Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Apr 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

In Bloom

ae_Richard StarkSculpture springs from the gardens of Sierra Azul
Hunched guard dogs made of river rocks take fluid shape at each side of a grassy entrance; behind them, a giant fish stands on its nose, glinting multicolored in the light. Beyond is the garden—as magical a landscape as man and nature can devise. The gardens of Watsonville’s Sierra Azul Nursery have sprouted their spring crop of sculpture, becoming a dazzling demonstration of the friendly annual creative competition between nature and man.

Over six years of maturation, Sculpture Is has become one of the most anticipated annual exhibitions in the Monterey Bay region, this year featuring 56 Northern Californian artists and 135 sculptures in widely diverse styles and media, placed within the now-mature plantings of the two-acre Mediterranean gardens in Watsonville’s agricultural outskirts.

Sculpture Is is run by the ever-adventurous Pajaro Valley Arts Council, and was conceived by Sierra Azul owner and PVAC president Jeff Rosendale. The nursery purchases at least one piece each year for permanent exhibition in the garden, which is how exquisite works like Paul Cheney’s woven metal shield from the first exhibition seem have become an integral part of the ecology.

Kirk McNeill’s towering tour de force of rusted steel balances the bulk of a giant heavy orb with impossibly fluid filigrees of undulating kelp and fish—a window into the floating world of “Mooring Buoy #30.” This fantasy sprouts among the sage near the garden entrance where a pair of Michael Eckerman’s boulder-made “Guard Dogs” keeps nobody away. Meanwhile the stainless steel mobiles of Moto Ohtake gyre and spin against the sky like busy, shining insects.

Liver-colored Smoke Trees vie for attention with their delicate “Inflorescence” spreading around dense leafy clusters like the blur of wet watercolor while giant aloes explode with skyscraper-high flower spikes. They’re taller than Aaron Van de Kerckhove’s two-story steel “Lookout Tower,” whose open door invites playful visitors to pause in the cool knotty-pine interior, or climb to the railing-lined heights for an eye-to-eye with the nests in the adjacent cluster of eucalyptus.

Underfoot, soft pathways suddenly erupt in lizards wiggling over shoes and under Carole DePalma’s joyful ceramic totems, while birds in paradise compete for air time, warbling symphonically among the rose bowers, or perched on LMNO Arts’ steel window frame fantasies. Ceramic tree clusters by Susana Arias decline to shade the new growth of giant celadon asparagus shoots by Sylvia Rios while, above our heads, the stainless steel “Pacific Swimmer” by Mandy Spitzer demonstrates perfect form.

Sculpture Is continues through Oct. 31 at Sierra Azul Nursery & Garden, 2660 East Lake Ave., Watsonville. Sierraazul.com.


Maureen Davidson writes about the arts as “The Exhibitionist.” This column and her radio spot and blog at KUSP.org/exhibitionist are funded in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?