I spend a lot of my time around downtown Santa Cruz and have always wondered what or who occupies the mezzanine on Pacific Avenue. In the past month I got to meet Vicki Winters, Museo’s website developer and creator of their online persona, whose office is housed there. Museo Eduardo Carrillo is an online museum which means Vicki’s role is central to manifesting the organizations visions.
I sat in a meeting between Vicki and Betsy Andersen discussing the Museo’s website updates. Her workplace had a homey personality complete with a tea set, art covering walls , and a foot massager. I payed attention to the way each communicated to the other. Throughout the meeting I sensed an air of relaxed professionalism. After many years of working together Vicki and Betsy easily share ideas to improve and expand the online museum and its offerings. When Vicki is not developing for Museo and others she works at sharing her knowledge and teaches web design skills to students at the UC Extension.
During the meeting I was given the chance to ask Museo’s web developer some questions. I was intrigued to know if there where any challenges designing for an art museum versus other platforms? Vicki answered that image quality and especially that of 3D type art were some of the more challenging aspects in her work. For instance, with sculptures, there is a higher degree of difficulty in capturing the works essence versus that of 2D art. I was also interested in finding out some of Vicki’s everyday encounters in her line of work. Vicki responded with challenges including organizing oneself, prioritizing projects, and creating a work life balance. However, the pros of working with art organizations and other groups included holding and creating their visions making work worth while.
Web developer’s are often taken for granted by the user as we just search for what we want and have it appear instantly to us. These developers are sometimes the unsung heroes which is why it is important to acknowledge people like Vicki Winters’ for all their hard work and time invested.
To find out more information about Vicki and her work:
Currently on display at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art History (SC MAH) the exhibit “We Feed You: Works by Victor Cartagena” is available to visit until July 22, 2018. I would highly recommend going to see this exhibit if you have interests in food production injustices, sculptural installations, migrant worker issues, or social art in general. This show has it all!
“We Feed You” made me think about the ongoing labor struggles that still plague the US and the migrant’s stories within. Cartagena’s ideas on the systemic injustice of food production translated well with the materials used and the narratives contextualizing his art works. I was especially drawn to the decomposing “Cara de azúcar (Sugar Face)” for their nature with time but, the “Burrocracia” was my favorite art piece because it made me want to stay and absorb all it had to offer spanning the walls it covered. I thought “Labor Tea” was clever in its conceptual execution and pretty funny (pun-funny) from its title, of which I am a fan!
The placement of “La Santa Cena (The Last Supper)” inside the exhibit made me feel like it demanded attention. The instillation used a long table set with silverware and shiny China plates with blurred portraits burned into their centers, staring out at us the plate bound images contrasted with the mundane cement floored setting. The placement worked for me because the artwork emphasizes important and urgent issues plaguing migrant workers in our agricultural sectors including: unsafe working conditions, disappeared migrants and unhelpful bureaucratic systems. As a consumer of the food production industry in the States I realize I am not fully educated on the issues within that industry.
I feel it is important we have artists reminding us of the workers that oft-times don’t get our recognition, although they provide a nourishing necessity to us every single day.
May we open our eyes and hearts so we do not forget those working hard and in most cases within terrible conditions to feed our surrounding communities and our nation. These are the faces and stories behind the food we eat. We must not overlook them but fight alongside them for their wellbeing and justice. Stay engaged!
I got in contact with Victor to ask him a few questions about his art and the exhibit. Read his response below:
JM: A lot of your artwork deals with identity and in your current exhibit you talk about the identity of migrants working in food production. Do you have any advice for young artists tackling their own issues of identity?
VC: I would tell them to search and recognize what is key in the representation of the times we are living, to consider the political, cultural and social class where we are.The everyday life that we face when we are young are putting in images the abstract ideas that associate us: The idealists, fighters, revolutionaries.
Each generation has to live different events and we go hand in hand with the course of history, so what a young person has to live in the USA is different to other youth around the world. So, when considering one’s identity through artistic expression it is essential to recognize that each one of us is different from the others, based on beliefs, values, norms, attitudes yet we still inhabit the same world, time and space and this contributes to our cultural development.
