37 Sudden Street, Watsonville, CA
Gallery Hours: 11.00am – 4:00pm


Past Exhibitions & Events

ART SALON – APRIL 13, 2022

Please join us for a virtual presentation by three of our featured artists in the current exhibit, Alma Sagrada: Cultivando Ritmos Naturales (Sacred Soul: Cultivating Natural Rhythms)


Jose Ortiz
Natalia Anciso
Abi Mustapha

Followed by a Q&A session with community members!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 @ 6:30pm
Meeting ID: 892 1708 9841

Alma Sagrada: Cultivando Ritmos Naturales Sacred Soul: Cultivating Natural Rhythms

Alma Sagrada: Cultivando Ritmos Naturales
Sacred Soul: Cultivating Natural Rhythms

Ome Garcia, Ana Paula Teeple, and Josefina Rocha

Exhibit Dates: April 6 – May 22, 2022
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 10, 2022 1:00PM – 4:00PM

Featured Artists:
Natalia Anciso – Abi Mustapha – José Ortiz – Hermelinda Vasquez

Invited Artists: 
Guillermo G. Aranda – Raymond Arredondo – Emmelie Avila – Shinehah Bigham – Graciela Vega Cendejas – Linda Cover – Sahar El Khatib – Sid Enck Jr – Stacy Frank – Ome Garcia – Yolanda Guererra – Bridget Henry – Rosa Hernández – Paola Inclan – Alexandria Jean-James – Carina King – Carmen León – Leslie Lopez – Carla Macal – Jose Medina – Amara Miller – Chris Boggan Miroyan – Isa Moreno – Devi Pride –  Eva Quintero ­– Jennifer Wildermuth Reyes – Lauren Ringelman – Andre Rosenzweig-Rivas – Josefina Rocha  – Jaime Sánchez – Cristina Sayers – Martha Schwanbeck – Sea Sevilla – Joel Michael Smith – Ana Paula Teeple – Alejandro Valle – Jasmin C. Vega – Susanna Waddell

Connect through Alma Sagrada: Cultivando Ritmos Naturales, an art exhibit at Pajaro Valley Arts in Watsonville, CA. It is our responsibility to acknowledge our past and current relationship with the land we occupy as a way to learn about and help revitalize its sacred systems, as well as our own vitality, and the vitality of our communities.

We recognize this land has been heedlessly stripped of its natural inhabitants through colonization, exploitation, and industrialization. For generations, all of us, regardless of personal origin and history, have been affected by this devastation and we can no longer ignore our collective responsibility to heal from this cycle of trauma.

We have witnessed the resulting imbalance and disease within our soil and water, air and fire. These sacred systems are not separate from us; the soil is our body, the water is our blood, the air is our breath, and the fire is our spirit; we mirror each other in a cosmic dance of symbiotic reciprocity.

Join us in reflecting on and reimagining our sacred and righteous relations with ourselves, our ancestors, each other, and all sacred life-giving systems. By honoring Indigenous stewardship, by learning environmental justice practices, and by embracing the joy, health, and abundance that comes with inter-connectedness.

Visit this exhibit virtually.

Exhibit Themes:

  • Culturally and Historically Relevant Relations with the Natural World

  • Indigenous Sovereignty, Land Protection, and Environmental Stewardship

  • Healthy and Sustainable Water, Soil, Energy, and Food Systems

  • Healing within Ourselves, Our Communities, and Sacred Life Systems

Programs and Events:

“Protect the Sacred” Poster Contest

An Indigenous and environmental justice themed visual arts contest for middle and high school students in the Watsonville Area with a chance to win a $50 gift card and have their artwork included in the Alma Sagrada: Cultivando Ritmos Naturales art exhibition at Pajaro Valley Arts from April 7 – May 22, 2022. In partnership with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, curriculum associated with the local Protect Juristac movement is available for teachers and mentors supporting student participation.

View a slideshow of poster content entries»

Teacher Open House: Wednesday, April 20th 3:30 – 5:30pm at Pajaro Valley Arts
Our first annual Teacher Open House welcomes local teachers to learn about Pajaro Valley Arts upcoming exhibitions and schedule class tours for the year ahead.  This year’s open house will feature a presentation by the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band sharing their Protect Juristac curriculum, an entirely customizable set of lesson plans that have been developed to support teachers in educating students of all ages. Participation is free; event will take place outdoors; refreshments will be provided

Meet the Authors / Author & Editor Panel: Saturday, April 9th 6:00-8:00pm on Zoom
A virtual panel discussion with Stan Rushworth and Dahr Jamail, co-editors of the newly released book, We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth. More info coming soon!

Community Opening Reception: Sunday, April 10th 1:00 – 4:00 pm at Pajaro Valley Arts
A family-friendly welcome reception and celebration open to all community members.  Delicious food, live music, an environmental justice resource fair, and interactive art activities will be available. Participation is free; more info coming soon!

