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WHO WE ARE

Staff

Miriam Anton Executive Director

Miriam has extensive experience in business development, fundraising, marketing, and DEIB initiatives, and the arts. Prior to joining PVA, Miriam worked at AnitaB.org, collaborating with corporate partners to improve representation for female, non-binary and BIPOC technologists in the workforce. Miriam’s longtime passion is in the arts, which led to earning her BA and MA in art history, interning at the Guggenheim, and later, working in sales and marketing for art galleries in San Francisco. Miriam is thrilled to take on the role of Executive Director for Pajaro Valley Arts. She joins the organization at a pivotal turning point as it launches its capital campaign to renovate its new home at the heart of historic Watsonville. She looks forward to leveraging PVA’s vibrant 40-year history and deep community ties to envision a new landmark destination for the arts.

Miriam enjoys spending free time with her family outdoors, visiting the local beaches and redwood forests. She also spends an absurd amount of time posting pictures of her cat and dog on their shared Instagram account.

Maya Delano Development Coordinator

Maya Delano made her first real impact in Santa Cruz, CA as a creator with the Santa Cruz Design and Innovation Center. While there, she worked with visionary entrepreneurs to strengthen the city’s design and tech scene. Her journey continued as she took on the role of Sr. Community Manager at NextSpace Coworking, where she not only fostered a thriving workspace community but also continued to pursue her passion for the arts by teaching creative process workshops.

Returning to the Pajaro Valley, Maya eagerly embraces her role as the Development Coordinator at Pajaro Valley Arts. Her mission is to support environments that spark inspiration, encourage collaboration, and nurture innovation, all in harmony with the organization’s values and the vibrant community it serves. When she is not in the studio, Maya can be found hiking in the redwoods, seeing live music and planning her next river rafting and camping adventure. 

Brianna Flores Office Manager

Originally from Watsonville, Brianna has always had a passion for the cultural arts and community service. After attending Watsonville High, she moved to San Francisco where she graduated from the ever vibrant San Francisco State University with degrees in Humanities and Latina/o Studies. While volunteering at a cultural arts center throughout college, the arts as a means of bringing the community together became a core value in her life’s purpose. As if life were coming full circle, her love and appreciation for the community that raised her led her back to the Pajaro Valley and to a job opening at the local art gallery. Rediscovering this place made Watsonville feel like home again. “I am a firm believer in the significant impact the arts can have on a person and the community at large. I’ve seen the potential the arts have to bridge and unify the communities I’ve lived in and I see the potential in ours now.”

Hedwig M. Heerschop Exhibit Coordinator

Dutch-American Hedwig M. Heerschop is a photographer, printmaker, educator, and curator who lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. She completed her Master of Fine Arts/Photography at San José State University, San José, California. She taught Alternative Processes in Photographic Media at San José State University. She assisted in many photography workshops with Brian Taylor, Dan Estabrook, Holly Roberts, Dan Burkholder, Harold Davis and Steve Zmak.

Hedwig curated two national exhibits for Pajaro Valley Arts, Photo Alchemy, Alternative Processes in Photographic Media, and produced two accompanying catalogs. For the last several years she is the curator of Pajaro Valley Arts’ annual exhibit, Sculpture IS: In the Garden at Sierra Azul Nursery & Gardens. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, including, For Queen & Country, at San José State University, San José, CA (her Master Thesis Exhibit), Breaking Boundaries, in Pingyao, China and Made in Holland, in Naarden, The Netherlands.

Many of her works are in the collection of art collectors in Europe and the Unites States of America. Currently Hedwig divides her time working as Exhibit Coordinator at Pajaro Valley Arts in Watsonville, CA., and as a printmaker/photographer at her studios in Aptos and Santa Cruz, CA.

Bianca Jimenez  Gallery Coordinator

Born and raised in Watsonville, CA, Bianca began her academic journey at Cabrillo College, where she discovered her love for the arts. After graduating in 2020, she pursued higher education at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), earning her Bachelor’s Degree in History of Art and Visual Culture. She specialized in 18th and 19th century European and American paintings, particularly the Rococo period, which ignited her passion for curation. Pursuing the Curation, Heritage, and Museums Concentration program at UCSC refined her curatorial skills and deepened her understanding of museum studies and cultural heritage, enabling a profound perspective on art and visual culture.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Bianca finds joy in spending time with her beloved pet, Toby, and expressing her artistic flair through mixed media creations. Her collage work showcases her ability to find beauty in the fragments, as she transforms scraps and ripped images into meaningful compositions. Currently serving as the Gallery Coordinator, Bianca is devoted to sharing her profound appreciation and extensive knowledge of the arts and art history with her community.

Josefina Rocha Program Coordinator

Josefina Rocha, a graduate in Fine Arts Practice from California State University, East Bay, is a compassionate artist who grew up in Watsonville, California. Her artistic endeavors delve into themes of vulnerability, wonder, empathy, and kindness, underscoring their intricate interconnectedness. As an avid arts advocate, Josefina has left her mark on the community by contributing to local murals, showcasing paintings in galleries, curating exhibitions, hosting painting workshops, and participating in Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios. Beyond her community involvement, Josefina also uses her art practice to explore her Chicana identity through spiritual means.

In addition to her role as an artist, Josefina serves as a Teaching Artist, actively promoting culturally responsive visual arts and supporting social-emotional development in after-school programs throughout the County. She extends her influence by mentoring high school student teachers, creating a secure environment for the community to explore their creative potential and understand that the path to being an artist is open to anyone.

Board of Directors

Trina Coffman-Gomez – President
Judy Stabile – Treasurer
Norma Villaron – Treasurer/Secretary Elect

Jessica Carrasco
Casey Clark
Lou Falek
Nessa Ledesma
Frank Sanchez
Martha Vega

 

Gallery Committee

Wendy Aikin
Joan Blackmer
Jane Gregorius
Lyn MacDonald
Chris Miroyan
Mary Neater
Bruce Nicholson
Tim Sterling
Judy Stabile
Roberta Valdez
Martha Vega
Norma Villaron
Chad Williams
Teresa Zolar