Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Jan 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Sculptour uses downtown Santa Cruz as a gallery

sculptureusesdtscgalleryThree-dimensional artists bring art to the avenue

She may have had a highfalutin job and a six-figure income, but Marilyn Kuksht wasn’t living a fairytale. She was 40 and a senior vice-president of a bank in San Francisco. But something didn’t feel right. So she took a little time off to go scuba diving. Somewhere, floating through the deep blue, she came across a stunning site off the coast of Cozumel.

“I remember this beautiful brilliant blue and a gorgeous coral reef and it … resonated in me,” Kuksht says. “I had a rosewood appointed office and 25 more years to look forward to (in the banking business) and [I knew] that was not where I wanted to be. I needed something tangible.”

So within two months after returning from her scuba diving adventure, Kuksht moved on from her banking job and started her own small company, where she decided to take the vision she had seen in the ocean that one day, and somehow bring it to stale, corporate office environments. At first, her mission was to create moss gardens, but she soon learned that her new creative idea didn’t exactly work well indoors. (Moss has a tough time inside.) So her concept began to morph into floral designs for businesses. Keep in mind that she had no former experience as a florist or artist of any nature.

But her fairytale was about to begin. At one point, she created a floral display for a gallery on a waterfront in San Francisco that was 13-feet long by 7-feet tall. “I used the chewing gum and bailing wire approach,” she says. “I made a bargain with the Universe. Let it hold together and I’ll take a welding class and learn how to …  safely support something like this.”

She quickly got into an automotive repair welding class and things took off from there. “My friend saw some sculptures [I began making] and took them to an art gallery where I was doing the flowers and set it on a desk … they sold my first piece of art for me. … One of the great things of having no training was that I was trained for failure. A lot of art schools tell people they can’t make a living so keep your day job.”

But Kuksht decided not to take that route. By then, she had already ditched her day job, and she began moving into making sculptures. For the last 15 years she has been making her living as a working artist, creating large-scale metal sculptures that are displayed in galleries across California and beyond.

One of her pieces, “Virgin Moon,” will be on display near Jamba Juice on Pacific Avenue, as part of a public art program called Sculptour. The project goes like this—seven artists have been chosen to display their sculptures for the next year or two at designated locations on our main drag. Crystal Birns, arts coordinator for Santa Cruz City Arts (an art program for the city), is the go-to person for the project. Her department is working with other city agencies on this beautification program.

Besides Kuksht and her “Virgin Moon,” other artists included in Sculptour include Michael Eckerman, Ron Lion, Kirk McNeill, Jamie Abbott, Aaron Van de Kerckhove and Paul Cheney.

“For most three-dimensional artists, there are not a lot of galleries to showcase [their work],” says Birns. “Some [of the pieces in Sculptour] are abstract, some are figurative. The largest sculpture is about nine or eleven feet. Pacific Avenue is a really colorful place and Santa Cruz is an incredibly rich and creative place. It’s going to be a really accessible exhibit for a lot of people.”

“I get a lot of chances to share my work publicly, but not in my home town,” Kuksht says. “This is a wonderful chance to get work out in my own community.”


Sculptour, presented by Santa Cruz City Arts and other local agencies, will present seven sculptures along Pacific Avenue for the next year. A reception will be held in honor of Sculptour and its artists from 6-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21 at the Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Admission is free.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.