First Friday Santa Cruz



Jason Cohen

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I started painting in the late 90’s while a freshman student of philosophy at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. I left after only a few semesters there, when a Dean informed me that that the “A” I was getting in Painting class would not be enough to counterbalance the four “F’s” I was about to get in other courses.

Since then I have lived (and painted) in many places, including: New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco; New Orleans, Colorado, Paris and Prague.

Eventually, I went back to school, and earned a degree in Creative Writing from the University of California in Santa Cruz, where I currently live. After studying writing, I took a couple of years off from visual art to write a novel about jellyfish, immortality and the end of the world. It has not yet found a publisher.

In 2022, I went through a health crisis, which helped me to realign my priorities. I made a vow to myself, post surgery, to start oil painting again.
Upon receiving a post-op clean bill of health (phew), I joined an art collective in downtown Santa Cruz, full of wonderful young talented artists, called The Vision Sanctuary, and got to work.

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