Artist Penpal Project by Jennifer Wildermuth Reyes

Virtual Gallery Talks: Reflecting & Connecting

Artboard 1

Friday, March 5, 2021,
6pm - 7pm

Online via Zoom

$5 General | Free for MAH Members & Exhibiting Artists

Register for the Event

Learn more about the artworks and themes of our new community-sourced exhibition, In These Uncertain Times, in our new weekly Virtual Gallery Talk series.

As we await the day we can welcome you back inside the museum to experience the exhibition for yourself, join exhibiting artists and MAH staff for an hour of art and conversation.

RSVP on Eventbrite for new topics every week 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.

March 5th: Reflecting & Connecting

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. - Thomas Merton

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.

Featured Artists

Protect What You Love, Sarah Bianco

“The gift of this year has been the demand of the pause. This image is a reproduction of a mural created for HOME: A Stay-at-Home Mural Festival for the Planet featuring over 800 artists from around the world.

Expanding, by Abi Mustapha

“This piece is the completion of my process of change and progress in an ever-evolving world. It’s had many iterations, like all of us, and culminated in the depiction of a human being joyful in the process not concerned about the outcome. This work was created during an artist residency at the MAH which took place for several months during the museum’s closure. I had the gallery all to myself which gave me the space to really think big, in a literal sense.”

Enter the Chrysalis, by Dana Peters

My mural captures my own ponderings in the upheaval of Covid-19. What are the parts of us that are going to make it through this chrysalis stage? What will be left behind and what new surprises will emerge?"

Four Gentlemen, by Henry Zhou

“Four Gentlemen matches four good human qualities in Confucianism to four different flowers in China. The central theme running throughout is how these flowers blossom despite the various hardship of the environment. Throughout shelter in place I also used the structure of the plants to compose poems. “

Salmon in the San Lorenzo, by Megan Gnekow

“I started a series of ecosystem paintings focused on the Santa Cruz Mountains just as shelter-in-place began. Due to COVID and wildfires, I had to spend most of SIP outside of Santa Cruz and these paintings were my way to stay connected with home. They focus on the ecosystem of the San Lorenzo River watershed which was impacted by the fires.”

As Above - So Below, by Oskar Elek

“The microscopic and the macroscopic, bridged by universal scale-independent network structures. And with us, humans, right in the middle: slicing the Cosmic web bottom-up. Even in uncertain times, we don’t stop looking for connection..”

Plasticulture - Hawaiian lauhala weaving and kapa adornment with recovered agricultural plastic from Elkhorn Slough, by Rachel Kippen

“Plasticulture is a reclamation of my cultural practices using the discards of modern day conventional agriculture. It represents what many of our indigenous people and all earth people have left to work/weave with. Weaving is an act of liberation, which is freeing while in isolation. It is a way that women have organized, passed down information, passed along stories, shared and woven perspectives. The work also heightened a desire for care for the land, malama ‘aina, as the weave is giving value back to the discarded materials while removing them from the soil.”

In The Dust, Covered In Sun, by Daniel Jay

“When shelter-in-place orders started I began to build out my in-home (bathroom) darkroom. I developed a deep interest in the poetics of chemistry and light-play. I spent the daytime in our diverse biome taking 35mm & medium format photos and nights developing rolls of film in my bathtub.”

Artist Penpal Project, by Jennifer Wildermuth Reyes

“I wanted a way to stay connected with other artists. I created easy to mail kits that included sturdy art board and put the word out on social media that I was looking for @artistpenpals. Each piece got at least two turns by each artist.”

Opportunity, by Liz Celeste

“All of the strangeness in the world whispered to me to be playful in my creativity. So I met with a craigslist stranger to buy a box of expired film. There is much uncertainty when it comes to double exposures and expired film - I was at the mercy of light and chemicals.”

A Study for Trellis, by M. James Becker

“This isolation has foregrounded the structures of support that we rely on. In 1769, French trellis carpenters joined together to form a carpenters’ union. This act of labor solidarity is a small snapshot of the type of worker led politics which, in a time of uncertainty and societal upheaval, would push France towards revolution 20 years later.”

Apart Together, by Angelina Reed

“While under Shelter in Place, I continued my screen printing class at Cabrillo from home...using hand-cut, freezer paper stencils for screen printing the shades and sizes of orange circles reminiscent of the Covid-19 case maps I was looking at every day. In These Uncertain Times, we make do with what we have and we make art. This mail art book project was mailed out to 25 participants.”

2020 Art Journal, by Jamie Keil

Finding quotes that speak to me and making collages to accompany them became a creative healing process. These were some bright times when my mind felt clear, creative and moments where I felt like myself again. #brightspot has over 25,000 posts highlighting moments of happiness during this dark time.

Letters to Strangers, by Mary McNamara

“During quarantine I spent many hours in my garden, painting roses and flowers. I started mailing them to family and friends... I contacted nursing homes all over the country and began sending out cards out to strangers. I hope they have given someone comfort.”

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Schedule of Virtual Gallery Talks