Update: April 22, 2020
Five weeks after the Santa Cruz and SF Bay Area were put in ‘Shelter In Place’ Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the local population, like the rest of the world has experienced the loss of life, loss of income, and hardship. Local resident and rider Kyle Maxwell put his thoughts into action the best way he knew how. Hear his words about this creation:
“Nestled not that deep in the UC Santa Cruz campus is these old abandoned water tanks. Once used to protect the campus from wildfire, they now serve as a meeting spot, resting place, meditation center, snack shack, bar, and dance floor. Over the years, these tanks have served as a canvas to countless works of art. From mindless tags, to well established and now timeless creations.
I put these tanks on my hit list 10 years ago, being the most local place I ride, an icon of mountain biking in the Santa Cruz area. The universe hinted that it finally came time for me to step up and take my turn behind the aerosol pressure cooker. I’ve never done any work like this, but artists are defined by the ability to adapt and execute. So there I began one evening at a time, carving way at color and depth. A few hiccups of random taggers later, I was able to seal the deal tonight. Happy to see it in its final form for a minute. Soon, it will evolve and eventually be gone. Replaced by something different and meaningful. Because, if we know anything these days, this too shall pass.”And Chido, the tanks dog mysteriously appeared a day after the art was completed. Here’s Kyle’s reaction when he saw it.
“Okay, so this makes me super emotional. over the past few years, as these tanks have evolved in art, there has been one constant: this little doggy. Whenever someone reskins these tanks, not long after, this little dude shows up. I was painting these tanks two days ago, so this was done yesterday. And it’s absolutely perfect. Hug your doggies. Because someone dearly misses theirs.”
— Kyle Maxwell
Update: Oct 23, 2018
Fall is here and the UCSC tank art is slowly getting transformed into a new design. The dog showed up last week thus hinting that change is near and the transformation started before the weekend.
We are particularly fond of this one since it blends the previous masterpiece perfectly with art that speaks of transformation. We’re happy if it stayed in this state through the winter but we know that there’s no predicting whether this will stay in this state for days or months.
So get out there to those trails and witness this phase of the tank art regeneration.
Update: Aug 17, 2018
WOAH! Some established artists have taken over the UC tanks and the work has been breathtaking. The latest is by artist Jeremiah Kille, a mural artist specializing in geometric shapes. The art appeared on August 15 and riders have been compelled to stop their rad rides and take it in. Other works of Jeremiah can be seen here on his instagram.
A new trend now though is the short duration of the art and abrupt changeover. Some art lasts only a week and before the tanks are blanked out and changed forever. So one must get out there often to experience it first hand.
The donut became a transition point for this art by an artist known for this bird theme. It transitioned very well with the donut tank. Sadly this art was gone after a couple weeks and very few got to see it in person.
This was a popular one not only because of the vibrant colors but because of that donut. I mean how can you feel gloomy after seeing that art?
Update: Aug 17, 2017
We are excited to present the latest UCSC tank art born on Sept 13. This is a throwback to the good old days when the tanks stood for art, devoid of any social and political statements. This new creation simply celebrates creativity. Each tank art can stand on its own and create a strong visual statement. But together, it is a more powerful entity.
This one too will be pass and be covered eventually so enjoy it while you can.
August 2017 shows the right tank evolving and a little bit of modification on the breast art. It’s a bit of jumbled mess which is part of the life cycle of the UC tank art.