Radiant Radius

Serious Art in a Pretty Town

Ann Hazels is doing the unthinkable: curating world class contemporary art at a beautiful gallery space in Santa Cruz. You wouldn’t think it was possible to compete with the beautiful coastline and the rugged mountains for attention in this town, and especially not with thought provoking artwork. Who wants to think critically when the beach is so close?

Some of us do, and apparently it is enough to put wind in the sails of this amazing woman at the helm of the mightiest little gallery in the world. I caught her group exhibition “Glimpse” on the last day it was open, and I was blown away like summer dandelion in a gust of wind. I meant to stop by for a visit; I ended up staying most of the day.

Composing a Kaleidoscope

Glimpse was a show featuring 14 women from different generations. Some of the artists were local, some from other cities. The youngest was freshly graduated from art school, the oldest was 90. Somehow, the show held together perfectly. Each part was in concert with the others like a multimedia orchestra.

Each artist dealt with a serious social problem in their work, from racist hegemonies to climate cataclysms, and yet the show lacked one iota of pretense. It did not preach. It cried. It wailed a beautifully melancholic unrequited love song to change. It held together a series of passionate questions about life and death with unrelenting poise and grace.

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