Art in the Arboretum: Color. Opening reception for the second exhibit of sculptures by local artists is November 4.

October 07, 2016

By Linda Lane 

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum
Art in the Arboretum: Color
October 15 - January 10
Opening Reception: 
November 4, 4 - 6pm

Colorful glass, brightly painted steel, vividly glazed ceramics, and decorative mosaic sculptures are on exhibit mid-October through mid-January in the South Africa and Aroma Gardens at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. Art in the Arboretum: Color infuses a new vibrancy to the gardens during the dormant season. The perfectly placed sculptures, visible through and around the plants, bring a fresh enchantment to these areas. Just a glimpse of an art piece beckons the visitor to meander slowly through the paths and observe the intricacies of each exceptional work displayed within the landscape. This exhibit offers both nature and art lovers a unique experience not to be missed.

Now an integral program, Art in the Arboretum will continue over the coming years. The exhibit will outreach to an ever-widening circle of artists, offer innovative themed events, and provide hands-on workshops/demonstrations to engage the community in learning about and from artists while simultaneously being immersed in nature.

Sculpture, the first Art in the Arboretum exhibit, was born when Susana Arias, a local and internationally acclaimed artist, was introduced to the staff by one of her relatives who volunteers at the Arboretum. The initial plan was for Arias to act as a resource on how to bring art, artists, and exhibits into the gardens. At the first meeting, however, rather than offering simply to provide guidance, Arias, with her passion for art and support of artists, immediately "signed up" to curate the entire show: she contacted local sculptors, brought them and their work to the Arboretum, assisted the staff with positioning and installing the artwork, and promoted the event.

Arias has boundless energy. While still immersed in working on Color, she is already considering themes for upcoming exhibits—for example, one with kinetic sculptures and installations—and she is consulting with other curators in surrounding areas to expand the repertoire of future artists. Eventually, Arias envisions the gardens including a few long-term structures, art objects that can be used by the staff and public at special events and celebrations.

Art in the Arboretum Advisory Committee
Susana Arias, Curator
Jennifer Macotto, Arboretum Staff Lead
Linda Craighead
Kathleen Hilger
Susan Leask
Rose Sellery

For more information about Art in the Arboretum, please contact Jennifer Macotto at or 831-502-2303.

Click here to view brief biographies or personal statements from the fourteen artists participating in Art in the Arboretum: Color.
Opening Reception Flyer