Mary Holmes Festival Events (2014)

UCSC Living Writers Series: From Scotland to Caravaggio

Thursday, April 17, 2014 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

UCSC Living Writers Series: From Scotland to Caravaggio: Poetry Reading

with Annie Boutelle

Humanities Lecture Hall

Poet Annie Boutelle, a relative of Mary Holmes, was born and raised in Scotland, is a Senior Lecturer in English Language and Literature at Smith College, and founder of the Smith College Poetry Center. She was a finalist for the 1999 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, the 2000 Katheryn Morton Award, and the 2002 Philip Levine Prize. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals and magazines, including Poetry, The Hudson Review, The Georgia Review, and The Green Mountains Review. She is the author of Thistle and Rose: A Study of Hugh MacDiarmid’s Poetry, as well as 2 poetry collections, Becoming Bone and Nest of Thistles. Annie lives in Florence, Massachusetts. For more info on Annie Boutelle, please visit her website.

Reception with Annie Boutelle at the Cowell Provost’s House following the reading. Space limited.

Mary Holmes: Artist and Teacher Exhibit Opening

Friday, April 18, 2014 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Mary Holmes: Artist and Teacher Exhibit Opening

with Joan Blackmer, Curator

Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery.

A collection of Mary Holmes’ works will be on display at the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery.

Dedication of Mary Holmes Fireside Lounge

Friday, April 18, 2014 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

with Chancellor George Blumenthal

Cowell College Fireside Lounge

Current UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal will perform a ribbon cutting for the newly renovated student lounge at Cowell College, home to Mary Holmes’ mural, Return of Aquarius.

Gallery Talk about Mary Holmes

Friday, April 18, 2014 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm

with Coeleen Kiebert

Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery

Faculty Panel: Remembering Mary Holmes

Saturday, April 26, 2014 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Faculty Panel: Remembering Mary Holmes

with Jim Bierman, Paul Lee, John Dizikes & UCSC Alumni

Page Smith Library

This event is a part of the UCSC Alumni Weekend, but all are welcome to attend. Our speakers will reflect on the life and legacy of Mary Holmes, her impact in forming Cowell College and her spirit that lives on so vividly in our community at UCSC and in Santa Cruz. We are happy to have a wonderful panel of some of Mary Holmes’ closest friends and colleagues from her time here at UCSC.

Featuring speakers: Jim Bierman, UCSC Digital Arts Professor, crucial contributor to UCSC will join other founding faculty to speak about the lasting impression of Mary Holmes; Paul Lee, Colleague of Mary Holme who played a crucial role in founding UCSC’s Chadwick Garden. He remembers the early days of Cowell, riding horses to work with Mary Holmes; John Dizikes, colleague of Mary Holmes and Professor Emeritus of American Studies at UCSC, served as Cowell College Provost, is author of numerous articles and four books. John won the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award for “Opera in America: A Cultural History” and UCSC alumni.

Cowell Brunch

Sunday, April 27, 2014 10:00 am – 11:45 am

Cowell Brunch

with Cowell College Provost Faye Crosby

Cowell Provost House

Please join us for a free brunch welcoming all Cowell alumni and friends. This is an opportunity to gather on the lawn of the beautiful Cowell Provost House, enjoy the company of the Cowell community, reminisce with alumni, and mingle while reveling in the breathtaking views of the Monterey Bay.

Dizikes Concert: Europa & the Bull

Sunday, April 27, 2014 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Dizikes Concert: Europa & the Bull

with Music by Peter Josheff, Libretto by Eliza O’Malley and Peter Josheff

Mary Holmes Fireside Lounge

The world premiere of a chamber oratorio inspired by the paintings of Mary Holmes, based on the Greek myth as told by Ovid and Moschus. Europa, a Phoenician princess, awakens from a fearful dream in which she finds herself pulled between two women. One of them, possibly her mother, begs Europa to stay with her. The other beckons Europa to leave her home for a foreign land. She finds herself gently persuaded by the second woman, but wonders why she would ever leave the family she loves. Putting aside her cares, she goes down to the beach to gather flowers and play with her friends.Unwittingly she catches the fancy of Zeus who lurks nearby.  He shamelessly intimates himself into the girls’ inner circle disguised as a gentle bull.  The adventure begins….


Eliza O’Malley, Soprano

Granddaughter to Mary Holmes, soprano Eliza O’Malley performs in opera and recital throughout Northern California. Recent roles include Gilda (Rigoletto), Violetta (Traviata), Leonora (Trovatore) and Norma. Opera companies include Verismo Opera, Bayshore Lyric Opera, and SF Cabaret Opera.

Brian Thorsett, Tenor

Tenor Brian Thorsett has performed over 90 diverse operatic roles and fosters a repertoire of more than 200 works. He is a graduate of SF Opera’s Merola Program. Brian is on the faculty at Santa Clara University, where he directs, conducts and teaches.

