First ‘First Friday’ at the Arboretum

Mark Your Calendar: August 5 is ‘First Friday’ at the Arboretum!

The Arboretum will host its first ‘First Friday’ free event on August 5 from 2:00 pm–7:00 pm. Visitors can meander the paths of the Aroma Garden to view the beautiful, one-of-a-kind outdoor sculptures by nine local artists: Jamie Abbott, Jeff Arnett, Jennifer Henning, Coeleen Kiebert, Marilyn Kuksht, Anna Martin, Kirk McNeill, Cristie Thomas/Scott Lindberg, and Jenni Ward. Two of these artists will offer workshops or demonstrations.


artistJamie Abbott’s sculptures are inspired by biomorphic forms, which he encapsulates with organic elements. Using thin gauge wire and wire tools, Abbott will guide participants in the wrapping and connecting of branches, pods, leaves, and many other materials collected from the Arboretum gardens.

• Sessions at 2:00-3:15 pm and 3:45-5:00 pm;
• Limited to 20 persons per session; to sign up, call the Arboretum office at 831.502.2998;
• $10 for Arboretum members; $20 for non-members;
• Participants are welcome to take their sculpture home or have it installed in the Art in the Arboretum exhibition until it ends October 10.


Kirk McNeill is the artist-blacksmith of Freedom Forge, located on Santa Cruz’s West Side; McNeill works with hot forged iron, bronze, and copper, creating unique sculptures, in both modern and historical designs, to enhance buildings and landscapes. He will bring his portable forge to give blacksmithing displays.

• Demonstrations from 3:00-5:00 pm; visitors will be able to watch how an artist uses his skills and tools to create pieces of art.

Susana Arias, the curator of the exhibit, will be on hand to answer questions about Art in the Arboretum, an on-going event showcasing local sculptors and their work.

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