Santa Cruz Good Times

Dec 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Café Pergolesi: A Constant Art Exhibit

pergsAccording to Café Pergolesi owner Karl Heiman, there are only two restrictions for local artists who wish to be featured at his establishment: their work must have a certain level of quality, and it must not depict any rotten or bad food, as this would prove rather unappetizing for the eatery's patrons.

“I’m not here to judge any of the art for its content,” the elusive Heiman tells me, laughing, over the phone. The eclectic styles found within the establishment at any given point in time are a give away that judgment isn’t a factor at Café Pergolesi. Neither is commission. Artists who hang their work at the cafe receive full payment if one of their pieces, which the café showcases for one month in one of its four rooms, sells. While other coffee shops have similar exhibitions, Café Pergolesi is unique in that it has four rooms and may showcase multiple artists at one time.

Artists, many of them college students, have been displaying their art at Café Pergolesi for the last 25 years. Some are simply happy to have their work in a public venue, but Heiman estimates that about 70 percent of featured artists also schedule a reception for their pieces where friends and visitors can come and enjoy food or even a live band brought in by the artist, all the while admiring the work.

Heiman recalls one of the most impressive showcases he has ever seen: during July of 2008 and 2009, a couple of local tattoo artists covered the walls of the café in a wallpaper of tattoo drawings. From the classic skull and cross bones to more unique tattoos such as depictions of comic book characters, the tattoo art engulfed the already whimsical and mismatched furniture of the place, causing Heiman to remember it as the “best art show.”

The process to have one’s work featured is rather simple. Heiman explains that most artists simply walk in with samples or contact him through the café’s website. Kelsey Harrison, a young artist who recently lived in Santa Cruz but has since moved to New York City to study art, had her sculptures, which utilize clay, wood and metal, displayed at Café Pergolesi this past year.

“My friend had just shown here so she just gave me the owners e-mail address,” explains Harrison. “We set up a meeting to look over my portfolio to make sure I wasn’t gluing matchbooks to printer paper and duct taping it to walls. We picked the next open month and that’s it."


Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Suzanne Devine , September 06, 2011
I have some very eccentric pieces that I could show you my portfolio if u are willing to review my work? Im not a native Californian, but have travelled many places and I am quite talented. I would just like to be honored by the opportunity to share some of my work with you.
Love and light be yours,

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location