Seven Directions Institute of Art & Science
303 Potrero St., Suite 7A
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

PH: (831) 713-9392

Twitter Facebook Email Blog

About Us

Philosophy

Each person has a unique vision to share. The wide range of artistic opportunities available at Seven Directions Institute help students realize their creative potential. Kids and adults have at their disposal a wide variety of artist-grade materials and tools to explore their wonder and creativity. Instruction at SDI emphasizes the development of self-esteem through meaningful self-expression. Art and science skills and concepts are thoughtfully melded with a genuine respect for each student’s creative spirit.

About Our Name

Around the world, many cultures recognize seven directions: East, South, West, North, Above, Below, and Within. Artistic endeavor can lead us to a greater awareness of ourselves and the world around us. Our studio offers many directions for students to explore themselves and their worlds to achieve this awareness and share their own artistic creations.

Our Facility

Our 2000 sq ft studio is filled with natural light and live plants, and is equipped with artist grade materials.

Seven Directions is centrally located at the Old Sash Mill, between northern and southern Santa Cruz communities. Our 2000 sq. ft. studio is equipped with artist-grade materials and tools for students to use, including stretched canvasses, acrylic paints, mixed media, a variety of professional-quality digital cameras, high definition video cameras, green screens and lighting equipment along with unparalleled digital arts workstations.

Highlights Include:

Live Animals Live Animals
Seven Directions has over 30 different live animals to inspire creativity in the pursuit of art and science. By observing real animals, students become more absorbed in their work while studying the amazing detail a living, breathing creature provides. Creativity brought to life! Observing and interacting with live animals in a nurturing setting like Seven Directions also helps develop feelings of empathy and connection to the natural world.

Realistic 3D models Realistic 3D models
Our extensive collections of hundreds of 3D models includes mythical creatures, animals, flowers, sports figurines and much more. By drawing, painting and sculpting from 3D models, students learn shape and proportion in a powerful way that is not available solely from pictures.

Library Library
Seven Directions has a collection of well over 500 art and science books which students use to inform their creative inquiry.

Digital Art Digital Art
Our digital arts workstations are cutting edge. Eight workstations are equipped with drawing tables and Tablet PC Computers. Students have the option of using Corel Painter XI, Art Rage or Adobe Photoshop. All computers are networked so students are able to save and print their artwork. The studio is equipped with high speed wireless internet so students can set up their station anywhere in the studio. We also have a new printing, matting and laminating station so students are able to create their projects start to finish with ease.

Traditional Media Traditional Media
Traditional materials are still the cornerstone of a good creative arts program. At Seven Directions, students work with pencil, charcoal, water color, acrylics, clay and mixed media materials to develop their art making skills.

Our Instructors

Kyle Vasquez

she/her

Kyle is the proud owner and director of Seven Directions! Kyle has Kyle Vasquezbeen working with children for over twenty years in a wide variety of formats including: Art teacher, preschool teacher, nature educator, youth theater director, dance instructor and mindfulness instructor. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education with specialization certificates in Anti-Bias Education, Literacy Development, Working with Children with Special Needs & Curriculum Development. She is also an artist and a muralist, a professional makeup artist, a Certified Meditation Instructor and has led workshops and presented at conferences around the central coast on the subjects of mindfulness, children's literature, peace education, social justice and conflict resolution. 

Kyle's approach to teaching is based on an interactive, play-based education style, and is deeply influenced by Reggio Emilia teaching philosophy, which is based on the idea that art is the best way for children to communicate their understanding of the world around them. She is passionate about helping kids develop a love of learning and believes that social & emotional development are equally as important as academics. Kyle currently teaches at NBOG forest school program and is deeply connected to the Santa Cruz homeschool community after homeschooling her son since 6th grade.

Haylee Trowbridge

they/she

Haylee is a Santa Cruz born and raised local. She grew up with alternative education through independent studies and being involved with the Santa Cruz community through art and theatre.They hold an Associate Degrees in Studio Art and Liberal Arts from Cabrillo College. Haylee held the position of Demo Arts Coordinator, Lead Artist and head Painting Instructor at Palace Art and Office Supply for five years and has thoroughly enjoyed working multiple summers at Seven Directions.

Haylee has traveled to twelve different countries in the last two years including living in Australia for three months and also traveling all over Europe and South America. They are an artist with a special love for illustration, animal and fantasy art, as well as storytelling, music, and really anything creative they can get their hands on. She has held private classes for both youth and adults and is passionate in the pursuit of bringing out creative spark in all their students.


Margaret Hawkins

they/she

Margaret grew up locally in San Mateo county. In 2017
they graduated Margaret Hawkins from Sonoma State University with a BA in Creative Writing. Through coincidence they found their passion in education and ever since they have been on a mission to help expand the minds of the youth using Jon Young's Coyote Mentoring technique. When not at work you can find Margaret outside under some redwood trees or with their feet in a tide pool.