About the Project

This website provides a guide to Collective Museum, an innovative exhibition spread across the UC Santa Cruz campus. Collective Museum was created by the Portland-based art group, Public Doors and Windows (PDW) for the UCSC Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS). It spans the university’s 2001 acres and, as the artists explain, transforms the university into “one of the largest museums in the world.”

To re-envision the university as a museum, the artists, Nolan Calisch, Harrell Fletcher, and Molly Sherman, collected stories from faculty, staff, students, and alumni about 50 sites on campus. They include sites of academic and personal experiences of students, staff, and faculty and natural sites such as the mysterious mima mounds on the southwest of the campus.

This website will help you find these sites through its GPS enabled mapping. It also includes audio and text interviews with the participants, portraits of them, and additional photographs about each site. Together, these materials provide a unique window into the life and history of UC Santa Cruz.

We invite you to visit the Collective Museum and to enjoy the sites and voices assembled by Public Doors and Windows. And we invite you to imagine what other locations, memories, or artifacts you would add to this imaginative museum’s collection.

The catalogue is available here.

About the Artists

Public Doors and Windows (PDW) is a Portland-based collaborative artist group consisting of Harrell Fletcher, Molly Sherman, and Nolan Calisch. The artists share a commitment to art based in social practice and find inspiration for their distinctive approach to art making in farming and community supported agriculture. As the artists explain, small-scale farming provides them with “a conceptual model for socially engaged art that is cooperative and engages with issues of social justice.”

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences invited PDW to do a site-specific work at UC Santa Cruz based on this shared mode of practice. UC Santa Cruz has been home to a thriving organic farm since 1972: the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (the UCSC Farm.) Harrell Fletcher completed the apprenticeship program at the UCSC Farm in 1995.

Fletcher’s work has been shown and collected at institutions nationally and internationally, including SFMoMA, New Museum, MoMA, Tate Modern in London, and National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. He was a participant in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. From 2002 to 2009, Fletcher co-produced Learning To Love You More, a participatory website with filmmaker/artist/author Miranda July, a UCSC alumna. Fletcher is Professor of Art and Social Practice at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.

Molly Sherman is an artist and graphic designer. Nolan Calisch is an artist, photographer, and farmer. Sherman and Calisch share a collaborative art practice called Farm School. Their work has been shown at Centre Pompidou, the Matisse Museum, New Seasons Market, the Portland Art Museum, Portland State University, and the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art.


Institute of the Arts and Sciences
University of California Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

(831) 502-7252

Site Credits and Thanks