How to Find Great Art for Your Home in Santa Cruz County

How to Find Great Art for Your Home in Santa Cruz County
Do you have original art pieces in your home?
More than just a way to bring color or decoration to a space, having a small (or large!) curated collection of art is a way to make your home feel complete. Art makes a home more human. It is a way to display your culture, and express your style. It invites us to slow down, and to savor, and it takes us away from the mundane.
But how do you find art that you love? 
The best way is to see artwork in person. Santa Cruz County normally hosts a number of events designed to bring artists and art buyers together year-round, including the Capitola Art and Wine FestivalFirst Friday, Cabrillo Art and Music Festival, Downtown Maker Market, and any number of other street festivals that include artist’s booths.
The biggest local art event of the year – Open Studios – allows art buyers to visit artists in their studios and get familiar with the craft behind the work. Of course, at the time of this writing, most of these events are suspended due to COVID precautions. So how do you find art now?
Here are three ways you can find art pieces that excite you and connect with new artists to purchase beautiful, creative pieces for your home.

Visual Arts Network

When Open Studios was suspended in the fall of 2020, the Arts Council set up an alternative, virtual venue where customers can view work and connect directly with artists, called the Visual Arts Network. Through this portal, you can explore weekly featured artists or search for specific artists by location or medium, view samples of their work, videos, and find contact information including their social media accounts. 

Use Instagram

Since art is a visual medium, it lends itself well to a visual social media network – Instagram. Many local artists have vibrant and active Instagram feeds where you can see new work, learn about their processes, and get to know who they are behind the work. 
But how do you find them?
A great place to start is with the Instagram accounts of local art organizations, who highlight the work of local makers:

Also, ask around. Which artists do your friends like? Who do they have hanging on their walls? Search for popular hashtags like #santacruzartist or #santacruzart to find new accounts. 

Look around you

Another way to find art you like is to check out the small shows that are always going on around town, in the places you already go. Look at the walls in your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or gift shop – many of these places have rotating small-scale shows all the time. Love what you see? Look for the artist’s contact information or see if you can buy a piece right off the wall! 
We also have a number of small galleries around the county, including ones that are attached to the local art centers. Here are a few:
Do you have a favorite art piece in your home? Where did you find it? We’d love to hear from you!
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