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The Institute of the Arts and Sciences Galleries will open February 5

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What We Do

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences, located in the city of Santa Cruz, is the Central Coast’s premier university art and research center. Through groundbreaking, national-caliber art exhibitions and social justice initiatives, the IAS creatively educates students and the public about urgent issues impacting our society with innovative approaches to art and equity. The IAS features state-of-the-art galleries, a screening room featuring curated programs of short, experimental films, and an event space for performances and lectures. The galleries are a vital hub for UC Santa Cruz and the region, bringing national and internationally acclaimed artists and projects to enliven the culture of our communities.


The Institute of the Arts and Sciences innovates exhibitions and programs reflecting a deep commitment to art as a catalyst for social change. Bringing the arts together with the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, the IAS’s wide-ranging, dynamic programming engages the most critical issues of our time.


The Institute of the Arts and Sciences was founded in 2014 to expand the visual arts offerings at UC Santa Cruz and fundraise for a professional arts facility. The groundbreaking, multidisciplinary art exhibitions and social justice initiatives produced by the IAS have since garnered a national reputation, and in 2023, under the leadership of Rachel Nelson, director and chief curator, the IAS established the first professional, climate controlled galleries for the university in the city of Santa Cruz.

About us (Tab to skip section.)
A group of people crouch and sit on the ground around a garden and sculpture of a prison cell

Who We Are

Staff, faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students compose our team.

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Academic Programs

Our galleries are classrooms and laboratories for faculty and students.

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