Every once in a while, in the course of an interview, someone will say one thing that that embodies their heart and soul. Linda Cover did just that when she told me, “I love working with children, they are the souls of our universe.”
In one poetic line, Linda Cover managed to illustrate her passion, reverence, and deep dedication to the next generation.
For her work with children and contributions to the local arts scene – through her students’ work as well as her personal work – Santa Cruz Socialites is honored to introduce you to Linda Cover, our Woman of the Week!
Linda Cover fell in love with Santa Cruz over 40 years ago after having grown up in the suburbs of New York City. In her 20s – and convinced that NYC wasn’t the center of the universe – Linda decided to “meander cross country” on her motorcycle. Eventually she found her way to Santa Cruz and fell in love with the Redwoods. She has been here ever since.
Living in Santa Cruz County, Cover is surrounded by inspiration and loves to work in and with the local community. Cover shares that she has always felt connected to the natural world, “whether it is the ancient forests and quiet springs or plants and bugs that find their way into the cracks of the urban landscape.”
That connection is sacred to her, and she has taken it upon herself to share that sense of wonder and magic with the children of Santa Cruz County. Currently, Cover teaches across the county as a SPECTRA artist in the public schools as well as through her own studio, Watershed Arts Studio, located at the Tannery Arts Center.
“At this time in my life, I am now the teacher who is passing on the knowledge I have gained from the many kinds of elders I have been fortunate to be with in my lifetime,” she said. To that end, Cover created a popular summer program for children from the ages of 6 -13 called Camp Tannery Art.
Each summer for the past several years “[the] artists who live and work here at the Tannery share their art expertise with the students. It is a marvelous taste of art genres from poetry to drumming, painting to dance,” she explained. Many of Linda’s students participate in local exhibits and events and have also won national and international acclaim for their work. Linda’s work with students earned her the 2007 River of Words Teacher of the Year, and the Su Job Award for Education in 2014.
Cover is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the local natural environment and clearly believes in passing that respect on to her students. “I believe in the ripple effect,” she says, “starting in my own backyard.” Her students regularly join her on monthly Riverwalk clean-ups and take part in other opportunities to better our community neighborhoods and parks as well.
Linda fills what time she has away from teaching by visiting her daughter in Thailand and creating her own art work. “I devote whatever little pockets of time I can gather to documenting the world around me in patterns, reflections, and interactions, through photography, printing and encaustic wax. Creating art gives me great joy and peace,” she shared.
Cover made her Open Studios debut last year and over the years her work has ranged from “video production to photography, collage to doodles, and murals to trash art” she says. Currently, she specializes in nature photos enhanced with materials like orange oil, pastels and charcoal. The final product is often stunning and evokes the vibrancy of the natural world.
For all she has done to improve our natural world – from the shores of the San Lorenzo River to the desks of young students in South County – Please join me in thanking Linda for fostering the growth of our next generation of artists!
Animal Art classes are available at the Watershed Art Studio every Tues. & Thurs. 4-5:30. This is a drop-in class ($10) for kids 5-13, students learn about and draw animals in our back yards and around the world, and the unique habitats and landscapes they call home.