Art Studio

10 Days of Pushing Boundaries

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Kirby Scudder speaks with Greg Paroff who performs “ENGEL THE ELDER’S BARD, BEAT$, & BURLESQUE.” The show intersperse stand-up comedy, hip-hop and Shakespeare monologues. It’s one of the shows in the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival July 11-20.

The festival Web site descibes Paroff’s shows with this quote from the Santa Cruz Weekly’s Georgia Perry, ”Let me say this: You certainly do not have to be a fan of Shakespeare to enjoy this show. In fact, Shakespeare-haters may even like it more.”

2013 Fringe Festival Information: Fringe Festival Website

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2012: a Wealth of Creativity

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Former Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown is the focus of "A California State of Mind" the documentary by Brown's granddaughter Sascha Rice. Photo: Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs

By Kirby Scudder

To look back at some of the artists I presented in this feature in 2012 is to appreciate the wealth of creative talent around us on the central coast.

I started the year talking with Internationally renowned figurative sculptor Richard MacDonald. Richard is best known for his gravity-defying portraits of Cirque De Soleil performers and bronze sculptures of monumental scale, which he has created for the Royal Ballet and the Atlanta Olympics.

The Monterey Bay area hosts several theater troupes of note. Some of these groups constantly push the boundaries of their form.
Enter the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival; festival organizer and dancer Dixie Shulman brought together 42 acts in over 172 performances creating a new and edgy festival for Santa Cruz.

At this year’s Santa Cruz film festival, we saw the documentary California State of mind a film about the legacy of former California Governor Pat Brown. The film was a loving tribute by his grand daughter and film maker Sascha Rice,

The Monterey Bay area’s music festivals draw some of the worlds’ most famous jazz and classical performers. For 20 years the Santa Cruz blues festival has presented some of the great blues acts from around the country. And each year local favorite the Doobie Brothers come out to play. Lead guitarist Pat Simmons said Santa Cruz has an even deeper history with his genre.

We don’t have to wait for our neighbors’ genius to be displayed, most days of the week, the painters, sculptors and photographers of the region have their work on the walls of galleries and other businesses. At the Cabrillo Gallery the year ended with the provocative installation entitled “Preparing for Evanescence” by artist Jody Alexander. Visitors find an environment created by a mysterious character who has disappeared.

2013 is already shaping up to be a landmark year for the arts in Santa Cruz and I am looking forward to being there.