JM: Your show currently at the Santa Cruz MAH is very evocative while touching on deep issues within the labor workforce here in the U.S. Were there any artists that inspired your creative process?
VC: I believe that I consciously and unconsciously am influenced by many artists in history, in terms of aesthetics. I think that in this project you can see a little influence of many, I would say. For instance, in the mural Burrocracia you can clearly see that Guernica of Picasso was an inspiration. It’s like saying, not only one atrocity is unique; the world we live in has many “Guernicas,” so to speak. You can also see traces of Francisco Goya and his engravings.
In what’s going on the sculptures made of sugar, I do not have a unique artist to identify as an influence. There are so many artists who are my guides, mentors and inspiration. Sugar, iron, metal in general are materials with so much information. In fact, sugar was the inspiration of the Mexican culture, the “calacas” (skulls/skeletons) from Dia de los Muertos was very fundamental in my decision to make these faces of sugar.
JM: Is there anything you want the viewer to take away and reflect upon after viewing this exhibit?
VC: I would like people to be able to step into the shoes of the disadvantaged, and to thank immigrants for their contribution to this society, to understand that we do the most difficult work for the benefit of many and with little reward. I also want them, when they thank Jesus, to thank JOSE too.
On a slightly overcast Tuesday afternoon, Betsy Andersen, Director of the Museo Eduardo Carrillo, and I walked into the Santa Cruz MAH (Museum Art History) to meet up with Julia Chiapella, Director of the Young Writers Program (YWP). Our meeting with Julia took place in the imaginarium, “The Chamber of Heart and Mystery,” on the first floor of the SC MAH at 705 Front Street. The imaginarium is a magically immersive installation that serves as a portal to the Word Lab, an after-school writing project Young Writers Program. It is a place that inspires creative thinking and, imagination in conjunction with writing.
Julia greets Betsy with the warmth of an old friend. There is something special about the camaraderie of female entrepreneurs. When I first interacted with Julia I got a sense of composure and elegance in her movements and how she presents herself. We sat inside the Chamber and discussed her inspiration and drive for starting the YWP, which I learned was inspired from San Francisco’s very own non-profit “826 Valencia” created by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari. There’s energy and purpose in Julia’s voice when she spoke about the mission of the YWP, which is dedicated to building students’ writing skills and confidence. Volunteer writing mentors are trained by the Young Writers Program to bring one-on-one mentoring to the classroom in their work with students! Community is built between the students and mentors.
Hablamos Juntos (Together We Speak) is the ongoing collaborative projects between YWP and Museo. Students use artwork created by Chicanx/Latinx artists to stimulate lateral thinking through associations or connections with their own lived experience. The student’s writing is paired with the art and published in full color, hard-bound books that are sold through the local Santa Cruz Bookshop. Each student also receives a free copy.
I find this collaboration so important because it enables young thinkers and writers to find a place and platform for representations of themselves. This was missing from my own public-school education. There is so much history unveiled and emotions stimulated in these artist’s works. They are evocative and thus relatable for even the youngest of generations. The Hablamos Juntos project is a beacon of support not only for writing but also for an education in history that I thought to be lost. It isn’t.
Toward the end of our conversation, I was struck by an interesting assertion Julia made. We’re on the topic of the many reasons adult creativity shuts off. I brought up the notion that kids grow up too fast based on our online or offline social environment. There is a predominance of a “follower culture” on social media. STUDIES HAVE YET TO SHOW THE effect this has on the amount of time young people spend fostering independent creative and critical skills. This is when Julia mused that growing up fast isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She went on to explain that it could be beneficial because, through programs, like the YWP, youth can identify their experiences through writing and communicate their ideas, potentially leading to a greater sense of agency and responsibility. Programs like the YWP are important to support because they help build a sense of power and justice in communities that might not otherwise find it!
The meeting ended and I left the museum space, mulling over what I just learned about the type of organizations the Museo Eduardo Carrillo works with and supports. I couldn’t help but feel full of love and wonder for both the Museo and the Young Writers Program with their drive to create a brighter future.
