The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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Work in Progress: December 14, 2012 – March 17, 2013

Thomas Campbell Work In Progress: Part One from Santa Cruz MAH on Vimeo.

In the winter of 2012-2013, the MAH transformed from a museum of products to a museum of process. Art and history are living, breathing processes that evolve over time. This exhibition immersed visitors in the creation of art installations and historical research, inviting them to peek behind the curtain and engage with artists and historians in their work.

Work in Progress manifested itself in different ways on each floor of the museum:

  • On the first floor, in the Lezin Gallery, participatory artist Ze Frank bridged online and onsite communities to create massively collaborative sculptures, videos, and shared narratives. This project is a component of Ze Frank’s A Show, an online video project that pairs artists and designers with participants around the globe. Please view this 3-min episode for Ze’s introduction to the exhibition project.
  • On the second floor, in the Solari Gallery, painter/sculptor Thomas Campbell created his most ambitious work to date, a 75-foot-long three-dimensional mural incorporating paint, collage, and sewing. Visitors were able to watch the gallery progress from a blank slate to an overpowering artwork over two months, both live and through videos captured in the space. You can relive the experience through these videos capturing the mural-making and the creation of a bronze sculpture.
  • On the second floor landing, we featured sketches by local artists and students: Heidi Cramer, Dmitri Zuritar, Gina Farkas, and Gary Maricich. Each was given a sketchbook and invited to share some of their work in progress with us. We are adding a new sketch to the wall every week for nine weeks.
  • On the third floor, in the Art Forum Gallery, the MAH worked with UCSC to present Barn Raising, an exhibition on the future of the South Campus Hay Barn. This exhibition introduced visitors to the history of UCSC South campus, the techniques of timber framing, and the possibilities for the future. Students, families, and adults worked together to raise a model of the UCSC Hay Barn and to learn more about a vision for Cowell Lime Works Historic District. Like timber framers throughout time, participants pounded pegs, raised the frame, and contributed their own memories and dreams to the future of the Hay Barn.
  • Also on the third floor, in the lobby area, artists Kyle McKinley and Nick Lally of the building collective presented “building stories: secret spatial histories of santa cruz.” They transformed the space of the museum through a series of community workshops (schedule here). Every other week, they invited amateur historians, story makers, accidental geographers, and other participants to the museum to drink coffee, eats snacks, and create shared spatial histories by sharing stories in a shared space. These shared histories became a giant concept map drawn on the walls that served as a record of these meetings and explored connections between the social and material practices that continually recreate the spaces we inhabit.
  • Finally, there was a mobile hanging in the museum that was created by Tannery Art Center artists to represent their creative process. The mobile was created by Gayle Pitts, Art Pitts, Stephen Lynch, Susan Vaughan, Margaret Niven, Joohe Miller, Howard Seth Miller, Coral Leah Brune, and Kirby Scudder, with contributions from Jody Alexander, Johanna Atkinson, Mary Atkinson, Jonathan Chorn, Linda Cover, Heather Feaga, James Feaga, Angela Gleason, Ann Hazels, Laura Jordon, Robert Larson,Chris Lynch, Eireene Nealand, Anna Oneglia, Yasmina Porter, Beth Shields, Lisa Silas, and Joan Staffen.