Unapologetically Black

Unapologetically Black consists of an exhibition, performances, community dialogue & film presentation and discussion, to express and represent the rich cultural heritage of Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas Black visual and performing artists. ​ Project partners include the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center, Black Health Matters Initiative, as well as the Watsonville Film Festival, Black Kings of Santa Cruz, Black Girl Magic Santa Cruz, and Speak for Change Podcast. This show is open to 2-d and 3-d media and multimedia by artists in the Black Diaspora.

Mark your calendars for our First Friday reception on March 3rd, DJ Monk Earl from Afro Beats Santa Cruz will be playing live!



Open to Monterey and San Francisco Bay Area residents in the Black Diaspora, must be 18 years old or older.

No fees are required to submit artwork.


Drop-off of artwork:
Sunday, February 19 – 2-4pm & Tuesday, February 21 – 1-4pm


Pickup artwork:
Saturday, April 8 – 4-6pm


Member’s Exhibition

Celebrate the creativity of our community of members. We start 2023 highlighting these wonderful, local artists that are part of the rich fabric of our County’s artistic community. Stop by the gallery to support these artists during our open hours, Wednesday-Saturday from 1-4pm.

People and Places—Photography Reconnected

During the pandemic lockdown many photographers reconnected with time-honored subjects such as portraits and landscapes in a different way than before. It was a time when many photographers found refuge in nature and created images of places that they had forgotten or never seen before. Stuck at home, others reconnected with loved ones and themselves, bringing new life into portraits and self-portraits by going beyond documentation and inviting reflection. For many artists, the pandemic affected how they saw their subject matter. Artists are invited to submit portrait, self-portrait, and landscape photographs that were taken from March 2020 on, especially those taken during the lockdown.

Learn more and register for this juried exhibition.

Juror Information: Originally from the Salinas Valley, San Francisco photographer Joe Ramos has been photographing for over 40 years. He studied photography at the San Francisco Art Institute with Richard Conrat, Dorothea Lange’s last assistant. He considers himself a documentary photographer and has large bodies of imagery from the Salinas Valley and San Francisco’s Mission District. Photography for him has become away for him to document both the simple and the profound.

Photographer and Juror, Joe Ramos
Salinas Valley by Joe Ramos, Photograph

Creative Encounters: Moze & Jaime Sanchez

This exhibition will feature the works of Watsonville based painter and Muralist Jamie Sanchez, and Santa Cruz based glass artist Moze.
Support these emerging artists by visiting their exhibition and celebrating with them on First Friday, May 6th.
“210520,” by Jaime Sanchez, 2021, wax pastel and acrylic on paper, 28×20
“Inner Fire” by Moze, glass sculpture

Luck of the Draw 2022

Luck of the Draw Event: Sunday, November 13th, 2022 from 1-3pm

Art donations are accepted through October 29th at dates and times below:
Wednesday-Saturday from 1–4pm
Pre-register artwork donations here! (We request that donations are original artworks by you, the donor, valued at $135 or more.)

Luck of the Draw is an annual fundraiser for Santa Cruz Art League. Ticket(s) purchased to the event support Santa Cruz Art League operations. Donated artworks will be “won” by ticket buyers who will be assigned ticket numbers in the order that tickets are sold. This event is a great community building event, where we see the talent and creativity of our local community of artists!

NEW! We’re excited to offer automatic discounts on tickets this year, when you purchase on our website! 
Get 10% off the total ticket price when you buy 2–4 tickets at a time
Get 20% off the total ticket price when you buy 5 or more tickets at a time
*Volume discount is automatically applied during checkout*
*Membership discount does not apply to ticket prices*

Donate artworks here!
Art donations are accepted through October 29th at dates and times below:
Wednesday-Saturday from 1–4pm

Open Studios Preview Exhibition

First Friday Reception: October 7th, First Friday, 6-8pm
Special open hours during this exhibition: Wednesday-Sunday from 12-5pm

Take a virtual tour of the exhibition!

Preview the works of over 300 artists from Santa Cruz County, in the Open Studios Preview Exhibition. Here all artists participating in Open Studios will be invited show one of their artworks. This is the perfect place to plan your studio viewing route!

Free Guides for Open Studios will be available starting the week of September 12th at various locations. Our gallery will

The featured artist on the Open Studios guide this year is, Hermelinda Vasquez-Matias, artist #318

Take a virtual tour of the exhibition!

David Fleming Retrospective: Then & Now

August 20th, 2pm: David Fleming in Conversation with Maureen Davidson, curator and art critic
Join us in the gallery to meet artist David Fleming and learn about his creative process and experience.

SAVE THE DATE: First Friday, Sept. 2, 6-8 pm
Join us for the close of David Fleming’s retrospective. From 7-7:30pm enjoy live music by Jim Clifford—Enjoy old-time folk/country songs that echo some of Dave Fleming’s paintings, sung by Jim Clifford, with his guitar. Clifford performed with the Oganookie band reunion show at Kuumbwa earlier this year.

David Fleming is a painter of many styles and techniques. He explores and expands on earlier American and European painting, while making these traditions “his own.