Museo welcomes Josselyne Morales, one of the inaugural groupof UCSC’s Creative Entrepreneurship Internship (CEI) Program. This blog represents her passion for the arts & artists in community.
She says of working with Museo,
“I am looking forward to learning about the history of the Chicano art movement in California through the legacy work of influential Chicano artist, Eduardo Carrillo. After being exposed to his paintings in real life and the amount of effort he put into his craft I am really inspired. It is as if I am finding pieces of a puzzle about a hidden history that I never knew was missing. Also, I find being able to research and work to promote underrepresented artists in our education system is incredible.”
Furthermore, Ms.Morales reflects,” Being a part of the first-wave of interns is an honor and a way for me to provide representation for future applicants that might feel deterred for a number of reasons.”
Considering her future goals of creating a non-profit organization, she intends to cultivate her experiences in community arts organizations, education and public service through her internship with Museo Eduardo Carrillo.
More about the Creative Entrepreneurship Program:
Sponsored by the UC Office of the President, the Creative Entrepreneurship Internship Initiative creates a diversity pipeline through placing underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in internships in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and other California regions. The CEI—a component of the Division’s broader Arts and Entrepreneurship program—also provides interns with the opportunity to incubate ideas on the UC Santa Cruz campus.
To learn more contact:
Danette D. Buie, MPA Director of Student Opportunity, Success, and Equity
University of California, Santa Cruz
Seen/UnSeen: Stories into Creativity (13 minutes, 2018, Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, CA) is a film by Wallace Boss. He is a seasoned documentarian whose career has focused on creativity.
The artists in Seen/UnSeen: Stories into Creativity are Doyle Foreman (sculpture), Edward Ramirez (photography) and Claire Thorson (painting). In Seen/UnSeen you will get to hear each artist explore their studio or “in the world” process and how it shapes an artwork coming into being.
A project of Museo Eduardo Carrillo, Seen/UnSeen: Stories into Creativityis part of a Santa Cruz County wide initiative titled Spoken/Unspoken. Museo is committed to sharing the art and voices of contemporary artists.
The Spoken/Unspoken countywide collaborative venture was organized by Cabrillo Gallery and fueled by the generosity of a donor-advised grant from the Roy and Frances Rydell Visual Arts Fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, which allowed this project to come into being. Find out more here: www.spokenunspokenart.com
Through a myriad of practices, artists give voice to a broad array of ideas, feelings, and concerns. They invite us to think, to feel, to wonder, to question, to act and react. Through art, artists can shout dissent, rally for a cause, incite action, and foster community. Art can inform us, speak unspoken secrets and give a voice to the silenced. Art can offer comfort and a platform to communicate grief, anger, or injustice for those in difficult circumstances. Art can delight us aesthetically and touch us emotionally. It can express deeply personal thoughts and desires. Art can present puzzles to be solved or ambiguities to ponder.
Discover, through Wallace Boss’s film how Doyle Foreman (sculpture), Edward Ramirez (photography) and Claire Thorson (painting) bring the Unseen into the Seen.
A free film screening of “Seen/UnSeen- Stories into Creativity” (16 minutes) and panel discussion with the artists and film maker will be hosted by The Sesnon Gallery in the Porter Faculty Gallery – Porter College at University of California, Santa Cruz on March 14th at 6PM. Come early for best parking. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org more information.
Museo Eduardo Carrillo is pleased to announce the launch of DOC/UNDOC Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática on Google Cultural Institute.
DOC/UNDOC is the brainchild of book artist and publisher Felicia Rice, and includes work of performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña, art historian Jennifer González, sound artist Zachary Watkins, video artist Gustavo Vazquez, and of course Rice herself, functioning as a printmaker, book artist, and publisher. Under Rice’s direction, they collectively produced what González characterizes as a “Gesamtkunstwerk”—a total work of art.
As a Partner with the Google Cultural Institute’s Art Project, Museo joins 250 of the world’s most acclaimed art institutions on the world stage, including San Paulo Street Art, Brazil; Musee D’Orsay, Paris; Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico; and Tokyo National Museum, Japan. We are honored to be able to feature DOC/UNDOC on GCI!
