SCM Bulletin - First Friday Art Walk

Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “First Friday Art Walk”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 11, Art & Music page 15, author & photographer

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This event was so fun to cover and since them I have very much enjoyed these monthly art gatherings. Jane Ann Clemens was the artist I covered, and I still can't believe she had never shown her artwork before. She has such amazing talent.

One of the featured artist in this months First Friday Felton Art Walk was Jane Ann Clemens. She has taught classes before but never shown her artwork publicly. Mediums she works in range from altered books, collage, color pencils, glass mosaic, photography, and water colors. What drew me to her artwork was her focus on the book arts and recycled materials, as well as poking fun at the naughty side of life. Her greeting cards are $4 each and her altered books are $15 each. The cards that caught my eye was a series she made from a 1957 Sears catalog. On the outside is a well dressed gent or lady and on the inside is a similar looking model in undergarments. In a similar fashion she has a book series called Quirky Plant People which includes the regular edition and the abridged edition suitable for children. The series sells for $25 or you can buy the books separately at $15 each. Sayings inside the book range from things like “little sprout” to “pickle in my pocket”, and they are all executed in a fun vintage way.

Besides being a wonderful artist she is also a great teacher. In her classes she focuses on inspiring and teaching you to make your own original art, not just copy her class examples. Previous class topics have included animal guides and nourishing your positive energy. She has also created many personal shrines out of small mint tins and in the future may teach a class on how to make a personal shrine for a loved one that has passed.

She was the featured artist at Mountain Spirit, which has been participating in the event for eight months now. During the art walk they have live music by The Crooked Road Céilí Band, astrology readings by Laurie Twilight, light refreshments and of course that months featured artist.

Since February, Felton has been having a First Friday Art Walk every month from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Originally there were three stores participating but it has now grown to seven stores along Highway 9, four of which have a featured artist each month. It’s also aligned with First Friday Santa Cruz which was founded by Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts. I highly encourage you to attend next months First Friday Art Walk on December 5th and find an artist that inspires you. Remember Christmas is just around the corner. For information on featured artists visit .

Participating Locations
Felton Feed & Pet Supply (host to featured artists)    
6221 Highway 9, Felton

TrendSetter Boutique (host to featured artists)
6223 Highway 9, Felton

Garimo’s Real Soap Studio (host to featured artists)
6225 Highway 9, Felton

6237 Highway 9, Unit A, Felton

SCM Bulletin - Artwork For Change

Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “Artwork For Change”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 10, Art & Music page 14, author & photographer

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Santa Cruz Open Studios is a wonderful annual event were you get to meet and see artists in action. The artists in the Santa Cruz Mountains don't always get the same amount of attention as those in Santa Cruz. So to change that I did two things, first did a blog post on Boulder Creek Insider listing all of the artists, making them easy to find in the sea of artists in this event, second I found an artist in our mountains that I thought had the strongest message this year. It was an honor to write about Marc Shargel, point out his countless hours of volunteerism, and his mission as an artists. The article below tells a little of his story.

Open Studios is a way for the public to get a glimpse into the diverse world of the artists that live among us, and this year is no exception. The San Lorenzo Valley has 22 artists participating this year in Open Studios Art Tour sponsored by the Santa Cruz Art League. For a full list of these artists visit

For me one artist stood out from the rest, Marc Shargel. He shows us how artwork can make positive change in the world. He is a photographer and conservationist based in Felton. He has been here for 30 years, been diving for 36 years, and been a professional underwater photographer for 26 years. In that time he has seen progressive change in the oceans and volunteered countless hours to protect them. His focus has been the California coast which has had marine reserves since 1973. In 2000 he started his conservation endeavors helping to form two marine conservation organizations. From 2004 to 2006 he served on a state panel that was charged with creating a network for marine reserves along our entire coast. These marine reserves are like small refuges in the oceans were marine life can breed and grow old. Some marine life such as rockfish have to reach 40 to 50 years old before they are in their breeding prime, thus making these marine reserves very important for diverse and healthy ecosystems.

He did not stop there though, with the marine reserves now in place scientists needed to study them to see if they were effective. Not all of the marine reserves were implemented as advised, so he turned to art once again and started writing books to communicate to decision makers and the general public their importance. To date he has four books published, three in the Wonders of the Sea series, and his most recent Yesterday’s Ocean which is a history of marine life on California’s central coast. All of his books do a wonderful job of combining his underwater photography with historical images and easy to understand factual information to inform the reader and show them what is at stake.

Scientists now feel that the marine reserves from Mendocino county to Santa Barbara have been successful. In the rest of our coast however, (from Mendocino county to Oregon and Santa Barbara to Mexico) the marine reserves are spaced too far apart and are too small to be effective.

Marc is now expanding the focus of his art beyond politics to the public. He wants to communicate the amazing beauty of our coast to as many as he can. As the person who has seen the changes in our oceans for almost four decades he now wants to share that more intimately with the general public. He is having his first ever underwater photography class in February, to show people hands on what he has seen and learned. He also is continuing with his books, canvas prints, and postcards to get the word out there. To see his artwork, register for his upcoming class, purchase his books or other artwork please visit