Beth Tobey

Monster of Monterey Surfaces in Santa Cruz!

Beth Tobey @ 6/10/2016

The Monster of Monterey, recently installed at the north end of Pacific Street, is inspired by reports of a Loch Ness type monster in the Monterey Bay which later washed ashore in the 1920s. Artist Arnold Martin’s work was selected because “It seemed particularly fitting for Santa Cruz mixing technology and biology in a humorous piece that is ‘pretty far out!’” says City Arts Manager, Beth Tobey.

The Monster of Monterey Bay (also called the Monster of Santa Cruz) washed up on Moore beach in 1925. Most reports support the idea that the animal had a long neck (possibly around twenty feet) and a tail (around three feet). Also at least three different reports compared the front of its head to a duck’s bill.

"Plesiosauria Colomba domestica is inspired by the history, places and myths of Monterey Bay. Its humorous construction is taken from the 20th century stories of sea monsters found washed ashore. Its body is a larger than life pigeon skeleton combined with the tail, flippers and skull of a Plesiosaur suspended from the long boom of a luffing crane common to docks and ports. The sculpture is a hybrid built from disparate pieces just as myths are constructed from memories of everyday and unexplained experiences, fishing stories, and tall tales.”

— Arnold Martin, artist

A dedication celebration will be held later this summer in conjunction with another new bronze and glass sculpture by Sean. M. Monaghan to be installed in front of New Leaf Market. Details to be determined.

Since 2008, the City of Santa Cruz has proudly presented sculpTOUR- a rotating collection of sculptures throughout downtown. The City has enjoyed marching penguins, rocky dogs, and an assortment of kinetic and interactive works. There are currently six locations for these temporary works of art, which may expand in the future. See the City Arts website for more information at

All the sculptures in the sculpTOUR program are on loan and for sale. For purchase information contact City Arts at 831-420-5154. For more information about the artists, see his website “Absurd Realities” at