Cultural Kaleidoscope

Exhibition dates: April 29-May 28, 2017
Opening Celebration: Wednesday, May 3, 4:30-7 p.m. Remarks at 6 p.m.

Cultural Kaleidoscope (CK) is a unique artists-in-the-schools program that links Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park, building bridges through the arts. Moving beyond traditional classroom instruction, CK provides engaging cross-cultural experiences in an integrative visual arts environment. K-5 classrooms from Palo Alto Unified School District and Ravenswood City School District are partnered and connections are fostered between students from diverse backgrounds. Together, these students see works of art during field trips to local museums and make art under the guidance of professional artists. These classes correspond with each other throughout the program, developing writing skills and friendships in the process.

This year, Cultural Kaleidoscope brought art instruction to an entire grade level at one elementary school in the Ravenswood City School District. For this pilot program, a teaching artist facilitated core curriculum-integrated art making in four second grade classes at Brentwood Elementary. Their Cultural Kaleidoscope experience culminates with a field trip to the Palo Alto Art Center to view their artwork on display.

Cultural Kaleidoscope received a 2015 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education, chosen by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in conjunction with the California Association of Museums.

Youth Art
Exhibition dates: April 29-May 28, 2017
Opening Celebration: Wednesday, May 3, 4:30-7 p.m. Remarks at 6 p.m.

Humans have always told stories. An ancient Paleolithic hand print on a cave wall signals that “someone was here”, and suggests a narrative. Our stories encourage trust and empathy, connecting us to others and promoting understanding.

Storytelling can be accomplished as successfully with images as with words. Visual stories inspire us to see and think in ways that transcend the limitations of language, encouraging multiple meanings and a diverse range of responses. This is a core value of PAUSD Art Education and we are thrilled to share our students’ visual stories with you. Enjoy!

Creative Ecology:
Mari Andrews

March 17-May 21, 2017

Artist Mari Andrews transformed natural materials that might otherwise go unnoticed into wall-sized sculptures for this exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center. “My work is always about the beauty of nature and paying attention to what’s around you, and inspiring people to take better care of nature,” says Andrews. “All of the branches in this exhibition come from trees that dropped them during the series of storms this year.”

Andrews’ effort is part of Creative Ecology: Exploring Our Environment with Art, Science, and the Community, an innovative program promoting appreciation of the natural world through scientific inquiry and the creative process. The effort includes artists, educators, and the larger community, and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and made possible through a partnership between the Palo Alto Art Center and the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo.

Patrick Dougherty: Whiplash


“My affinity for trees as a material seems to come from a childhood spent wandering the forest around Southern Pines, North Carolina. . .When I turned to sculpture as an adult, I was drawn to sticks as a plentiful and renewable resource.”

—Patrick Dougherty

 Whiplash, 2016, by North Carolina Artist Patrick Dougherty was created during a three-week artist residency. His sustainable willow material came from upstate New York, and was shaped in a process similar to basketry, but which the artist describes as akin to drawing. Patrick has created more than 275 monumental, site-specific sculptures on the grounds of museums, universities, botanical gardens, and private residences worldwide. His compelling sculptures evoke woodland architecture or gargantuan nests.

 Whiplash was supported by the Palo Alto Art Center, the Palo Alto Public Art Program, and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, with support from William Reller, Pat Bashaw and Eugene Segre, Catharine and Dan Garber, Barbara Jones, Nicki and Pete Moffat, Nancy Mueller, Anne and Craig Taylor, the Acton Family Fund, and more than 40 community donors to the Foundation’s first crowd funding initiative.


Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017