Accidentally Wes Anderson: Adventures in Santa Cruz

An exhibition that pays tribute to the world of travel photography, community, and adventure, where architecture, design, and aesthetics converge in stunning symmetry reminiscent of the iconic filmmaker's visual style.

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January 24–May 18, 2025

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Solari Gallery
2nd Floor

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AWA 12

“We provide a daily dose of delight and inspire a sense of adventure and curiosity for all that wish to participate.”

Wally Koval, Accidentally Wes Anderson

This is an adventure. Join us to discover the most interesting places on Earth, both near and far, inspired by the eponymous director's cinematic vision.

Produced in collaboration with brand and social media community Accidentally Wes Anderson (AWA), this exhibition takes guests on a visual journey to the most beautiful, idiosyncratic locations around the globe—including Santa Cruz County—all seemingly plucked from the whimsical world of filmmaker Wes Anderson.

From impossibly grand hotels and chateaus to idyllic lighthouses, cable cars, and train carriages, AWA explores the filmmaker’s distinct aesthetic, whether a perfectly symmetrical landscape or a European city brimming with technicolor structures. The MAH exhibition, which will include a selection of community-sourced images of quirky places and locales in Central Coast California, is also presented as homage to the centennial celebration of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Giant Dipper roller coaster, an Anderson-esque vintage wooden coaster that debuted in 1924.

Born off the back of a viral online phenomenon and community of the same name, AWA celebrates the undeniable visual vernacular of one of cinema’s greatest filmmakers. Each of the locations highlighted in the exhibition boasts the recognizable singular aesthetic that is oh-so typical of film master Wes Anderson. Bright, vivid, and often slightly jarring to reality, AWA collects the world’s most Anderson-like sites in all their faded grandeur and pop-pastel colors, telling the story behind each stranger-than-fiction location. Authorized by Anderson himself, the exhibition and its companion books celebrate much of the weird and wonderful architecture that exists in our unique world, paying tribute to travel, photography, community, and adventure.

AWA photo contributors have been called “adventurers” who range from travelers, architects, history buffs, artists, editors, photographers, to teachers, students, and all walks of life intrigued by the wonders of the world and civilization. For the Santa Cruz exhibition, which will highlight photography from around the globe alongside similarly-inspired images of Santa Cruz County and the greater Central Coast region, AWA and the MAH are issuing a call for submissions from Santa Cruz locals and visitors seeking real-life images of the popular seaside destination that mimic the famous filmmaker's aesthetic.

To submit photos or videos of Wes-worthy vignettes from Santa Cruz County or the surrounding areas, click here. Entries for consideration for this exhibition will be accepted through September 13, 2024.

The exhibition at the MAH is presented with support from Visit Santa Cruz County.

Header image: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, photo by Ludwig Favre, @ludwigfavre.

Creative Team & Inspiration

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Accidentally Wes Anderson

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Wes Anderson


Wes Anderson

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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, California, photo by Ludwig Favre, @ludwigfavre.

Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, Santa Cruz, California, photo by Ludwig Favre, @ludwigfavre.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, California, photo by Ludwig Favre, @ludwigfavre.

Half Moon Bay Jail Museum, Half Moon Bay, California, photo by Sonia Uppal.

Roberts Cottages, Oceanside, California, photo by Paul Fuentes.

Viewfinder, Newport Beach, California, photo by Savannah Sher.

Fresno Brewing Company, Fresno, California, photo by Jared Jurcak.

Alviso Marina County Park, San Jose, California, photo by Presley Lugo.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse, San Diego, California, photo by Marcus Ford.

The Pink Lady, Eureka, California, photo by @patrix15.

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