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Exhibition Opening Celebration: Maria Gaspar: Compositions

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October 6, 2023 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm

Join Chicago-based artist Maria Gaspar to celebrate the opening of her first solo exhibition on the West Coast, Compositions, at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences.

Maria Gaspar: Compositions features newly commissioned and existing works from the award-winning artist that ask the crucial question: how do we build a future from the ruins of the carceral present? Grounded in community partnerships and forms of artistic activism, Gaspar’s multidisciplinary practice helps us imagine new ways to transform existing structures of incarceration while simultaneously making present the histories of those kept out of sight. New works on display at the IAS include bars cast from a recently demolished wing of a sprawling urban jail, to be activated in musical performances, and sculptural renderings of the tools used to materially and metaphorically unbuild spaces of punishment. The exhibition includes a selection of films by the artist in the Institute’s purpose-built screening room.

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences is pleased to participate in Santa Cruz’s First Friday Art Tour; join us on October 6 for an after-hours viewing of the exhibition with artist remarks at 7PM. Enjoy a live musical performance by Afro-Samba-Funk group SambaDá and arepas from local food truck, Pana. This event is free and open to the public. 

Maria Gaspar: Compositions is on view at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences September 26, 2023 – March 3, 2024. In addition to Compositions, we invite you to enjoy the ongoing exhibition Sadie Barnette: Family Business, on view at the IAS until December 3, 2023.

Image Credit: Mark Poucher

We are also excited for artist Ashley Hunt’s official release of his most recent free newspaper, “Close California Prisons,” a collaboration with Critical Resistance (CR) and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) at this event. “Close California Prisons” features conversations with CR members, Nick DeRenzi, Lily Fahsi-Haskell, Alex Ludington, Viju Mathew, and contributions by Steve Brooke and Jo’an Dunn, and it is created in dialogue with CURB. The newspaper serves as a companion to Hunt’s work, “Degrees of Visibility,” a ten-year investigation of carceral systems through landscape photographs, text, and community conversations made in locations throughout all fifty U.S. states and territories, seeking to confront how prisons are presented and camouflaged, contributing to aesthetics of mass incarceration. Works from “Degrees of Visibility” were exhibited at the IAS from February 5 – April 16, 2023. “Close California Prisons” also begins the work of Hunt’s new documentary, following CURB’s Close California Prisons Campaign and prison closures throughout the U.S. The free newspaper introduces the campaign, its principles and histories, including actionable tasks for readers to become involved. You are invited to take a newspaper and speak to members of CR who will be tabling at the Opening Celebration.

We are pleased to be part of National Arts & Humanities Month in October.


Block Party on the Bluff

Just down the road, continue your First Friday festivities at the Seymour Center. In partnership with Event Santa Cruz, the Seymour center invites you to join them for a Block Party on the Bluff, where you can learn more about the groundbreaking research on natural events in Santa Cruz County, the solutions available to our community, and how you can contribute to their implementation. The event promises to be a fun-filled day with diverse local food, vendors, and live music, all while discovering the value of our coastal ecosystems in one of Santa Cruz’s most iconic locations. For more information visit their website.

October 6, 2023
5:30-9:00 pm

Seymour Marine Discovery Center
100 McAllister Way
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


100 Panetta Avenue
Santa Cruz, California 95060 United States
831-502-7252
View Venue Website