Meet the Artists / Art Salon: Wednesday, April 13th 6:30-8:30pm on Zoom
A virtual presentation by three of our featured artists (Jose Ortiz, Natalia Anciso, and Abi Mustapha) followed by Q & A session with community members. Our Art Salons take place every few months, and are fascinating opportunities to learn more about local artists’ creative journeys and upcoming projects.

Mother’s Day Paint & Sip: Sunday, May 8th 1pm-4pm, PVA Backyard 
A bilingual acrylic painting session led by Josefina Rocha & Ome the Artist.
More information & tickets: 

Book Discussion: Wednesday, May 11th 6:30 – 8:30pm on Zoom
A collaborative reading and virtual discussion of the book We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth, edited by Dahr Jamail and Stan Rushworth.  This exciting new book release is a powerful, intimate collection of conversations with Indigenous Americans on the climate crisis and the Earth’s future. Participation is free; pre-registration is required;

Earth Justice Poetry Reading: Saturday, May 21st 1:00 – 3:00pm at Pajaro Valley Arts
Join us for an afternoon of earth-themed poetry in the garden. All poets and poetry lovers are welcome! Participation is free and refreshments will be provided. More information:


Take Aways: Art to Go!

Pajaro Valley Arts invite you to join us for our first exhibit of 2022 Take Aways: Art to Go!

Curated by: Jane Gregorius and Chris Miroyan
Assistant: Carol Walberg

Exhibit dates: January 19 – March 6, 2022

Opening Reception: Sunday, January 23 (Postponed)
Due to the COVID-19 Omicron surge, we have decided to postpone the Opening Reception. We will analyze the situation on a regular base, in hopes that we can hopefully schedule a celebration as soon as we can before the exhibition ends.

This annual invitational exhibit features seventy-three of the county’s most notable artists. As a fundraising event, these artists are presenting works that fit into many budgets.

Jamie Abbott, Susana Arias, Ron Baldwin, Mike Beebe, Eva Bernstein, Hildy Bernstein, Joan Blackmer,
Michelle Brightstar, Linda Christensen, Trina Coffman-Gomez, Judy Cooper, Susan Costes, Pablo Cubangbang,
Poppy de Garmo, Terry Dowell, Barbara Downs, Susan Else, Linda Fillhardt, Janet Fine, David Fleming,
Sara Friedlander, Juan R. Fuentes, Felicia Gilman, Shelby Graham, Jane Gregorius, Lynn Guenther,
Karuna Gutowski, Deena Haynes, Hedwig Heerschop, Roy Holmberg, Dee Hooker, Tessa Hope Hasty,
John Hylton, Amy Díaz-Infante, Edward Izquierdo, Tobin Keller, Peter Koronakos, Carmen León, Lyn MacDonald,
Jasper Marino, Dan Martinez, Priscilla Martinez, Marty McGillivray, John McKinley, Ann Miya, Chris Miroyan,
Cheryl Moreno, Margaret Murray, Michael Mote, Mary Neater, Bruce Nicholson, Margaret Niven,
Charles Prentiss, Andrew Purchin, Taylor Reinhold, Jaime Sánchez, Beth Shields, Kathryn Stowell,
Donna Thompson, Lynne Todaro, Ginger Tolonen, Adriana Torres, Adon Valenziano, Peter Vizzusi,
Susanna Waddell, Jenni Ward, Lynda Watson, Mary Weeks, Dag Weiser, Gretchen Werner, Stan Welsh,
Melissa West, Daniella Woolf.

Several donated pieces will be part of a raffle drawing during the closing reception on March 6.

In this wildly popular show everyone benefits; you take home fabulous art the day of your purchase, the artists and PVA get their normal commissions, and new art comes into the gallery everyday!

Closing Reception & Raffle:
Sunday, March 6
2:00PM – 4:00PM

Mi Casa es Tu Casa – Pérdida, Historia y Curación

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa - History, Loss and Healing. October 27 - December 12, 2021

Exhibit Dates: October 27 – December 12, 2021
Opening Reception: Sunday, November 7, 2021, 1:00PM – 3:00pm

Mi Casa es Tu Casa is PVA’s annual exhibit inspired by Día de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead, a traditional holiday in Mexico that commemorates community members and family who have passed away. Altars/Ofrendas are built in homes, churches, schools, cemeteries, and museums that honor and remember the dead. PVA invites you into “our home”.

Mi Casa es Tu Casa is PVA’s annual exhibit inspired by Día de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead, a traditional holiday in Mexico that commemorates community members and family who have passed away. Altars/Ofrendas are built in homes, churches, schools, cemeteries, and museums that honor and remember the dead. PVA invites you into “our home”.

This year the exhibit is focusing on three themes. The 500- year commemoration of the Mexican Pandemic (1521-1600), family and community members who have passed during this past pandemic year and La Cultura Cura/Healing.

