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Only In Santa Cruz

Fri, Jul 10, 2020

Must-See Santa Cruz County Murals

Last year, we shared with you our Top 5 Public Art Murals in Downtown Santa Cruz, giving you a taste of the vibrant creativity our city has to offer.

Now, we’re taking you across the County to visit some of the most electrifying public art exhibits created by our creative community.

Foster Originality in Watsonville

Community call-outs and ever-changing artworks. Stop by 250 Main Street, Watsonville CA to see original artwork by a collective of artists in the Movable Murals project. Supported by the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz, Movable Murals was originally conceived in celebration of the City of Watsonville’s Sesquicentennial in 2018. The project now serves as a platform for local artists to showcase their work while also shedding light on important community values and culture, with new murals being showcased every year. Head on down to see artwork by Jaime Sánchez, Priscilla Martinez, and Peter Bartczak.

Photo by Garrick Ramirez

Connecting Creativity in Abbott Square

Since its conception in 2017, our outdoor marketplace Abbott Square has been renowned for its ability to bring together the Santa Cruz community through art, food, and culture. In addition to its remarkable centrality, the hub boasts an expansive mural highlighting the many colorful elements that connect our members. Created by Bonny Doon-based artist Thomas Campbell, the mural takes on a quilted patchwork motif and has since become an emblematic symbol of the spirited and energetic Santa Cruz lifestyle.

Walk This Way Down to Capitola

If you’re headed for a day at Capitola Beach, you might run into this 80-foot-long mural on Wharf Road en route. Created by Petaluma-based artist John Ton and Capitola-based artist Maia Negre, the artwork was completed in 2010 after being commissioned by the Capitola Arts and Cultural Commission. The sprawling mural entitled “Your Capitola” features a portal of begonias, an oceanfront view, and several locals on their way to the shore, putting passerbys in the perfect mood for some fun in the sun!

Protect our Oceans on Mission Street

While a recent addition to the city’s broad public art scene, the bright and vivid illustrations painted on the 500-foot-wall along Bay View Elementary School is an instant classic. The mural is a collaborative effort between Santa Cruz-based artist Taylor Reinhold and Jim “Homer” Holm, founder of Clean Oceans International, a nonprofit dedicated to resolving plastic pollution in oceans. “The time to raise awareness about the Pacific Ocean plastic epidemic is now!” says Homer. This mural indeed serves as a constant reminder to keep our beloved oceans clean, depicting notorious sea creatures alongside messages such as “Protect What You Love” and “Every Ocean and Sea Plastic Free”.

Photo by Julie Horner

Photo by Julie Horner

Celebrate the History of Boulder Creek

Spending the day at Big Basin State Park? Be sure to stop by Johnnie’s Supermarket to grab some fuel and immerse in the beauty of historic Boulder Creek. Designed by BC-native Yeshe Jackson, the mural was originally commissioned by the city’s Business Association to commemorate the creation of the state park. Using photographs provided by the Boulder Creek Museum, Jackson created striking designs to highlight pivotal moments in the city’s history. The mural features the artwork of Sempervirens Falls, the 1886 Bear Creek Sawmill, and the infamous Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, which runs along our beloved Santa Cruz Mountains.

Celebrate Jazz History at Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Pay tribute to famed musical icons of the past at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Downtown Santa Cruz. Conveniently located just a few blocks from the MAH, the mural entitled “Jazz Alley” was created by SC-based artist Marvin Plummer in celebration of the center’s 35-year anniversary. Using photographs from live performances, Plummer employed his signature duotone painting style to design portraits of four iconic artists-including violinist Regina Carter and bassist Christian McBride- in just a mere 19 days!

Photo by Shmuel Thaler

Honoring Tushar Atre by Exhibiting Artist Jeremiah Kille

Following the death of Santa Cruz tech entrepreneur Tushar Atre last October, friends of Atre came together to fund this dynamic mural located along East Cliff Drive. The artwork was created by Pleasure Point-based artist Jeremiah Kille in collaboration with the County Parks Department’s Just-In-Time process. Kille, whose work is inspired by themes of nature and coexistence, also happens to be a featured creator in the Trailblazers, our current exhibition diving into the creative history of mountain biking in Santa Cruz County.