Being Seen

Being Seen aims to connect people from all backgrounds by highlighting the stories and experiences of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists from San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Salinas, and Monterey. Many of these artists are at the precipice of their careers, beginning their personal explorations and defining who they are to the world and to themselves. These artists were asked to share work that represents these facets of their identity and how they have shaped their personal histories.

65th High School Show

Each year, high school artists in Santa Cruz county are given space to express themselves and their creativity in a professional gallery setting at the Santa Cruz Art League. This opportunity is to encourage young artists to new heights and support the growing creative community. For over 100 years, the Santa Cruz Art League has proved to be a space for artists to gather, create and display their work. We eagerly look to the future by nurturing and expanding the expression of that vision by supporting these young artists.

Open Studios

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!

Luck of the Draw 2023

Luck of the Draw Event: Sunday, November 12th, 2023 from 2-5pm

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!

92nd Annual California Landscape Exhibition

Artist Talk:
August 19, 1:30-3:00pm

Hike & Sketch with Sami Chang:
July 22, 9:30am-12:30pm

Exhibition Details

The first Santa Cruz Art League Statewide Exhibition was held in 1928.  For nine decades, the Santa Cruz Art League’s Statewide Landscape Exhibition has showcased the work of artists who depict California’s foothills, mountains, seashores, and deserts of the interior and coastal regions. In 2019 the Santa Cruz Art League celebrated its centennial year. Open to statewide residents. 2D artwork only will be accepted. 


Open to California residents, plein air and studio artwork paintings of California locations within the last three years of date of entry. This is a 2D painting exhibition of oils, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, encaustic, and mixed media. The Santa Cruz Art League reserves the right to decline or remove any work that does not conform to the prospectus or agreement.

Juror: Ed Penniman

Juror Information: When Ed was seven his grandmother who was a recognized painter started mentoring him as an artist. She has had her watercolors and oils shown at the Palace of the Legion of Honor and has a piece in the permanent collection of the deYoung Museum. She, a student of Armin Hansen, a student of L.P Latimer and helped form the Santa Cruz Art League in fall of 1919. She would encourage him to see beyond symbolism and gently critique my work. Ed was twelve when his grandmother took him out with her to paint along the cliffs in Santa Cruz. He learned that for her painting in nature was her meditation and a process which included the whole experience. Now he’s a person who paints in the same way, as a meditation. An interesting way to describe this type of painting is to think of the art as a by-product of a ritual. It took him many years of outdoor painting to own this sensibility by virtue of the process of loosing himself in nature and his art. Nature is beautiful, and beauty is healing.

In the past he was an Art Director at Carson Roberts Advertising in Los Angeles. Some of the accounts were Max Factor, Revlon, Jantzen Sportswear, Baskin Robbins, Mattel Toys, and others. He changed his career in LA and became a graphic designer, moved back to Northern
California and then in the last fifteen years as a fine artist. He is pleased to have resurrected the California Statewide Landscape Exhibition and engaged a number of luminaries in the art field as judges like David Leffel, Kevin MacPherson, Scott Shields, Jean Stern, Rene deGuzman, David Gallup, Nancy Boas, Richard Mayhew, Carolyn Lord and others.

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!

Artists in the exhibition:

  • Abi Mustapha
  • Asual Aswad
  • Bhavananda Lodkey
  • Chris “Moze” Mosley
  • Cyrus Howard
  • Deshaun Myles
  • Devi Pride
  • Dylyn Turner-Keener
  • Elijah Pfotenjauer
  • Gregory Speed
  • Jimi Evins
  • Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour
  • Madonna Camel
  • Naomi Wells-Sokumbi
  • Nikia Chaney
  • Rica De La Luz
  • Rick Bell
  • Yolanda Cotton Turner

If you’re interested in more Black History Month events visit the Santa Cruz Black events calendar here:

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