Two Must-Sees at First Friday: 180/180 Portraits & 'Land and Sea' Project

Along with artists' exhibits and studio displays, the upcoming First Friday Santa Cruz Art Tour -- on June 6 -- will also feature two exhibits with a connection to the homeless in Santa Cruz -- the 180/180 portraits and the Homeless Garden Project's "Land and Sea." 

The Art Loft Santa Cruz is hosting "Faces of Santa Cruz County," a free night event with live music, food and non-alcoholic drinks, and featuring large scale portraits of a variety of Santa Cruz County residents -- including local public figures and people who were homeless but are now housed and supported by the 180/180 program. 

[Related: 'Complete 180' For 180 Homeless in Santa Cruz - And Month Ahead of Goal!]

The show will blur the lines between who is who, showcasing the diversity of our local population. The event is a partnership between Santa Cruz photographer David Dennis and the Art Loft to benefit 180/180. 

“If you live in Santa Cruz, you’ve seen people who are homeless, indigent or on the fringes,” said local photographer David Dennis. “I wanted to do something to address the issue. After learning about the Housing First movement, 180/180 and the 100,000 Homes Campaign, it was clear to me that they were offering an approach that makes economic sense and as the right mix of support and empathy. It’s appealing regardless of where you are on the political spectrum. I use my photography for philanthropic purposes, so 180/180 was a natural choice as one of the organizations I chose to support this year with a photo show.”

All ages are welcome and the event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.at the Art Loft at 1319 Pacific Ave., 2nd Floor. Chris Drury, a renowned local guitar player, will provide live music. Bay Photo Lab provided support for the show. For more information, visit http://on.fb.me/1j9BxTf .

The importance of protecting both land and sea ecosystems will be the topic on-hand at the Land and Sea event at Homeless Garden Project's Downtown store on First Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a short presentation at 6 p.m. 

Organizations that protect the health of oceans and waterways will offer informative discussions and opportunities for community engagement, including Save Our Shores, O’Neill Surf Odyssey, Surfrider Foundation and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation. 

The evening will also include live music, wine and sea-themed appetizers using organic herbs and vegetables from the Homeless Garden Project farm. 

The Homeless Garden Project Store sells products made in its training program, using raw materials grown at its organic farm. All revenue is reinvested in the nonprofit program. The store also provides skill-building and training opportunities for their program participants, helping men and women build a path out of homelessness. 

The Homeless Garden Project Store is located in the Cooperhouse Breezeway (off Pacific Avenue connecting to the MAH Abbott Square). To find out more about the Homeless Garden Project visit homelessgardenproject.org.

To see where other artists and their works will be displayed, follow First Friday Santa Cruz.




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