Each month, SubRosa hosts a new artist from the community with emphasis on emerging artists. SubRosa art openings are part of the First Friday Art Tour and are generally on the first Friday of the month beginning at 5pm.

SubRosa needs your art.  Prospective artists are invited to submit samples of their work. The large courtyard offers sculptural possibilities. A link to online photographs is preferred. Artists Guidelines can be found here. If you have an upcoming show, also check out our Artist Tips for a Successful Art Opening.

Upcoming Artist

June 2010:  Petal Power
The Art of Louise Chen

Join us on Friday June 4th we are excited to offer the work of Louise Chen.  Petal Power, Louise Chen’s newest installation of drawings and paintings, evokes rejuvenation, renewal, and refurbishment. From a pile of compost – discarded materials; an apple core, coffee grounds, last night’s pasta – flowers erupt and insist a beautiful contrast between light and dark, between life and death. The ability for nature to renew itself is amazing. Chen’s drawings apply the same attitude towards life and human interactions; transformations, from jealousy to admiration, from break up to break through, from violence to embrace, and our ability to get up tumultuous and steep hills with our own “petal power”.

Petal Power:  The Art of Louise Chen
June 1st-30th
Artists Reception Friday, June 4th, 5-8pm
SubRosa, 703 Pacific at Spruce St

Louise Chen is a Los Angeles based artist currently living in Santa Cruz. Her work has been featured in galleries across the United States, including Giant Robot galleries in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Her artwork is inspired by botanical and scientific drawings, vintage floral patterns, antiques, the universe, animals, and the people and artists that move around her. Her work plays with positive and personal reflections as well as universalities, sometimes conveying adult hardships through childish fantasies.

Past Artists

April 2010: Trenton Rembert

On Friday, April 2, SubRosa will welcome the art of Trenton Rembert to its walls. Trenton’s art is a unique intersection of seemingly opposed elements. The viewer is greeted by gritty and chaotic fields punctuated by enigmatic figures.

This mixture of realism and abstraction creates a contrast that exposes the subjectivity of living, exploring how emotions, fears and beliefs mold the way we perceive the world. Themes such as dreams, weather, death, the seasons, and apocalypse constructed from hair, leaves, trash, and other found objects juxtaposed with painted elements further suggest the question: what is real, what is created?

Trenton calls his process “a mixture of spontaneity and careful planning. I enjoy the discipline of realism and the expressiveness and freedom of gesture. It’s a kind of controlled accident or action-reaction.” His process allows him to accumulate layer after layer of acrylic washes mixed with raw materials, such as dirt or ground plants and wood, to build color and texture. The end product is somewhere between painting and collage.

Trenton Rembert at SubRosa
April 1st-30th
Artists Reception Friday, April 2, 6-8pm
SubRosa: A Community Space, 703 Pacific at Spruce St

Trenton’s works create a haunting feeling of loneliness and desperation, but also of magic and wonder. His work is influenced by the landscapes that Trenton has lived in: the Sierras of his childhood, the Santa Cruz redwoods he now calls home. Rather than landscapes, his pieces capture portraits both of the places Trenton has lived and the isolation of modern existence.

March 2010: Dark Hyphy Mist
The Art of Swampdonkey

In March, please join us as we offer the unusual work of Swampdonkey.

We don’t know much about Swampy other than he/she was raised by a young pack of African wild dogs that escaped from the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans in 1983. Swampy dabbled in southern human cults during the mid 90’s until he/she found themselves on a northbound Norfolk Southern junk train headed full speed into the dark hyphy mist.”

Dark Hyphy Mist
The Art of Swampdonkey
Opening Reception
Friday March 5th 5pm
SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

November 2009: Russell Brutsche

Wigwams by Russell Brutsche
Wigwams by Russell Brutsche

In November, we welcome the acrylic on canvas work of Russell Brutsche to SubRosa’s walls.   Santa Cruz artist Russell Brutsche loves socio-cultural ironies.  Works such as those in his recent show “Unlawful Gatherings” make painfully apt juxtapositions that expose the social injustice of our everyday world.

The Art of Russell Brutsche
Opening Reception
Friday November 6th 5pm
SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

One of his images shows Jesus of Nazareth chasing away very contemporary money changers from the temple, only to be descended upon by a heavily armed SWAT team. Another shows the Nativity taking place in what might be considered a modern-day manger, under the Highway 1 overpass at the San Lorenzo River.  Other paintings prominantly feature images of treesits, hobo campfires, and trains.

