River ArtWalk

Ten temporary arts projects that celebrate and explore the history and future of the San Lorenzo River will enliven the Riverwalk throughout the month of June. Here’s a River ArtWalk map with descriptions and artist information to guide your tour. The free Mobile Ranger app is another great way to explore the River ArtWalk and other spots in Santa Cruz.

Jamie Abbott, Lynn Guenther, Roy Holmberg & Rose Sellery as Team Avifauna for “Birder’s Bridge” – Four large metal sculptures of birds that live in and along the river bank: Great Blue Heron, Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow, and Anna’s Hummingbird. Birds hang from light poles on a bridge.

Linda Cover & Shelly Skye for “Creature Banners” – Eight student art banners depicting creatures that live in and along the San Lorenzo River.

Ann Altstatt & Joshua Muir for “River Ghosts” – This piece is a diffuse metal sculpture, taking the form of a series of ghostly silhouette images, referencing characters from the river’s past. The goal is to create a portal to an imagined past/present moment, breaking through the perception of linear time, offering a view of a wider, wilder river.

Kirby Scudder for “Upstream” – Lit sculptures of Coho Salmon and Steelhead Trout on the side of the bridge. The purpose is to inform the public about the challenges facing wildlife in the San Lorenzo River.

Bridget Henry for “Deeper Well” – Black and white woodcut mural wheatpasted on the back of a building facing Front Street at the access point near Surfrider Café.

A few of the ArtWalk installations are no longer on display, but you can read about them below.

Timerie Gordon for “Fishing Rods” – Our proposal pays homage to the time when the river supplied abundant food and recreation. The installation of larger than life steel “fishing rods” attached to the edge of the bridge dangling towards the water remind us of simpler times. Viewers will be reminded that this river was once rushing with water and abundant with fish for our peaceful recreational pleasure.

Suzanne Schrag for “River Quest” – River Quest Living Treasure Hunt is an interactive, participatory game for children and other celebration goers, in which they must seek and find four costumed characters that represent various aspects of the river and the life forms that depend upon it. Participants collect tokens and return with all four to the home base where they will collect a prize.

Geoffrey Nelson for “Guardians of the River” – Two larger-than-life sized glowing statues depicting an Ohlone man and woman gazing out at the river from their perch at the top of the arch on the pedestrian bridge. These two sentinels from our past will bring people to the levee to see them but will also create a sense of community, links to the past, and perhaps even a bit of safety to a very dark night time pathway.

Kyle Lane-McKinley, Chelsea Wills, Madeline Lane-McKinley for “Field Guide to Bottlenecks” – A mobile story collecting unit that explores how people interact with place based on their experiences of it. Participants will be invited to document personal reflections about the history and ecology of the San Lorenzo River by writing down their thoughts in limited-edition notebooks, and then record these writings in the Field Station Sound Sampler.

Danielle Williamson for “Go As A River” – This video projection, shown at night, encourages participants to come together to collectively ponder the future of water issues.