The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Today is Wednesday, April 25: Open 10am-8pm
Directions & Admission

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Free First Friday





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Explore three floors of exhibitions for free, dance to live music and get hands-on with an all-ages art activity.

EXHIBITION TALK | 5:30-6:30PM | Auditorium | Catch a talk from Bob Pearson- the legendary surfboard shaper- and Frosty, who surfed Bob’s boards in the Chasing Mavericks film. Bob Pearson, who started Pearson Arrow, has surfboards featured in our exhibition Santa Cruz Collects. These boards surfed giants during the film Chasing Mavericks. Bob will bring some more boards to show for the talk.

ART ACTIVITY | 5:00-9:00PM | Classroom| Weave paper and fabric together to make colorful bright Danish Basket Hearts for someone special this first Friday

LIVE MUSIC | 6:30-9pm | Atrium | Ben Lonesome and the Highway Niners is an always entertaining local Santa Cruz band that plays crowdpleasing original songs and hand-picked toe-tapping time-tested cover tunes. Their music, acoustic Americana with a distinctive folk-country-bluegrass KPIGish edge, is delivered with lively fun-loving energy peppered with delicious harmonies and tasty instrumental solos.

FREE EXHIBITIONS | Explore three floors of exhibitions for free.

Santa Cruz Collects – Explore personal items from curious collectors all over 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.

Screaming Hand – Celebrate the Screaming Hand’s 30th anniversary. Explore original art by Jim Phillips and 200 contemporary international artists influenced by this fundamental icon of youth skate culture on the 3rd Floor Art Forum Gallery.

Chamber of Heart & Mystery —  Dive into this imaginarium for all ages. The Chamber of Heart and Mystery invites you to explore the mysteries surrounding the human heart. Staged as a fictional study for Dr. Cora X. Crux, renowned explorer of the heart and its mysteries, this exhibition is filled with curious objects and art work.

Vital Current- Seeking the San Lorenzo by Camille Utterback- Dip your fingers into San Lorenzo River history with Camille Utterback’s interactive installation. This large-scale river-shaped projection in the MAH lobby windows shows an ever-changing collage of historic and contemporary images of the San Lorenzo River. Explore the river’s history by “dipping” your fingers into the river via a touchscreen surface.

Movements for Change: Bob Fitch Photographs

New Section in History Gallery

Watsonville’s own Bob Fitch began his career as a photojournalist in 1965. Trained as a minister, he joined the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s organization, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference. During a long career, Fitch documented the U.S.’s civil rights movement in the South, as well as local activism. These powerful images reveal how communities organized for the cause of freedom.


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