Art of Santa Cruz started as a just a dream of Pam and Dawn, a mother-daughter team, who desired to make Santa Cruz a world-renowned destination for art buying and selling. They dreamt of way for local artists to display and sell their work in an accessible and affordable manner.
That dream came to fruition in November of 2010 when they opened their first non-profit art gallery in Scotts Valley. It allowed local artists to show their work on a daily basis, instead of only at weekend craft-fairs and festivals. This unique non-profit model allowed artists to rent a space and receive a commission on sales. It was a venue that has not yet existed in Santa Cruz County.
It was so popular that in January of 2012, they moved to a much larger space in the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Scotts Valley and hosted over 100 artists! They incorporated their business under the name of Regional Artisans Association (RAA).
The number of sales and participatory artists grew quickly. With increasing success, they began expanding into the community by offering programs such as Art in Public Places, sponsoring a youth conservatory theatre, summer camps for mural painting and a promotional website.
In 2014, the Capitola Mall approached RAA and offered them a location inside their mall. In May of that year, Pam and Dawn opened a new gallery, Art of Santa Cruz, in the Capitola Mall. The Scotts Valley location closed and many of the artists moved to Art of Santa Cruz. In the same year RAA opened a second location in Monterey: Monterey Bay Artisans, at the American Tin Cannery. Both Santa Cruz and Monterey artists filled the galleries with their works of art.
In time, the business continued to evolve and grow. The Monterey location was closed in December 2016. Pam and Dawn decided to open their own retail store and leave Art of Santa Cruz to a new president. This location is still very active, we hold quarterly youth art contests, hold semi-annual silent auctions, host the First Thursday Art Walks and offer customer appreciation raffles inside the store. Various store artists hold classes in water color, jewelry making, and acrylic painting.
We are open seven days a week and hope to continue to make the art buying experience in Santa Cruz more enjoyable for everyone.
Regional Artisans Association is a California nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation.