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April 5, 2020

An artistic stamp of approval

SANTA CRUZ—Maintaining a tradition of luring the public in to roll up their sleeves and engage in hands-on art projects, view art and meet artists, the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz drew a large crowd Oct. 4 for a rubber stamp and collage project.

With art supplies scattered across a dozen large tables, the public of all ages were invited to not only fabricate their own rubber stamps, but to print them out in various colors on paper tags, along with just about anything else their imaginations brought up. While some folks created Japanese characters and wrote messages, others cut out hearts, flowers, half-moons, crashing waves and stars.

Volunteer Andre Yu, who is studying accounting at UC Santa Cruz, said he was happy to be involved with art. He showed up with about nine other UC students as part of the Circle K group who commonly reach out to the community for volunteer work.

“It feels good to be here helping,” he said. “It’s an inspirational experience. People have really good ideas. I like being able to help others and help make them feel comfortable. This is a fun way to spend my evening.”

The project was a small fraction of the year-round First Friday Art Tour that unfolds the first Friday of every month in and around downtown Santa Cruz between 5-9 p.m. Organized by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, First Friday is designed to throw the doors open to area galleries, museums, exhibits, live music and kids’ activities, all free to the public, to help them plug into the local cultural scene.

The end result, which sent people home with the tags, finalized with many being hung on an impromptu clothesline.

“I can’t believe how well they turned out,” Yu said. “This makes it worth it.” 

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