Open studios: South County Oct. 6–7, North County Oct. 13–14, Encore Weekend Oct. 20–21.
This new show will feature bursts of color, lots of energy and the work of artists like Roy G. Bivens. “I wanted to take action-painting to another level,” Bivens said in a press release. “Sometimes you see a painting and you’re like: ‘Where’s the action? This guy probably never got laid in his life.’” Oct. 5–28 at Felix Kulpa Gallery. Free.
Aspiring novelists, take note: at Pitchapalooza, the best one-minute book pitch gets a meeting with an agent. Everybody else gets free advice, the excellent company of other writers and lots of love. Oct. 6 at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Free.
Open Studios Tours
The first three weekends in October the bright green signs sprout like mushrooms after a rain, inviting members of the public to come on in and meet the painter/jeweler/potter/photographer/sculptor who lives here. It’s an autumn rite to get the Cultural Council calendar and map, look at the thumbnail images and decide whose work you want to see—or just tool around, stopping in here and there as whim and green signs decree. South County Oct. 6–7, North County Oct. 13–14, Encore Weekend Oct. 20–21. Calendar $20.
Welcome Back Monarchs Day
For about half the year, the Eucalyptus grove of Natural Bridges State Beach turns into a Monarch Motel—beginning in mid-October and lasting through February—as majestic orange butterflies roost safely through the winter. Head to the wooded paths anytime this autumn for a serene stroll, or party down with the Friends of Santa Cruz for the day-long celebration featuring live music, crafts, butterfly garden demonstrations, and hand-cranked orange “monarch” (pumpkin) ice cream. Oct. 14 at Natural Bridges State Beach. Free.
Let the dreamy, ethereal vocals and snuggly soft instrumentals of this Canadian indie pop band lull you into a welcome period of autumn introspection. Bonus: A ticket to the concert also gets you a download of their new album. Oct. 19 at the Rio. $19.95
Pacific Rim Film Festival
This annual and much-loved film festival lasts six days and spans cultures around the Pacific Ocean, offering glimpses into communities thousands of miles away. This year’s theme is “When Strangers Meet.” Oct. 19-24 at the Del Mar and Rio Theaters. Ticket prices TBA.
Santa Cruz Collects
From objects as mundane as a child’s marbles to a veterinarian/amateur taxidermist’s medley of animal skulls, this exhibit showcases the citizens of Santa Cruz County and the beautifully odd things that they keep. Question: Why does Mayor Lane own thousands of decorated eggs? Another question: When is the citywide egg hunt? Thru Nov. 25 at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. $5.