New exhibit highlights local parks

Aptos artist Ann Thiermann is shown with a large body of her artwork at her latest show entitled "Pathways Through Our Parks".

SANTA CRUZ — Aptos muralist and fine artist Ann Elizabeth Thiermann will feature a solo art exhibit of 38 of her original pastels and acrylic works at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History starting today through Jan. 6.

The show falls under the title, “Pathways Through Our Parks,” and is carefully woven into the ongoing natural history exhibits at the museum, many of which Thiermann has painted the backdrops for in earlier days.

Thiermann has an MFA in drawing and painting and is a classically trained landscape, portrait and mural artist, painting both on location and in her studio, according to her website

Her pastel and acrylic paintings from California and abroad provide the visual resources for her murals and hang as fine art in national and international collections. Her paintings have received Best of Show, grants, and her graduate thesis, mixed media of pastel and acrylic, was published in American Artist.


"The Last Arch, Low Tide" is a pastel work by Ann Thiermann.

She has designed more than 70 murals for natural history museums, art museums, libraries, educational institutions, and private clients throughout California including 13 murals sprinkled around Santa Cruz County. Known for her research on California historical and Native American murals, her works give voice to Native American tribal traditions.

“This project helped me to discover new corners of Santa Cruz’s parks through the artist’s eye,” Thiermann said. “Learning about each locale’s natural and social history, as well as its flora and fauna allowed me to capture the area’s unique spirit through keen observation. Creating this series has been a rich hiking, educational and artistic experience.”

The gallery features views as far north as Big Basin down to Sunset Beach in Watsonville. The lion’s share of works will be on display at the museum, along with Thiermann’s new book featuring additional paintings with extended text on local and natural history.

“When people see my park pathway paintings,” Thiermann said, “I hope they’ll experience my gratitude for the beauty of our local parks and be inspired to grab their map and hiking shoes, then set out to explore another local park treasure.”

Brendan Bane, community relations manager for the museum, said he was excited about Thiermann’s exhibit.

“I think the show is a wonderful way to showcase the natural beauty of our area,” he said. “These works bring in a bit of intimacy of the seasons in our parks and I hope they inspire people to visit the parks and take a moment to catch the details, the colors and the feeling of our local natural beauty.”


"A Whale of a View, Two Parks in One" is a pastel work depicting Tyrrell Park and Seabright Beach by Ann Thiermann.

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, 1305 East Cliff Drive, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting people with nature and inspiring stewardship of the natural world. Founded on the collection of naturalist Laura Hecox, it is the oldest public museum in Santa Cruz, dating back to the early 1900s. The museum features educational, hands-on exhibits for children, families and adults.

“I wanted a project to be dedicated to my dad, David Ian Thiermann (1918-2017), who died a week before he turned 99,” Thiermann said. “It is in memory of my father.”

The book, “Pathways Through Our Parks; Paintings of Parks in Santa Cruz County” will be available at the exhibit.

Thiermann said she will also take part in the upcoming annual Open Studio Art Tours. Her works will be on exhibit and for sale at her studio Oct 6-7 and 20-21 at 662 Cathedral Drive, which is just up the hill from the Aptos Post Office.

Video News
More In Local News