Wes Modes is a Santa Cruz artist focused on social practice, sculpture, performance and new media work. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the Digital Art and New Media program at the University of California Santa Cruz. He has exhibited his art and performed regionally since 1996. In other lives, he is a high-tech runaway, writer, community organizer, geek, and mischief-maker.
Wes works at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History as an artist, artistic collaborator, organizer, and now Guest Curator and Exhibition Catalyst. He serves on the MAH’s Creative Community Commission. He has served on the non-profit boards of KUSP public radio, the Santa Cruz Hub For Sustainable Living, and the Revolutionary Garden Society. He has served as a grant reviewer for the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County.
Wes is an educator with decades of teaching experience. He currently is a senior instructor with HackBright Academy in San Francisco and lecturer at UC Santa Cruz. He has taught more than thirty classes at Free Skool Santa Cruz, a project he helped form.
Wes worked in the tech industry for 25 years as a software engineer, systems administrator, and systems architect. His computer systems work includes Silicon Graphics, Adobe, and UCSC, serving as the primary systems architect of the Grateful Dead Archive Online.
Wes’ favorite places are the Muni tunnels, the metal scrap heap at the dump, the China Basin wastelands, old military bases, abandoned old houses, ancient antique stores, urban desolation, the magic places where anything can happen.
Wes lives in Felton, a village in the hills above Santa Cruz, California, in a little cabin he’s been fixing up since 2002.
For more than thirty years of art, community organizing, teaching, technology, and adventure, take a look at the Overview. For a behind-the-scenes look at current art projects in the works, see Recent Work or check out Modes’ blog Inspiration Comes In the Night.