First Friday Santa Cruz



Jim Potterton

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Jim Potterton is originally from New York, born in Brooklyn and raised on the South Shore of Long Island. As a boy he would wander for hours exploring the local woods and waterways. He reveled in the experience of adventure and discovery in the outdoors. Jim often entertained himself by drawing and doodling in his school notebooks. He attended schools that offered no formal art classes, so he just drew what he wanted for fun.

In his early thirties, he began a long career as a college psychology professor at San Jose City College.  He took advantage of the college’s art program and enrolled in drawing classes taught by notable Bay Area artists Joe Zirker and Luis Gutierrez.  A sabbatical in 2004-2005 gave him the time to indulge his simmering passion for making art. It was then he began to painting in a serious way. From his home studio on Sims Road Jim produced work that earned him a spot as an Open Studios artist beginning in 2006 to the present. His work has won awards in major painting competitions in the San Francisco Bay Area and in New York City. He recently completed a piece of public art as part of the Santa Cruz County Parks “Outside the Box” program on the corner of Sims and Graham Hill Roads in Santa Cruz County. The work celebrates the endangered Santa Cruz Tarplant that grows in a nearby meadow. Jim is married to Maria Elena Mattioli who teaches psychology and expressive arts in Bay Area graduate schools.

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