Join us this Winter for an exhibition that explores the creative potential and artistic possibilities of graphite. Transcending the potential of the medium of drawings alone, the exhibition showcases new applications of graphite as a material of drawing, painting, sculpture, and installation. Eight artists will be included, among them Chris Sicat (San Jose), who covers tree branches and stumps completely with graphite, and artists such as Kevin Chen (San Francisco), who creates drawings so small that a magnifying glass is required to view their intricate details.
Pencils Down Associated Programs
Life/Drawing: A Conversation with the Artists
Moderated by Special Guest, Independent Curator and Writer Christian L. Frock
Saturday, March 8, 4 p.m. Palo Alto Art Center, Meeting Room Join exhibiting artists Libby Black, Kevin Chen, Francesca Pastine, and Chris Sicat for a public conversation with Christian L. Frock and gain insight into their lives and work.
Small Art & Small Bites: An evening with Exhibiting Artist Dalton Ghetti
Thursday, March 27, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Palo Alto Art Center, Lobby Join us and be inspired by how Dalton Ghetti transforms ordinary pencils he finds on the street into extraordinary, miniature works of art!
From Ingres and Cézanne to Hockney and Sol LeWitt: Artists Working in Graphite
A presentation by Curator Emerita of Prints and Drawings at the Cantor Arts Center, Betsy G. Fryberger
Wednesday, April 2, 6:30 p.m. Palo Alto Art Center, Meeting Room Join Betsy G. Fryberger as she sheds light on earlier artistic uses of the indispensable pencil, presenting sketchbooks and slides of more formal works of art.
Double Take by Patrick Dougherty: A site-specific installation
January 2011 -
Patrick Dougherty and detail of Ruaille Buaille (Hijinx) 2008, Parklands in County Offaly, Ireland. Photo: James Fraher
The Palo Alto Art Center is honored to present a monumental, site-specific installation by Patrick Dougherty, one of the nation’s most prominent environmental sculptors. The public may view the artist’s creative process during his three week artist residency, January 11- 28, 2011, on the grounds of the Palo Alto Art Center.
Identified as the Jackson Pollock of saplings by art critic John Perreault, Patrick Dougherty is a process-oriented artist whose lyrical, organic works are created specifically for each site. Made from local and renewable willow saplings, his works embody natural life cycles, changing over time as the sticks settle and decay, eventually returning to the earth from which they grew. Dougherty has created over 200 monumental site-specific installations on the grounds of major museums, universities, botanical gardens, and private residences worldwide. The resulting works evoke a wide array of natural forms, ranging from nests to objects with a transparent architecture, like woodland dwellings, or basketry.
Environmental sensitivity is a major concern for the artist. Saplings are gathered from maintained sources so that the branches grow back to make new sticks for future uses. Dougherty does not use any artificial supports in his constructions because the inherent properties of saplings cause them to snag and entangle easily.
While there is a signature quality to his work, each of his compelling sculptures relates specifically to the physical site in a unique way. Dougherty believes that ideas percolate at the actual venue and that “the success of a piece lies in capturing the essence of a place and then playing with what you make of that essence.” Unlike other sculptors, he initially conceives of his work by making a series of word associations on both the physical and social qualities of a site. He is conscious of drawing in space, as he weaves sticks with lighter and darker colors and varying widths and lengths.
This project is commissioned by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation and co-sponsored by the Palo Alto Public Art Commission. It is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.