About the Institute

IAS intern Sophia Dematteo at the opening of IAS show with Crochet Coral Reef at the Sesnon Gallery
IAS intern Sophia Dimatteo at the opening of IAS show of the Crochet Coral Reef at the UCSC Sesnon Gallery

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UC Santa Cruz catalyzes the power of the arts to explore critical issues of our time.

IAS exhibitions, public events, student programs, and academic collaborations bring the arts together with the sciences, social sciences, and humanities in a wide-ranging, dynamic, interdisciplinary program. The IAS engages audiences on and off campus, broadening the impact of UC Santa Cruz scholarship, teaching, and public service. 

Mind-expanding, idea-provoking exhibitions

IAS exhibitions reflect the conviction that the arts offer profound insight into the most pressing ecological, cultural, political, and social questions of our time. Exhibitions originated by the IAS draw on the expertise of the university and address the concerns of our community. The IAS's site-specific and traveling exhibition projects bring art into relation with other disciplines and are developed in partnerships with museums, educational institutions, and collections throughout the Bay Area. 

Look Back in Time: Russell Crotty and the Lick Observatory at the San Jose ICA

Exciting, Interdisciplinary Public Events and Programming

With an artist lecture series featuring internationally renowned artists (Traction: Artist Talks), a national interdisciplinary art & science series of events (Leonardo Art & Science Evening Rendezvous), and other exciting events and performances, the IAS exposes UC Santa Cruz students, staff, faculty, and the broader community to a wide-range of dynamic cultural programming.

CLUI Archive photo, 1998, from artist talk at UCSC, 2017

Vibrant collaborations across disciplines

The IAS supports faculty-led projects to bring thinkers together across disciplines through conferences, workshops, and other projects. Focusing on issues that include mass incarceration, prisons, and justice, climate change and global warming, water rights and ocean health, economic injustices, transnational immigration, and indigenous rights, faculty in the arts collaborate with other scholars and practitioners at UC Santa Cruz and at institutions across California, and throughout the nation and the world.

Kim Tall Bear speaking at the Eco Sex: Environmentalism Out of the Box Symposium, Spring 2017

Fostering Teaching and Learning in the Arts

The IAS is student-focused, and enhances teaching and learning in the Arts. IAS staff collaborates with faculty to develop resources for teaching and curriculum around all IAS exhibitions and projects. These resources include organizing class visits by artists, curators, and other arts professionals, offering classes tours of current exhibitions, and organizing field trips for students and faculty to Bay Area museums and cultural centers. Additionally, students gain valuable pre-professional experience as graduate and undergraduate interns at the IAS, assisting with curatorial projects, education programs, public events, public relations, and outreach. ​

Lucy Ashton, Gracia Brown, and Sophia Mateo, IAS 2017 Student Interns