Santa Cruz Collects

Explore personal items from curious collectors here in Santa Cruz County.

Exhibited from October 7, 2016- February 19, 2017

Collections aren’t just something we do. They tell stories about who we are.

Explore personal items from curious collectors here in Santa Cruz County. Learn about people in Santa Cruz through the flip-flops, corks, and cat whiskers they collect. Explore how artists use collections to create extraordinary assemblage sculptures. Examine how the items we collect do more than tell us about ourselves; they shine a light on things we may never have known about each other.

In the News

"De La Garza’s crosses are part of a big exhibit at MAH highlighting the collections of Santa Cruz County residents."

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Meet the Collectors

Jaysa collects vintage flashlights to light her way through memories of growing up in the lightless jungles of Hawaii.

Steve collects signs, neons, and postcards that he’s gathered in his 35 years as a self-taught signmaker.

Kayla collects cat whiskers from her many cats as they shed around her property.

Bob collects surfboards to archive his history as a legendary surfer and help others live “the stoke” and experience surfing.

Kate collects ticket stubs. Ticket stubs from Women’s Music concerts, Shakespeare Santa Cruz events, or Pink Martini Concerts. They archive great nights and even better songs sung.

Daniela collects family letters filled with “bad juju” and transforms them into beautiful woven paper pieces.

Nate collects metal pieces he smashes into new and recycled sculptures.

Pia collects hundreds of pins to connect with comics, bands and beloved podcasts– and meet new people who share that love, too.

Glen collects model airplanes that tie him to his love of all things that fly, and his father, a World War II vet.

Gensen collects cork people and creates entire settings and social circles for them to exist in.

Carter collects pepsi cans that document slight changes in marketing and design over the decades he’s gathered them.

Barney collects flip flop sandals.

Cid collects things from dance performances— posters, shoes and programs that elicit memories of 25 years of dance-making.

Maria collects crosses to connect with the faith, hope and love she shared with her late mother.

Anika collects trolls because they’re cute, creepy, and they feel bad when they see them buried in junk at thrift stores.

Beverly collects materials from giveaway piles and transforms them into beautiful works of sculpture.

Jack collects found objects and creates mixed media sculptures from them.

Noel collected ties during his decades of real estate and land assessment in Santa Cruz County. His ties now belong in the MAH Collection.

Mary collects hundreds of corks as totems from dinners with friends and family.

KUSP collected posters from their 45 years as a beloved music radio station in Santa Cruz and Monterey County.

Nane collects tattoo items to uplift tattooing as an art and profession.

Diane collects stuff she finds while walking around Santa Cruz County.

More Local Art

Santa Cruz Collects is no longer on view - but there's still plenty to discover in our current exhibitions.