Art vehicles everywhere in Santa Cruz


Here it is Friday, and I’m already exhausted. Downtown Santa Cruz is going to be insane this weekend, and not just because the weather is going to be sweet.

Look at what’s happening. The Santa Cruz Film Festival closes today with a screening of Harrod Blank’s “Automorphosis” — Blank, you may know, is the former Santa Cruzan who has made himself into the chronicler of art cars and his latest film is a kind of sequel to his “Wild Wheels” documentary from the 1990s. As part of the evening, there will be several art cars on display downtown to gawk at.

Then comes the massive River Arts Festival, taking place two days Saturday and Sunday, in San Lorenzo Park downtown. That culminates in a parade of “kinetic sculptures” — artistically designed and decorated people-powered vehicles — in the Kinetic Art Cruz, which takes place Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. along Pacific Avenue.

How’s that for a Santa Cruz weekend? Two unrelated events, both featuring outlandish vehicles — cars on Friday, bicycles and their cousins on Sunday. Is that a great metaphor for Santa Cruz, or what? Eccentric, colorful and always in motion.

On top of that comes the Music in May chamber music festival, a celebration of the great percussion store Rhythm Fusion, and, let’s not forget, the new Green Day album is out.

And, keep in mind, you still have to get down to Aptos next weekend for the Santa Cruz Blues Festival. Tons of fun in the sun, indeed.

6 thoughts on “Art vehicles everywhere in Santa Cruz

  1. And Shah and Blah’s Alzheimer’s-themed dance theater show at The Actors’ Theatre. And Karl Schaeffer’s dance concert at the 418. Remember that dance explosion you were mentioning, Wallace? So last month, apparently.

  2. Yes, there have been art vehicles in Santa Cruz for many many years, from full custom cars with huge fins- lake sidepipes- carson tops, to that psychedelic Chevy brand new in 1967, to woodies painted with a broom, wild Corvair choppers, leopard topped Mopar, etc. But they were roaming Santa Cruz streets. Not parade art; Woodies on the Wharf ‘style’..

    Same with human power vehicles. From when Ottos by the wharf rented those side by side pedal cars in the 1960s to speed record streamliners to struggling variations of the cookie cutter diamond frame in the 1970s.

    Pretty unfortunate to have a dolled up treasure vehicle hidden in a building which only sees the sun 1 or 2 times a year.

    Interesting to see events like this continue in this manner.

  3. The “Pendulum” sculpture, at the sidewalk near the corner of Pacific Avenue and Walnut Street in downtown Santa Cruz, is a work of kinetic art. It says so, and if you push the pendulum, it moves. Many people do it.

    But that didn’t stop the local gendarmes from ticketing someone for pushing the pendulum a few weeks ago. Read about it here in the Sentinel.

    It wasn’t me who pushed the pendulum, but if it had been, I would have subpoenaed the artist’s manifesto in my defense, as well as the city’ purchase order. I’d bet that both of them indicate that the work is kinetic.

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