The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Today is Monday, October 15: Open 10am-8pm
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3rd Friday: Blue





Save to:

bluecover1Have you noticed that blue is all around us in this town? Blue rivers. Bluegrass. Blue feelings. Blue plastics. Blue ocean.

Throw on your bluest outfit and explore this multifaceted color through musical performances, artist talks, and drop-in workshops.


5-6pm: Be dazzled by the Great Morgani’s sapphire blue suit and music in the atrium.

5:30-6:30pm: Enjoy artist talks in the Solari Gallery by artists Mike Arcega and Torreya Cummings who are featured in our current exhibition Everybody’s Ocean, and Sally-Christine Rodgers.  Mike and Torreya both make sea-worth vessels from ancient traditions out of contemporary materials. Sally-Christine Rodgers is a writer and photographer whose new book Convergence –A Voyage Through French Polynesia, chronicles building a boat with her husband, Randy Repass and sailing it through these iconic islands. They will discuss boat-building, contemporary art and colonialism.

7-8pm: Enjoy and dance to original bluegrass jigs featuring sister harmonies, hand drum, banjo, fiddle, upright bass, and guitar from the Bluetail Flies in the atrium.

HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS (drop-in and ongoing throughout the night)

Making Cyanotypes: Demystify the process of Cyanotypes and make some of your own with artist Matthew Jamieson, Seth Andrews, and Elliot Taylor from Collective Water Collective, a collection of current and former USCS art students.

Feeling Blue: Sort through a mass of colorful plastics collected from different beaches by Bay Area artists Richard and Judith Lang. Find the blue-hued plastics and make artful arrangements while exploring color through beached blues and fragments.

Blue Friends: What do we mean when we say “I have the blues?” Join a circle of Blue Friends, a conversation piece by artist Lori VanMeter, whose work investigates the psychology of death, mourning, and burial rituals throughout different cultures. Stop by to chat or to create a simple commemorative dedication for Pillars of the Community, a public memorial project.

Blue Press Poetry Machine: Turn your blue thoughts into poems with Poet Kevin Opstedal from Blue Press. Kevin will have a manual typewriter set up and you are invited to type a few blue-themed lines or complete a blue-inspired poem onto a stream of blue paper.

Pen-do-Chronology #8 (Santa Cruz Bluez): Immerse yourself in a large, interactive ink drawing with Bay Area Artist Trevor Tubelle. Trevor will spend 3 hours making a drawing using a method he calls “Pen-do-chronology.” This method chronicles ideas, feelings and stories through a “Time Spiral,” a circular-shaped hand drawn representation of the passage of time. The Time Spiral is comprised of one continuously drawn circular line in a large circular cluster, with time stamps and other marks created by audience members.

The Magic of Blue from the Bone Witch: Explore the magic behind blue, the throat chakra and self expression through tarot card readings from artist Alisa Leo (aka the Bone Witch)

San Lorenzo River Timeline: Travel through a blue timeline of the San Lorenzo River, and help build the river’s future with the Coastal Watershed Council. This timeline will flow throughout the museum, making a river of historical facts and artwork by you.

Fishing to Fight Pollution: Go fishing for found beach treasures and ways to save the ocean with Save Our Shores. Take a fishing pole and cast it into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Your pole will catch items found at local beach cleanups (sand castle toys, sunglasses, etc) that contain fun facts about the Bay and specific solutions to reducing waste.

The Blue Can is the Cool Can: Folks from The City of Santa Cruz will offer a sorting game with blue recycling bins, and invite you to learn more about what you can and can’t recycle.

Straw Sculpture: Construct blue sculptures and mobiles from drinking straws.

Face Painting: Treat yourself to blue face-painting

Blue Plaques: Signify historical landmarks in Santa Cruz by making your very own Blue Plaques.


Looking Up: Ever stare at the sky and see faces and animals in the clouds? Be swept away with a projection-based installation called Looking Up by artists Sean McGowen, Ben Spalding, and Adrian Philips from from UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media program.  This projection piece will re-imagine the experience of giving character to clouds. The artists note “we draw upon the imaginative process of attaching visual culture to inanimate objects and the narratives that emerge from this play of symbols.”


Don’t miss Kid Happy Hour with art activities just for kids from 4-5PM in the classroom.  Come help us create an underwater sea-scape that will transform our classroom space into an aquatic wonderland full of jellyfish, sea foam, octopi & more!