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Galleries are closed for installation until April 12, 2024.

UC Santa Cruz Logo Institute of the Arts and Sciences
UC Santa Cruz Logo

Strange Weather

April 14 - August 14, 2022


Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
705 Front St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Dates and Hours

April 14 - August 14, 2022
Thursday–Sunday 12–6 p.m.
Closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

a wall relief sculpture of exploding wood pieces and a a sculpture of a woman seated on a bale of hay with cotton growing out of her hair.

Strange Weather: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation features contemporary art works which illuminate and reframe the boundaries of bodies and the environment. The artworks included in the exhibition span five decades, from 1970-2020, and are drawn together for how they creatively call attention to the impact and history of forced migrations, industrialization, global capitalism, and trauma on humans and the contemporary landscape. 

Weather can refer to both subtle and violent atmospheric conditions in a given place and time. The influential artists in the exhibition utilize a range of aesthetic strategies, including abstraction, portraiture, figurative painting, landscape, and installation, to explore the current atmospheric strangeness. Julie Mehretu’s three prints created as a response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 render abstract an intricate cartography of a rapidly changing climate. Kehinde Wiley’s large-scale painting, Marechal Floriano Peixoto II, 2009 monumentalizes issues of identity and nature. Nicola Lopez’s constructed collage monoprints show startlingly dystopian urban landscapes, with iron structures and vibrant colors. Wendy Red Star’s photographic series, “Four Seasons,” links weather patterns to the consumption and commodification of Native American culture. Together, these and other works make the body and the land legible as paired sites of contestation, offering profound insights about the connections between aesthetics, history and our tempestuous climate. 

Artist List: Carlos Almaraz, Carlos Amorales,  Leonardo Drew, Joe Feddersen, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, James Lavadour, Nicola Lopez, Hung Liu, Julie Mehretu, Wendy Red Star, Alison Saar, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Charles Wilbert White, Kehinde Wiley, Terry Winters.

Strange Weather is curated by Dr. Rachel Nelson, director, Institute of the Arts and Sciences, UC Santa Cruz in collaboration with Professor Jennifer González, History of Art and Visual Culture, UC Santa Cruz. The exhibition is organized by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. 

Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation in Portland, Oregon was established in 1997.  Since the program’s inception, the Foundation has organized over 110 exhibitions and has art exhibited at over 160 museums.