Archive Books 2
Herramientas y recursos

Tue, Jan 25, 2022

Marla Novo

Marla Novo - Catalizadora de Archivos y Colecciones

Sharing Space: MAH's Residencies Program

A big red ball has rolled into town to commemorate the MAH’s 25th anniversary. Titled RedBall Project, this inflatable mobile sculpture by American artist Kurt Perschke has been traveling the world since 2001.

Measuring 15 feet in diameter and weighing 250 pounds, the public artwork has already started its weeklong journey around Santa Cruz County. The giant orb is popping up in places both unlikely and familiar, exploring the area’s unique architectural landscape and history in a series of daily installations ranging from the Santa Cruz Wharf and downtown Watsonville to the MAH itself.


For this year, we’ve welcomed two Artists-in-Residence and a Historian-in-Residence. Artists-in-Residence Monica Canilao and Xara Thustra make up the creative partnership known as MCXT. Monica and Xara use art and activism to communicate care and empowerment within public spaces. Their work takes us to the MAH archives and to the River.

Using archival images and connecting with local artists and historians, Monica and Xara will dive into the stories about the Venetian Water Carnival. This annual event took place along the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz from 1895 to 1927. MCXT’s work will be part of the MAH’s inaugural CommonGround festival this September, and then as an exhibition in the Art Forum Gallery.

Laurel Street School 1914 class front

For many months, Historian-in-Residence Luna HighJohn-Bey visits the MAH archives. As a founder and director of the Santa Cruz Equity project, a nonprofit devoted to the holistic support of Black residents in Santa Cruz County, Luna wants to create sacred spaces for our most impacted communities.

Luna is the lead researcher for the London Nelson Legacy Initiative, centered on the life of London Nelson (1800–1860), an early Black pioneer of Santa Cruz. Her work will help reframe, broaden, and contextualize London Nelson’s life. This will help us create more space in the MAH’s History Gallery to share Luna’s work and more about London’s story.

Laurel School

Laurel School

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