Jonathan Khuner, Conductor

Jonathan Khuner is assistant conductor for San Francisco Opera, NY Metropolitan Opera, and Chicago Lyric Opera, and is Music Director for Berkeley West Edge Opera. He has assisted in operas by many living composers, including John Eaton and John Harbison. Other groups for whom he has conducted new works include American Opera Project, Composers Inc, Earplay, and Sonic Harvest.

with the Sonic Harvest Players: Peter Josheff, Clarinet; Dan Flanagan, Violin; Victoria Ehrlich, Cello; William Everett, Double Bass

Peter Josheff is a composer and clarinetist based in the SF Bay Area. He is a founding member of Sonic Harvest and of Earplay, and also a member of SF Contemporary Music Players, Empyrean Ensemble, and Eco Ensemble. He has performed with many groups including the Paul Dresher Ensemble, Melody of China, Composers, Inc., and SF Sound.

Concert followed by a remembrance in the Cowell Courtyard where attendees are encouraged to share memories.

Painting as a Tradition of Seeing into the Heart of Life: a Tribute to Mary Holmes

Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Painting as a Tradition of Seeing into the Heart of Life: a Tribute to Mary Holmes

with Rosalind G. Wholden

the Cowell Conference Room (132)

Rosalind G. Wholden, Lecturer-in-Art Emerita, taught at the College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, where she developed a curriculum combining art, literature, mythology and Jung’s alchemical writings. Mary Holmes knew Rosalind Wholden as a student, colleague and friend for 50 years.

Woman’s Mysteries

Thursday, May 8, 2014 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

with Rosalind G. Wholden

Cowell Provost’s House

Rosalind will discuss Mary Holmes and present on Mary’s 4 paintings in The Lady Chapel in an intimate setting, on what would have been Mary’s 104th birthday, May 8, 2014.

Tour of Mary Holmes Studio & Chapel

Sunday, May 11, 2014 All Day

with Mary Holmes’ family

Mary Holmes’ studio and the chapel she designed and built at her home will be open for guests on Sunday, May 11 by reservation only. Information regarding transportation arrangements will be sent to the email address used when submitting your reservation.

Mary Holmes as an Artist

Thursday, May 15, 2014 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Mary Holmes as an Artist

with Coeleen Kiebert

Cowell Provost House

Local Santa Cruz artist Coeleen Kiebert will reflect on the art of Mary Holmes. Coeleen is a renowned artist who works out of her private studio creating works of ceramic and bronze. Coeleen teaches ceramic sculpture through University of California Extension Division, Santa Cruz. She is also author of All of a Sudden: The Creative Process. There will be a light dinner served at the event.

Mary Holmes as Family

Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Mary Holmes as Family

with Becky & Michael O’Malley

Cowell Provost House

Family history often shapes lives.

In 1651, Obadiah Holmes was horsewhipped in Boston because of his beliefs and stubbornness.  When his descendant, Mary’s grandfather Holmes, was looking for a wife in the 1860s, he went to the Ohio successor to the Seneca Falls women’s suffrage convention, where he found Sara Stratton (Holmes), whose obituary described her as “a lady abolitionist and classical scholar.”

Mary’s father, born in 1869, was a lifelong abolitionist Republican and a lapsed Quaker free thinker who followed the frontier from New Jersey to Ohio to Iowa to South Dakota, ultimately ending in California.  At the turn of the 20th  century, his cousin Jesse “Ducky”  Holmes, professor at Swarthmore College, was a frequent Socialist candidate for national office and a force in leading the Quakers back toward their historic social activism.

Mary’s mother, on the other hand, was a southern lady, a firm Democrat, an Episcopalian and a Montessori mother.  No wonder that Mary often spoke of herself as “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.”

As a single mother with no more credentials than an undergraduate philosophy degree from a small women’s college and a studio art MFA degree, no interest in publication and a confrontational personality, Mary Holmes nevertheless made her way in the highly competitive academic world.  Rarely the favorite of her peers, she ended her career as a full professor at UCSC.  Along the way she taught UC’s first television course for college credit, introduced horror movies on late night television in Columbus, and made art compulsively and continuously, painting from her wheelchair in her last decade.

Her son, Michael Holmes O’Malley, and other family members will share some of the stories handed down through the years about Mary and her remarkable family.  A light dinner will be served at the event.

Mary Holmes and Animals

Thursday, May 29, 2014 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Mary Holmes and Animals

with Rachel O’Malley

Cowell Provost House

One of Mary Holmes’ three granddaughters and a professor of Environmental Studies at SJSU, Rachel O’Malley learned to love and care for animals through her many stays at her grandmother’s ranch in the Santa Cruz mountains.  She will lead a conversation about the influence of Mary’s relationships with animals on her artwork and philosophy, from riding horses to milking goats and making cheese to raising peacocks.

A light dinner will be served at the event. 

Mary Holmes in My Heart

Thursday, June 5, 2014 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Mary Holmes in My Heart

with Addi Somekh

Cowell Provost House

Self-taught balloon artist, author, musician and Cowell alumnus Addi Somekh will talk about the lasting legacy and impact Mary Holmes left on many of the individuals who crossed her path at Cowell College.  A light dinner will be served at the event.