History: The commemoration of the 500-year anniversary of the pandemic in Mexico caused by smallpox and other newly introduced diseases resulted in the deaths of millions of Indigenous people. Beginning in 1521, ninety percent of the Indigenous population succumbed to diseases.

Loss: Using altares/altars, art, installations, we invited families and community groups to use the space to honor those they have lost during the time of the 2020 pandemic. Large gatherings such as funerals have been avoided to prohibit the spread of the disease.

Healing: Concha Saucedo writes that La Cultura Cura/Culture Heals. We are all born into cultures that have traditions, beliefs, practices, and other elements that offer healing such as Compadrazco, Temazcal/medicinal, steam baths, hierbas/healing herbs, dignidad/dignity, respeto/ respect, confianza/trust, carino/love for life, esperanza/spirituality, and myths.




November 20, 12.00PM-2.00PM
Arpillera Workshop with Graciela Vega; 12-2pm at PVA Gallery back yard. Participants will make a brightly colored patchwork picture using scraps of cloth. Please call PVA or email to reserve your space. Limited to 20. History of Arpillera

Date TBD
Watsonville Film Festival showing of La Ofrenda, The Days of the Dead by Lourdes Portillo and Susana Munoz. Information will become available on PVA’s website.


Exhibit dates: August 25 – October 3, 2021
Opening Reception:
Sunday, August 29, 2021
2:00PM – 4:00PM

Pajaro Valley Arts presents the exhibit Reflections by the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild, a spectacular display of artisan jewelry and small metal sculpture. It will feature many pieces that are narrative in nature. MBMAG is a nonprofit that is devoted to educating the public about the metal arts, as well as promoting local artists in their pursuit to create new works.

Pencas del Corazón: Heart of the Cactus

Heart of the Cactus Community Art Exhibit June 16 - August 1, 2021

Welcome to Pencas del Corazón, a community exhibition curated by Artists-in-Residence Yesenia Molina and Irene Juárez O’Connell. This residency and exhibit center around a community-created art series with the theme of nopales (prickly pear cactus), a cultural symbol that has been historically embraced by Mexican, Latinx, and Chicanx communities. Not only are nopales traditional sources of sustenance and nutrition, they are a representation of struggle, survival, and majestic beauty. They thrive and even bear fruit in harsh climates. When a penca, or pad of a nopal, falls off or gets cut off, it doesn’t die. Instead, it gives new life. It re-roots itself to mother earth and continues to grow, even in the roughest of conditions. That is how we see our people, la raza, living in the United States.

Art is an important vehicle for social change and resistance, especially in the face of nation-wide attacks on people of color, children, families and entire cultures. Survival and resilience have always been our natural response. Artists, cultural groups, and community members from Watsonville are building on the momentum that has been growing as a response to external social pressures and a collective internal yearning for the right to be fully valued as a culturally rich community. This project is part of a larger movement of, by, and for the people of Watsonville to support, uplift, and unify the community around the arts and eventually building a physical space for the arts right here in Watsonville!

Pencas del Corazón features five Watsonville-based artists: Gabriel Medina, Mayra Ruiz-Valtierra, Salvador Lua, Guillermo Aranda, and Janet Johns. Each artist led a virtual pop-up art session over the past year. At each session, pop-up participants learned about the artist’s process and were guided to create their own artwork. Art mediums include acrylic paint, pen & ink, digital art, metal work, and dance. We also facilitated conversations around community needs and developed some shared visions for a Watsonville community arts hub. A video produced by Alex Santana Jr. will not only highlight the art created throughout the year-long residency, but also capture the community’s connection with the theme of nopales threading it all together.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the Rydell Visual Arts Fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. Our Pencas del Corazón project was awarded one of the first ever Rydell Visual Arts Partnerships. This exhibit celebrates the culmination of a year-long project between lead artists, Yesenia Molina and Irene Juárez O’Connell, the Watsonville community, and Arts Council Santa Cruz County. We are grateful for the partnership with Pajaro Valley Arts.
Finally we would like to extend a special thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of the community members who participated in each pop-up and have contributed work to the show. It would not be possible without you all!

—Curators: Yesenia Molina and Irene Juárez O’Connell

yesenia molina and irene juarez o'connell, curators, posed against a backdrop of bougainvillea flowers

Sculpture IS: In the Garden 2021

Sculpture IS: In the Garden 2021 Sierra Azul Nursery June 7 - October 31, 2021

Sculpture IS: In the Garden 2021 Sierra Azul Nursery June 7 - October 31, 2021

Sculpture IS: In the Garden 2021, marks our Fifteenth sculpture exhibit in partnership with Sierra Azul Nursery
and Garden.

The jurors, Susana Arias and Jeff Rosendale, selected over 100 sculptures created by 42 artists and collaborators.

Visit the stunning two-acre demonstration garden, relax under the umbrellas, and spend an afternoon enjoying the exhibit.