Brutsche has been painting since early childhood, later studying under Eric Oback, Robert Freimark (student of Henri Matisse) and Sam Richardson, graduating with scholarship honors in 1968.  He has been in numerous one-person and group shows throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and in Colorado, Arizona and Japan.  Brutsche currently participates each October in Santa Cruz Open Studios, and other shows throughout the year.

“I’ve been impatient with the art world,” said Brutsche. “Artists really have a responsibility to speak out against social injustice. Instead, artists have become small businessmen. I know if I would leave out some of that social commentary, the likelihood would be a lot greater that my work would be hanging over someone’s couch.”

October 2009:  The Santa Cruz Anarchist Doll-Making Collective
The Dark Night of DIY Ragdolls and Monsters

The Gaping Maw

The Gaping Maw

On Friday, October 2nd, at 5pm, SubRosa is excited to introduce the recent work of the Santa Cruz Anarchist Doll-Making Collective.  The show entitled The Dark Night of DIY Ragdolls and Monsters features the work of a dozen artists working individually and collaboratively to create homemade and recombined dolls and monsters.

Gray Man by Wes Modes

Gray Man

The original Dark Night arose out of a series of Free Skool Santa Cruz workshops on doll- and monster-making. Artists built dolls and monsters by hand out of scraps from their workshops, items gathered at the city dump, and materials scavenged from Bargain Barn.  During a series of Dark Nights, artists drank tea, made dolls, and stayed up all night sewing and watching dark doll movies from filmmakers the Brothers Quay, Jan Svankmajer,and Henry Selick.

Peering into the mad workshop of mad doll creators I saw feverish hands working away, some delightfully creepy movie playing on an old tv set, doll parts and needles strewn about the cutting floor, Frankenstein doll creations coming alive!

Historically, dolls are some of the oldest discovered toys, the earliest found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 3000 B.C.E.  Dolls depicted humans, animals, and imaginary creatures and have been made of every conceivable material: bisque, celluloid, china, clay, cloth, corn husks, paper, plastic, polymer clay, porcelain, resin, rubber, vinyl, wax, wood, bone, ivory, papier-mâché, and leather.

Join us for an opening show and reception on this Dark Night.

Art Opening: The Dark Night of DIY Ragdolls and Monsters
Friday, October 2nd, at 5pm
SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

S. McSprocket

S. McSprocket

September 2009:  Michael Orick and Tom Calderone
Recent Collages


On Friday, September 4th, at 5pm, SubRosa is excited to welcome collage artists Michael Orick and Tom Calderon.  Calderon and Orick have been hosting a weekly gathering of artists for more than three years, creating a wide variety of collage art.  Each, in distinct stylistic approaches to life and art, will be presenting pieces created at Collage Night,  and viewable on the walls of SubRosa and at

Orick applies values and guides meanderings with his jaunty approach to dismantling social interaction.  His claims of art for art’s sake, is couched in a literary tradition of blanched intellectualism mixed with pale understandings of things: things such as color and time, silly similies and woman’s underwear.  His past is yesterday’s now.  Orick is gliding gracefully, with limbs akimbo.

Calderon, with his understanding of politics and religion, attempts to create visions of the reality behind the accepted spectacle.  His imagery is savage and calm, shockingly beautiful and sadly real, steeped in water like a fine tea, flavored something excellent.

Collage, considered by some the premier postmodern art form, has remained as fresh as local produce, and a clear link to the time before Nike and Coca-Cola.  Weilding their exacto-knives and glue sticks, collagenight provacateurs Calderon and Orick, hope to push the agenda of dreamers everywhere.

Art Opening: Michael Orick and Tom Calderone
Friday, September 4th, at 5pm
SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

July 2009:  Adriane White
Getaway Sticks and Spaghetti Landscapes

Adriene White Art Opening at SubRosa

On Friday, August 7th, at 5pm, SubRosa is excited to welcome the art of Adriane White to our walls.  These paintings portray her myriad feelings on performance art from weekly performances to burlesque to turn of the century stage set design.

Evenings Return

Evening's Return by Adriane White

The dozen canvases in this show represent two whimsical series combined.  One is of part animals, part humans, who’ve been forced into the show business against their will.  The other is of a spaghetti landscape fantasy where meatballs are moons and a lone dancing foot is the star attraction.

Ms. White says, “I have been in the performance arena for a long time whether it be working at a Caberet restaurant, singing in a karaoke competition or performing my own act in a burlesque show. I can’t seem to shake it, I suppose, cause here it is haunting me in paint form. Maybe I just need to get it out of my system.”