“I am a painter of many styles and techniques. I explore and expand on earlier American painting, particularly the Ashcan School, and earlier European painting, such as the Post-Impressionists and the Fauves. The San Francisco School, including Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff, as well as contemporary painters, such as Adrian Ghenie, Christopher Brown, and Henry Taylor, have also been highly influential. I am proud to stand on the shoulders of the greats, while making what I’ve learned from them “my own.” This retrospective of my oil and acrylic paintings covers about three decades. Lately, I’ve been attempting to become “innocent” in my work, shedding more traditional ways of doing art.”

After graduating from San Jose State, David Fleming was a car stylist for Ford in Detroit, and for Porsche in Germany. Fleming also designed at Lockheed before returning to San Jose State to study painting and to teach art and design. Fleming has won many awards.

David Fleming participates in Santa Cruz County Open Studios. He has shown his work at Cabrillo and Monterey Pacific Colleges, Pacific Grove Art Center, Santa Cruz County Government Building, Santa Cruz Art League, and Smith Gallery at UCSC, Pajaro Valley Arts; Blitzer, Radius, and Triton Galleries; Museum of Art and History, and other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Maureen Davidson is a Scottish-born writer, editor, curator, critic, cultural worker whose career in the arts began in London developing a cinema magazine, leaped over a continent to write, promote and fundraise for arts organizations including Long Beach Museum of Art where she was Deputy Director, and for which she developed and edited an international video art magazine.   As Executive Director of Ventura Arts Council, she developed an Arts Center and Ventura’s first curated contemporary gallery and performance space, a grants for artists program and several arts festivals including an award-winning festival of indigenous arts.  As curator there she most notably organized a controversial anti-war exhibition during the Bush-Saddam Hussein deadline.  She later directed Spokane Art Center/Center for the Visual Arts, curating a gallery, running festivals, doing publications and establishing Washington’s first art program in prisons.  When not working in the arts, she served as Public Information Officer for large government agencies.

Maureen has written and broadcast decades of arts and film criticism for newspapers, arts magazines and radio. In Santa Cruz and Monterey she had a weekly art column in one or other of the Santa Cruz weeklies and a segment on KUSP, all under the umbrella of her nom de plume,  “The Exhibitionist.”  Now retired, she’s trying to make art and gardens.
“Autumnal Vase” by David Fleming, oil, 48″ high x 36″ wide, 2022


“Color Wheels #3″ by David Fleming, oil, 30″ high x 40” wide, 2022

Grounded In Nature—The California Central Coast

The Santa Cruz Art League is pleased to present a solo exhibition of iconic Santa Cruz native Ed Penniman’s artworks.

This vibrant collection will encompass more than 50 recent oil paintings of the California Central Coast, selected self-portraits, and decorative pottery. The main gallery will feature Penniman’s distinctive interpretation of the shimmering coastal beaches, oak-studded velvet hillsides, enduring redwood forests, and other natural wonders of his home region. His interpretive self-portraits express the varied, often humorous facets of Penniman’s personality.

Ed Penniman is a past president of the Santa Cruz Art League. He is also guest curator of The California Statewide Landscape Exhibition, one of the longest-running art retrospectives in California. The annual Landscape Exhibition at the Art League was originated by his grandmother in 1926, along with her two painting partners. Together, they became renowned as the Santa Cruz Three. After taking his first art lessons under her talented guidance, Penniman built his own career in commercial and fine arts.

Ed Penniman
Pastel Lupin III, Ed Penniman, Oil on canvas, 30×40

Member’s A-Z Exhibition

Join us for a closing reception, on First Friday, April 1st from 6-8pm.

Celebrate the creativity of our community of members. This year, we are starting 2022 highlighting these wonderful artists in an exhibition of 100 artworks. Stop by the gallery to support these artists during our open hours, Wednesday-Saturday from 1-4pm.

Exhibition Pick-up: Saturday, April 2nd from 4-6pm

Renew your membership here.

Luck of the Draw

Luck of the Draw event: November 13, 2021 at 2pm, at the Art League and online via Zoom. Preview the works available during our open hours (Wednesdays-Saturdays from 1-4pm). If you plan to attend the event on Zoom, please arrange to pickup the piece(s) you receive during the event, on Sunday, November 14th from 1-4pm.
Looking for affordable art for your home or to share with loved ones? Search no more—it’s time for Luck of the Draw!
Each Luck of the Draw Ticket is guaranteed to receive one original artwork! The Luck of the Draw event is an annual fundraiser that helps to support the operations of the Santa Cruz Art League. Always a highlight of the year, and great opportunity to find unique gifts for family and friends, the Luck of the Draw brings us together to enjoy time with fellow creatives and art enthusiasts from our community and abroad.
Join the fun on November 13th, in an hybrid edition of Luck of the Draw with our favorite emcee, Rod Caborn! 
How the HYBRID event will work:
The emcee Rod Caborn will be in the gallery with the artworks and participants can choose to attend in person (masks are strongly encouraged) or from the safety of their homes, connecting to the event through Zoom (Zoom information will be sent to ticket buyers on Wednesday, November 10th). The event will begin at 2pm. If you plan to attend the event on Zoom, please plan to pickup the piece(s) you receive on Sunday, November 14th from 1-4pm.
Direct questions to our admin team at admin@scal.org