Growing up, he went on to become a skilled metal craftsman who works with metal both in his artistic endeavors and in his job working for a defense contractor in the South Bay.
Recently, the Santa Cruz artist launched Luxuriant Design (find it on Facebook or Etsy) where he sells metal garden sculptures and other landscaping ornaments. These decorative items have an aesthetic that merges new modern art with elements from the minimalist era.
“I enjoy creative art design and the art form of expression,” he says.
Recently, a friend of mine mentioned that she was planning to take some jewelry making classes in town. I had a hunch before she even said it, where it was that she was planning on studying. Of course, it was with the incomparable
Angela Gleason of Jewelry Toolery, an artist who works out of a 1,000-square-foot studio at the Tannery. There, she offers a variety of jewelry making classes, workshops and memberships that enable artists to have open access to the studio and its resources.
“Most of my art is driven by ideas and often the format is related to the idea,” says Gleason. “I generally make one-of-a-kind pieces that may or may not be wearable.” (Find a sampling of her work for sale at the newly opened Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Art at The Tannery.)
After having worked in the printing industry for several years, it was during a small metals class at Cabrillo College that Gleason discovered a new path in the arts. “I love the challenge of three-dimensional artwork,” says Gleason. “It is the perfect combination of creativity and science. It has kept my interest because I am always learning, always solving a new problem.”
In addition to being a jeweler, Gleason also makes her living teaching art part-time at the community college level.
“I think great work needs to be carefully crafted, with a driving concept and clever use of techniques and materials,” says Gleason. “That is what I like. I strive for that in my work and encourage it in my students.”
While Gleason works in three-dimensional art forms, local artist
Ann Allstatt works in what she calls “mostly flat mediums.” She draws, paints, and creates collages with found materials. In addition, she holds a particular interest in science illustration and specializes in lithography, a form of printmaking. (She’s also a popular fixture and a co-founder of The Fabrica, a DIY community-based studio in downtown Santa Cruz that teaches sewing to locals.)
“With lithography, I love the process: the tools and materials used, the way the inks look and feel on the page, and the way they smell on the paper; all the physical, tactile elements of the medium,” says the 34-year-old Altstatt.
The process of creating a print is physically laborious, but, “you get a different kind of thinking done when you are working and moving your body, one that can be very creative and can help you see problems in new ways,” she says.
The final product, of course, looks effortless — a stack of prints, images on soft, handmade paper.
Those interested in seeing her work can check out a group show “Cemetery Polka” at the Felix Kulpa Gallery in downtown Santa Cruz in February, and also find her pieces in the touring art mobile gallery called “work. shop.” Or, see her work on Etsy under the shop name of “alithographica.”
Contact Christa Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.