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The Art Of Space: ELEVATE // August's First Friday

  • Alliance Physical Therapy 7887 Soquel Drive Aptos, CA, 95003 United States (map)

Join us on Friday, August 3rd for our monthly First Friday event. This month, we are honored to present a collaboration of visual and musical artists. You can expect to be moved, inspired, and elevated by their stories, art, and presence.


Simone Renee Cardona • Cristina Valdez • Jessie Marie

Group Bio: 
Art of Space: Elevate

Simone Cardona, Cristina Valdez, and Jessie Marie are best known for their collaborative ethereal paintings depicting surreal landscapes and portraitrature, combining acrylic paint and ink. These artworks push boundaries of traditional acrylic painting practices by significantly watering them down, creating pools of vibrant colors that travel across the canvas to produce soft backgrounds that vary in light and opacity. These organic backgrounds are then outlined in ink, emphasizing their form. Intricate nebulas, stars, and other earthly elements can be found within each unique piece. 

The three artists met through a poetry open-mic called The Word Church previously held at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, CA in 2014. Together they painted and performed alongside each other at many Art of Space events - a production established by Gregory Eaton that featured local music performers and spoken word. Jessie Marie havimg done live art for sme 7 years in the bay area, brought the live art addition to his vision. 

In 2016, Simone, Cristina, and Jessie, having formed a sisterhood through creating during these events, decided to embark on a year-long project of collaboration for a First Friday Art of Space Event hosted at The Food Lounge in Santa Cruz, CA. The 5 Pieces were produced layer upon layer, culminating hours upon hours of intricate layers, bringing together the artists’ individual talents to create a unified style. Through collaboration, these artists were able to share skills and ideas, each lending to the others weaknesses and strengths, growing in every way professionally, artistic skill wise, and personally in their courage, confidence, self trust, and trust in each other…..ultimately pulling off their dream show holding “space” for their friends to share all the ways they create with world. Together they create an atmosphere where the love and healing they found in creating, they also found alongside each other on both sides: musical and artistic. In that process we became who we are today, better for the experiences we have shared a thousand folds over.

The production of these artworks represent what the Art of Space Collective is all about: elevating and uplifting one another. Through spoken word, music performance, and live art - a community has been generated that creates a safe platform for self-expression. We believe that art is a healing mechanism that should be accessible to all to heal and grow through. Collaboration is a key component that strengthens the self and community by bringing together people from all different backgrounds and genres and skill sets making something bigger than anyone of us alone.The love that we hold as a foundational value mends not only our cracks and scars, but also helps them bring that value and reality into those that bare witness to what we do. We hope the love we have shared and the belief in each other transcends into those of you who join us. We hope to be inspiring for you to create yourself anew and into the tomorrows you have yet to become with creative style and authenticity. All of us are broken and finding a way to be our best selves, through art we find that intention possible.

Jessie Marie - Jessie Marie / instagram: @peepthis78

Simone Renee Cardona - Snflwr / instagram: @snflwr.src

Cristina Valdez - The Art of Cristina Valdez / instagram: @cristinavaldez_art

We would like to thank Jenna Weitzman with Alliance Physical Therapy for hosting our First Friday event and for supporting us share what we love and how we love. 

Special thanks to our performers, each make up a part of the team that we wouldn't be whole without


DJ SPC-CDT - Spc-Cdt (Space Cadet) 
Music producer out of Santa Cruz, CA mostly focused on experimental hip-hop & electronic things.

Abby D - Abby D is a multifaceted creator. A tumbleweed, having lived in four states and six cities by the age of 19. Her depth of experience compels her artistry. Most notably through poetry, song and modeling. Collaboration with her community through art and sociopolitical causes continues to inspire and influence her creative pursuits. (Abigail Davis)

Alwa Gordan - 88 Over Everything 
Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Ca, Alwa takes a unique approach at storytelling. On one hand, drawing from his own experiences, telling the story of a unsung hero. On the other hand, the eclectic dreamer. For a mix of Hip Hop/Soul/Pop, he is sure not to disappoint. Currently touring California, and developing his own Creative Label "88 Over Everything."

Jason Lacour - Jason LaCour @dopepoetlove @whaddupwiddit is a poet, artist, and emcee from the Midwest now living in Santa Cruz. Born 40 years ago into a Filipino and French Creole fiasco, he has been writing and reciting more then half of his life. He feels compelled to share his art, his heart, with you. As a member of Legendary Collective and co-curator of a well attended weekly poetry mic at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, he is consciously working to contribute to a strong community of poets and writers and musicians in the Bay Area and Central Coast. His music, poetry, and blog can be seen on his website: 

Genoa Brown - Genoa Brown is a local singer and instrumentalist. The music she creates herself, and with the amazing people she works with, have characteristics of multiple genres and a vast array of influences.

LOU - Lou 
A noise maker and volume enthusiast. Works to connect, promote and support local artists through her enterprise the Loud Project. Soundcloud:

Mesha L - Mesha L is a local lyricist who speaks truth and seeks truth. She believes highly in empowering youth and oneself. Her music is versatile yet captures the true essence of Hip Hop using her own real life situations and just straight fire spitting. Always willing to grow and collaborate, Mesha L represents community and unity.

KHAN - Khan is a hip hop artist, event promoter, and youth educator whose work spans throughout the Central Coast. A Bay Area transplant from California's Central Valley, Khan flips lyrical styles that stimulate consciousness and keep heads nodding over boom bap beats.

Sacred Mud Henna by Rica Smith - Sacred Mud Henna Blessings
Rica de la Luz, founder of Sacred Mud, has been providing unique and personalized body art service to the Santa Cruz community, and greater Bay Area since 1997. Rica is dedicated to preserving this ancient artform, and maintaining the highest integrity in product and service. She specializes in custom co-created design for both temporary application and tattoo, and is delighted to help you create a memorable and magical experience. 
~Henna is Happiness

Umi Anaan Wilson (age 8) - Umi is a local young artist. He enjoys multiple mediums and creates characters from his imagination. Monsters and maps are among his favorite things to draw or paint.