In These Uncertain Times

Highlighting Santa Cruz County's creativity and compassion during a Global Pandemic with a community-sourced and co-created exhibition.

Exhibited from March 12th, 2021 - May 2nd, 2021

In these uncertain times, it's more important than ever to come together to create, celebrate, and heal.

The daily lives of people in our community, and all over the world, have changed dramatically in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19. While shelter in place orders have many people spending more time indoors, others continue to live and work outside the home with caution.

Opening in early 2021, In These Uncertain Times will showcase the creativity and resilience of Santa Cruz County’s response to shelter in place and the COVID-19 global pandemic. Through community-sourced artwork, individual stories and objects from the MAH’s history collection, we will explore the ways that creativity and community can support us through times of uncertainty.

Exhibiting Artists

After an open call for participation in the Summer of 2020, we received over 150 submissions from our creative community. From those who applied here is the full list of artists that will be featured in the exhibition.

Anchor Artists

  • Abi Mustapha
  • Ann Hazels
  • Dana Peters
  • Gabriel Medina
  • Myra Eastman
  • Sarah Bianco
  • Shmuel Thaler
  • Tawnya Gilbert

Community-Sourced Artists

  • Angelina Reed
  • Camilla Schaeffer
  • Carol Sandford
  • Christina Salinas
  • Cristina Sayers
  • Beth Shields
  • Daniel Jay
  • Dawn Motyk
  • Erin Single
  • Gretchen Regenhardt & Anastasia Torres-Gil
  • Henry Zhou
  • Isaac Klotz
  • Jamie Keil
  • Jasmin Zafra
  • Jeff Alan West
  • Jennifer Chun
  • Jennifer Wildermuth Reyes
  • Jess Waidhofer
  • Jim Turner
  • John Babcock
  • Joshua Moreno
  • Linda Cover
  • Lisa Ekström
  • Liz Celeste
  • Lynne Todaro
  • M. James Becker
  • Madison McGain
  • Margaret Michel
  • Marilia Kaisar
  • Mary McNamara
  • Megan Gnekow
  • Megan O’Dea
  • Michael Lane
  • Montana Fowler
  • Mycah Miller
  • Noveena Wade
  • Oskar Elek
  • Patrick Stefaniak
  • Rachael Athens
  • Rachel Kippen
  • Robynn Smith
  • Samuel Oastler
  • Sara Friedlander & ARRT
  • Sheila Cremonini
  • Shelby Graham
  • Sofia Treadwell
  • Susan Hill
  • Sydney Zentall
  • Vivian Vargas
  • Wendy Meg Siegel

In the News

“The idea is that we’ll have all this artwork up and ready for when we do open,” said Exhibitions and Program Manager Everett Ó Cillín. “We wanted to design something that will be a cathartic experience … for people to come and see what incredible things others were working on during this time.”

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"Ultimately works by 60 artists were chosen, in a wide-ranging selection that includes paintings, collage, sculptural works and video pieces. Many are poignant, some are humorous, but all examine the complex post-coronavirus world that we all must navigate now."

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Virtual Film Screenings

Prior to the Museum's reopening in March of 2021 MAH staff moved through the exhibition, diving into the stories, inspiration, and creative process alongside exhibiting artists. Adding unique insights and reflections to the works featured in the exhibition, watch all the recorded Zoom events below.

The rapid spread of Covid-19 has significantly impacted the daily lives of people in our community, and all over the world. While shelter in place orders have many people spending more time at home, others must continue to live and work with caution. These artworks reflect on the impact this crisis has had on our lives and on those who work tirelessly on the front lines of this pandemic each day.

This event was held on Friday, February 12, 2021.

This pandemic has laid bare the inequities created by our social systems for centuries. The disproportionate impact of this virus on the health and well being of black and brown communities sheds light on systemic injustice in our country. As we make time to collectively grieve and recover from this virus, we must also work to heal the trauma of systematic racism to create a more equitable world for everyone. The artworks shared as part of this event highlight ways that artists are using their practice to grieve, remember, and process the complicated emotions brought about over the last year.

This event was held on Friday, February 19, 2021.

This global pandemic has opened a portal to a whole range of emotions. As we experience the fear, anxiety, and isolation of this moment, many have turned to art as a way to help process complex emotions. The artworks shared in this program use the visual language of shape, color, and form to embrace the unknown.

This event was hosted on Friday, February 26, 2021.

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. From art by mail projects to creative at-home studio interventions, this event highlights artworks that creatively reflect and connect us.

This event was held on Friday, March 5, 2021.

This pandemic has forced many of us to slow down and take stock of our lives. And in the months since March of 2020, it has continued to be a moment of collective pause and deep reflection. For some it has provided time to experiment with their creativity, while some have used this space to dig deep into their artistic practice. From weaving and handmade paper to rehabilitated cuckoo clocks, these artworks span a whole range of creative practices.

This event was held on Friday, March 12, 2021.

A night of short films featured in the exhibition highlighting the creativity and compassion of Santa Cruz County during this global pandemic. Films featured this week will be from artists exhibiting at the MAH as part of In These Uncertain Times and at the Sesnon Underground as part of At the Present Moment.

This event was held on Friday, March 19, 2021.

Downtown Displays

Created in partnership with the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz these pop-up displays highlight Santa Cruz County's creativity and compassion during a global pandemic.

Swing by to visit the two neighboring locations at 119 & 121 Walnut Ave, Downtown Santa Cruz on the 1918 Influenza. As well as, one standalone exhibit on finding joy at 1362 Pacific Avenue.

1918 Influenza History Exhibit

Created in partnership with the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz. The displays showcase objects from the MAH's archive, including Mary Ann True's December 6th, 1918 diary entry detailing how “everything shut uptight" as flu cases increased around town.

1918 Influenza History Exhibit

Bright Spots: In These Uncertain Times

Created in partnership with the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz, local artist and the MAH's Learning & Engagement Manager, Jamie Keil, shares how art has been her bright spot in these troubled times. The joyful window display highlight snippets of her art journal, inviting you to share your #brightspots of 2020.

Bright Spots: In These Uncertain Times

Find each window display and more downtown pop-ups with this interactive map. Click on the icons to learn more about each stop.

Artist Residency


Amidst the precarity of this moment, the MAH took some time to pause and reflect on the ways we use our spaces. From our gardens to our galleries, we want to explore how we can best make use of these spaces while our doors remain closed to the public.

As we transition into the fall and plan for our reopening, we want to embrace the latency of this unique time. To explore the unstructured capacity of this transitional moment, and create new opportunities to support and sustain creativity within our community.

Still Processing is a two-month artist residency that invites local artist Abi Mustapha to use the MAH’s Solari Gallery as an open workspace and studio to imagine new large-scale illustrations. The work created during this residency will be included in the upcoming exhibition In These Uncertain Times.

At the Present Moment

Led by the University of California Santa Cruz Sesnon Underground Gallery

Large Underground Img

At the Present Moment, is an online exhibition created in collaboration with the Sesnon Underground Gallery. The exhibition will be comprised of pieces made by student artists and creators at UC Santa Cruz during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Each student has brought their unique perspective to this collective moment and their work is a testament to the enduring creativity of our campus community.

View Their Online Exhibition

More MAH

Learn more about our exhibition philosophy and mission as we get ready to co-create this exhibition together.

Support the MAH

If you're able, please consider making a gift or becoming a member to ensure a sustainable and resilient MAH through this unprecedented time.