plaza. My mask protects you and your mask protects me.

Without further ado, let's meet the artists and hear their inspiration for their chalk art...

Love Nessa's artwork? Come back on Thursday, November 5, 2020 to watch Coco under the stars in Abbott Square.

Meet the Artists

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Nessa Ledesma

Venessa (Nessa) Ledesma is a Watsonville native teaching artist who strives to inspire creativity, peace, love, and unity in the community. She enjoys creating art of all sorts inspired by her community and Latinx culture from mixed media, to murals and jewelry.

"My piece was created to honor and remember all of the children who have passed. The child "calavera" has monarch butterfly wings, because Monarchs are believed to hold the spirits of the departed. (This belief stems from the fact that the first monarchs arrive in Mexico for the winter each fall on Nov. 1, which coincides with Día de los Muertos.)"

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Josue Lopez

Josue Lopez is a Watsonville native who strives to inspire positivity through art, creativity, and culture. He enjoys creating art of all sorts inspired by his community and Latinx culture from wood burning to mixed media, murals, and photography. He can be found on Instagram @richwithlife_.

View Josue's Etsy Shop

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Abraham Garcia

Abraham Garcia has been an artist since he was a young boy in San Martin CA. He grew to have a mural painting business after high school where he acquired the large-scale skills it took to help him create his sand art at Pleasure Point and working at The Claraty Arts Project helped him get introduced to the local art community which he now loves and cherishes. His family, Mary his beautiful wife, and his two teen boys Corey and Jay, have lived in Capitola going on four years now and Abraham doesn’t plan on stopping his musical and artistic adventures any time soon.

Abraham’s piece states that love transcends space and time, race and gender, and life and death.

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Paydrow Rodriguez

Paydrow Rodriguez and is a portrait artist currently tattooing in Santa Cruz, CA. "The day I quit my day job and committed myself to a life of art was both exhilarating and frightening. But there's no turning back!" When not tattooing, he enjoys working with graphite and charcoal for their immediacy and availability – much can be said through textures and contrast and I've barely scratched the surface

Stop by soon to check out their creations for yourself!

Abbott Square is located at the corner of Front Street and Cooper Street in Downtown Santa Cruz.

P.S. Come back on Thursday, November 5, 2020 to watch Coco under the stars in Abbott Square.

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