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Travel BLOG
November 30, 2011

First Friday Art Tour

A First Friday Art Tour experience from guest blogger, Laura Sutherland and fellow Santa Cruz fan Kathy Moler! The first Friday of every month, Santa Cruz county puts on a giant street party for art lovers and community members as art galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, shops and businesses throw open their doors to introduce their newest exhibitions and artists to the public.  The self-guided event is free and it offers gallery viewers a chance to run into old friends or meet someone new while they savor Santa Cruz’s deep pool of creative talent. We started our tour at Kuumbwa Jazz, who was showcasing two veteran painter/illustrators -- Marvin Plummer and Charlie Powell -- in an exhibition called “Jazz Heroes.”   A gypsy jazz band played while we perused their paintings of Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Evans and other jazz luminaries. At the Museum of Art and History on Front Street in Santa Cruz, the party was really swinging. A Dia de los Muertos exhibiton was set up right next to a lively band and food and drinks were available for purchase. Children and adults of all ages participated in the hands-on art activity and the place was packed with revelers. We stepped into Artisans to see a group show featuring Santa Cruz scenes painted by local artists such as Ted Orland and Charles Prentiss.  Next stop Wallflower Boutique, where UCSC graduate and lecturer Brian Rounds talked abut his work. He paints landscapes found within a 15 mile radius of Santa Cruz, and as you might expect, his paintings are of familiar and beloved landmarks and scenes. Dozens of establishments like these in Downtown Santa Cruz are open between 5 and 9pm for the Art Tour, and Capitola Village and other parts of the county open their shops and establishments to art lovers, too.  Many downtown hot spots remain open after 9pm as the First Friday Art Tour celebrations continue. Don't miss December's First Friday tour on December 2nd! For a preview of the December happenings and highlights from the November tour, check out the great video below! [yframe url='']  

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