The launch of the exhibit on GCI corresponds with the publication of the trade paperback version of the original limited edition art book at the heart of Doc/Undoc. This City Lights Books and Moving Parts Press trade edition presents the journey of DOC/UNDOC in a widely accessible, affordable book that not only documents the original collaborative artists’ book, but also provides a reader with their own interactive, immersive experience. The book is available for purchase here.
Museo Eduardo Carrillo is pleased to start 2018 by sharing news of the Carrillo retrospective. The traveling exhibition Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo begins January 21st at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
Exhibitions such as this cannot happen without the imagination, focused skill and planning, and hands on work of so many.
Our guest curator Susan Leask and Associate Curator at the Crocker Art Museum, Kristina Gilmore. THEY MADE IT HAPPEN. Profound thanks.
Lial Jones, Mort and Marcy Friedman Director and Scott Shields Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Crocker Art Museum who in 2008 envisioned this retrospective.
Our team at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, starting with Susana Batiste, Executive Director and the energetic, “all things are possible” staff. They assembled an advisory team whose vision embraces activities in the community like the re-dedication of Carrillo’s “El Grito” mural in downtown Los Angeles. More to come.
Our catalog essayists who bring vivid and thoughtful ideas to Carrillo’s art. Philip Bookman, Dr.Gilberto Cardenas, Maureen Davidson, Michael Duncan, Timothy Drescher PhD, Susan Leask, Dr. Amalia Mesa-Bains, Tere Romo and Christina Waters PhD.
The Carrillo Familyand our circle of lenders who have generously allowed their pieces to leave home for the extensive year and a half tour.
James Pennuto, master conservator, who restored long hidden works, reviving Carrillo’s bright array of colors.
Wilted & Taylor Publishing Services, the publishers of the catalog who fell in love with Carrillo’s art. It shows in every page.
The shipping team ATT Howe who made sure that all the far-flung works were provided safe transit.
We thank them all who have made this dream come true.
Alison Carrillo, Founder
Betsy Anderse, Executive Director
Museo Eduardo Carrillo
The message I see in this painting is that we are all the same, no matter how or what you believe. Everyone in the world has something in common; it is that we are all human beings and that we should treat and respect each other equally.
Unfortunately, people have fights mostly because of what they believe or what they are. Back in the third grade, kids would say horrible things about my family and about where we came from. I was a little kid and didn’t know how to react to the awful things being said about the language we spoke. So I sat there and took it all in. I had to endure all these hurtful statements until I found a friend whose family also came from the same state in Mexico, Oaxaca.
I never told my family about these insults because I was afraid of how they would react, that they might tell the parents of the mean kids to stay away from me, and that it might cause trouble between all the parents. My parents weren’t that worried about me because they were working so much; I didn’t want to worry them.
People fight over the racism in this country, and I just hope one day everybody will see each other like brothers and sisters. We should all be free to be who we want to be and not be made fun of simply because we are different or come from a different place.
—J.L. , age 13, Watsonville California.
Excerpt from the forthcoming book, La Historia en el arte: The Story in the Art.
Students were given the chance to look slowly at Latinx Art curated by Museo Eduardo Carrillo. They then used that artwork as the inspiration for their writing. Working with the guidance of mentors trained by the Young Writers Program, they produced writing that was introspective and poignant.
Working in collaboration, Museo and the Young Writers Programhave developed a classroom unitbased on curated works by contemporary Latino/a artists. These thought-provoking images are a stimulus to teens for writing personal narratives under the guidance of their Young Writers Program-trained mentors. The 8-10 week unit results in full-color, hardbound books that demonstrate how fine Latino/a art and its cultural content can evoke strong emotional and intellectual connections and inspire a young writer. A third book will soon be made available. Preview the books and find out more in the Educator Resources section of our website or purchase from Bookshop Santa Cruz.
Museo will be participating again this year – look for our invitation to explore the art of Frank Galuszka on Slow Art Day, Saturday April 8th
Slow Art Day is an international movement to encourage slow looking and conversation. Look for our invitation to get your cell phones out and participate this Saturday – opening at 6am and continuing all day.
Click to preview or read the article in the Wall Street Journal: