“Artists were among the first individuals to bring the beauty and value of the Watsonville Wetlands to the attention of the general public. This began with plein air painting sessions on and overlooking the wetland sites, followed by exhibitions in various venues in Watsonville and other locales.”
As quoted from the Watsonville Wetlands Watch History Journal
Kay Metz, painter and printmaker, was instrumental to these efforts, dedicating her passion and talents to raising awareness about the unique beauty and fragile wetland environments undergoing transformation during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. In addition to her work as an artist, Kay served on WWW’s Board of Directors, worked to archive its history, was instrumental in publishing our book, Watching the Watsonville Wetlands, and was a dedicated and skilled champion of the Pajaro Valley’s wetlands.
Kathryn (Kay) Metz, was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1932. She received her BFA from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and her MA from the University of California, Los Angeles. Between 1966 and 1967, she studied at Atelier 17 in Paris under the auspices of the College Art Study Abroad, American Center for Students and Artists, and then with Robert Blackburn in New York. After teaching at several well regarded art institutions she was hired in 1971 to teach printmaking at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is now Professor Emerita after retiring in 1992.
Kay has exhibited extensively, participating in numerous group and solo exhibitions internationally. Her work earned her residence grants at the Huntington Hartford Foundation, Pacific Palisades in 1965 and the MacDowell Colony residence fellowship in 1966-1967. Her works are held in numerous collections, including the New York Public Library; the Library of Congress; the Fresno Art Museum; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chamaliers, France; Grunwald Graphic Arts Foundation, University of California, Los Angeles; and Special Collections, McHenry Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Kay was a generous and much loved supporter of Watsonville Wetlands Watch. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Kay Metz died in Santa Cruz, California on September 27, 2018.