Every quarter, UC Santa Cruz’s Arts department and the Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) department hosts the Open Studios event.

Jennifer Parker, the chair of the Arts department, oversees the event coordinating process.

“All of the studios and all of the courses taught in the Arts department and DANM will display their work,” Park said. “We hold this event every quarter and we’ve been doing so for at least 30 years.”

Open Studios will feature a variety of artwork created by UCSC students, such as drawings, paintings, sculptures, print media, photography, intermedia and electronic arts. The event is free and open to the public.

Held at the Elena Baskin Visual Arts Center and the Digital Art Research Center, the exhibitions will be on Dec. 6, to allow the public to check out a larger quantity and variety of art in one day.

“At this event, you can expect to see digital art with social impact from the DANM students,” said DANM program assistant Natalie McKeever. “By social impact, I mean our students consider the place technology and digital art have in modern society, and how they can use these technologies to make viewers consider the social, ethical and cultural issues they feel passionately about.”

Some of the isses of the art will explore  includes gender, environment, disability studies, the life of immigrants in our country and how new technologies affect social landscape.

McKeever, a DANM graduate and previous Open Studios participant, is now helping organize and publicize the event.

“A lot of our DANM students create pieces with an element of interactivity, and installing their work at Open Studios gives a chance not only to see how their user interface is perceived and used by the participants, but also gives them a chance to see their work completed when it is activated by the participant,” McKeever said. “Most importantly, it gives the UCSC community a chance to see the work, to know what DANM is all about and to hopefully be inspired by the ideas, research and innovation our students create through their art practice.”

Joel Horne, a first-year DANM graduate student from Asheville, N.C., will be one of the exhibition’s featured artists.

“My project took me about six months,” Horne said, “I’ve been working on [creating] a kinetic environment and performance sculpture based on illusions using flashes of colored lights.”

DANM graduate students are required to take a course on electronics as well as project design. As a result, many of the students present motor-based, or kinetic-inspired, artwork.

“My art is inspired by beauty, nature and performance, such as expressive dances that make me feel something profound, whether it be in a good or bad way,” Horne said.

The Digital Arts and New Media department is a two-year graduate program and is the only graduate art program offered by UCSC. The event gives students a chance to use technology and exand their creativity.

“There are going to be a bunch of interesting installations from a bunch of really creative people with different backgrounds,” Horne said.


Open Studios will take place on Dec. 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m at the Elena Baskin Visual Arts Center and the Digital Arts Research Center.