Hats Off Santa Cruz Grads

Thursday, June 17 – Saturday, July 24, 2021

The graduates of the class of 2020 faced more uncertainty and collective hardship than any other graduating class in recent memory because of the pandemic. The graduates, at an inflection point of their own lives, will only know the post-pandemic’s “new normal” world as an adult.
These photos were first intended to be a record simply to prove to future generations that the events that unfolded last year actually occurred. However, the project quickly grew and an oral history component was added. The stories paired with the graduates’ portraits give a rich account of what life during the pandemic was like for our town’s young people.
The result is a truly comprehensive study on how the pandemic affected our lives. Students’ stories about spending time gardening, doing zumba on Zoom, reconnecting with family near and far, standing up for justice, and rethinking post-graduation priorities all help us capture this extraordinary moment in history. The graduates, as role models, continue to provide our community with examples of how to make our voice heard, ways to solve problems, and what it means to connect with community.
The Santa Cruz art league is happy to host  this collection of  photographs and oral histories as we have not been able to hold two of our annual High school exhibitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You can learn more about this project at schs2020.com. Read a Good Times article  or Lookout Santa Cruz article about the exhibition.