Adriane White is a long time lover of the arts and has dabbled in its many avenues.  She’s studied dance and music most of her life and has appeared in over twenty theatrical plays and musicals.  After receiving her B.A. in studio art, with an emphasis on photography she undertook some commercial work.  Following a freak bike accident which left her injured, she turned to painting to occupy her creative energy.

Art Opening: Adriane White
Friday, August 7th, at 5pm
SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

For prints on canvas of these paintings, contact her at or

June -July 2009: Deena Brabant
Beautiful Malaise:  Paintings and Sculpture

spring quarter 001

“I use pictures as a marker of time, to consider our relationships to the past, present, and future, and to find ways to forge an existence within this shifting terrain. My portraits are orientation markers, a way of capturing a moment between where one has been and where one is going. In a transient world where nothing is certain, it is all too easy to wash my hands of the past and present in moments of frustration. In doing so, I would rid myself of the only valuable thing I own: my experiences and memories.

I am fixated on the human form and face, in life and in art: its structure, psyche, and hidden secrets. All of this I envision devoid of environment, as if all my subjects could exist in any given space and time. In a material world, I find that what I cling to most when in search of sincerity are the fleeting emotions of myself and others. My figures are snapshots of these transient emotions, a look to remember when the feeling is gone.”

May 2009: The Beehive Collective
Cross Polinations


A swarm is coming! The Beehive Design Collective- a non-profit, volunteer driven, political arts organization based in eastern Maine is SubRosa’s featured artist for May. The group’s mission is to “cross pollinate the grassroots” through the creation of images as an effective medium for deconstructing and educating the public about complex geopolitical issues.

Most interesting is their methodology. The bees create collaborative, hand-illustrated posters of dizzying intricacy which are patchwork “quilts” of personal stories related to them in their travels. Before setting pen to paper, the hive does extensive touring and field research.

Interviewing community members about the effects of globalization on their situation is a crucial component of the collective’s investigative process. “We feel it’s extremely important to gather our information from as close to the source as possible,” an anonymous worker bee says. The topic of each graphic campaign is researched thoroughly, including the specific species of animals and plants conveyed, and the ideas and facts critiqued by many people before the projects are completed.

The posters on display at SubRosa are from the FTAA, Plan Columbia and the Resist the G8 graphics campaigns. Like what you see? Prints are available for $20 each at SubRosa.

March 2009: Benjamin Osen
Workbench Progeny: Objects and Unventions

Benjamin Osen - Workbench ProgenyBenjamin Osen is a craftsman of sculpture and object who injects whimsical possibilities into the ordinary articles of life. Born and raised in Feather River country, Northern California, Osen is an artist interested in histories as they are told by objects. Formally trained as a sculptor, his work praises the unnoticed beauty all around us, while inescapably engaging the world of fine art.

Workbench Progeny exhibits Osen’s ability to create aesthetically beautiful works that remain grounded by their references to function and usefulness. Challenging the function-over-form mentality of DIY and Homebrew culture, he envisions the homemade object as an outlet for artistic refinement. Focusing on the tools of his trade, Osen transforms memories from his background in construction into tangible items that stand as works of their own.

February 2009: Kyle McKinley
Mixed Media Work

SubRosa features the mixed media work of Kyle McKinley. Opening show, 5pm March 6th.

“Greenwashing/Fine Motor Control” (2008) Digital Manipulation by Kyle McKinley

“Greenwashing/Fine Motor Control” (2008) Digital Manipulation by Kyle McKinley

Kyle McKinley’s art and activism are focused on community-based appropriate technologies. For the past five years that has taken the form of working in organizations that teach people to maintain their bicycles.

Kyle completed a double major in Sculpture and World Literature at UC Santa Cruz. At that time his artworks were installations that offered embodied equivalents to Post-Structuralist theory.

More recently Kyle’s has made ‘zines that appropriate the idioms of early twentieth century children’s literature to form social commentary. These publications, the art-objects that accompany them, and any future works are rooted in radical collaboration.

December 2008 and January 2009:  Ann Alstatt
Recent Prints

SubRosa features the prints of local artist Ann Altstatt.

I think of the art I make as lying at the intersection of science and mysticism. I present personal creation/destruction myths next to studies of trash off the floor of the Bargain Barn — to me they hold a similar, monumental importance.

These images could be seen in some way to be fragments of a whole– some are jokes, some are dreams, some are portraits of the forgotten or unseen, but all describe something that is just beyond my ability to see or say: the meeting point of the big joy and the big sadness.

November 2008: Charlie and Hunter
Recent Mixed Media Work

SubRosa features the mixed media works of local artists Charlie and Hunter.