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Join Creative Ecology Artist David Tomb in the Gallery

What does the creative process actually look like? Artist David Tomb invites members of the community to find out as he creates colorful dioramas of birds, grasses, and marsh with a diverse range of materials during the second phase of his Creative Ecology residency in February and March.

Tomb, whose in-the-gallery residency takes place Feb. 6 and 25, as well as March 5 and 19, from noon-4 p.m., says that the motivation for his work is unique; unlike many bird artists, he also finds inspiration in modern and contemporary artists. “For me, it isn’t about creating a realistic likeness of a bird, it is about creating a satisfying work of art,” he says.

Visitors to the Art Center during Tomb’s residency will also have the chance to sketch bird-related images using mounted birds from the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo for inspiration.

During the in-the-field portion of his residency in January, community members on went on bird walks in the Palo Alto Baylands with Tomb and sketched bird mounts and learned about the King Tides. This process mirrors his work, in which he observes live birds in their natural territory, and then draws from mounted birds and bird skins in museum collections. Also at the Baylands, participants were given the opportunity to add to a diorama created by Tomb, in which their drawings augmented an installation of birds, grasses, and marsh created by Tomb.

His 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. There will be four separate artist residencies as part of Creative Ecology.

Each artist residency is divided into three unique phases. The first phase takes place in the field at a local open space preserve and engages different community groups and the public in a range of activities. During the second phase of each residency, artists take inspiration from their time in-the-field, creating new work on-site at the Art Center. The third phase of the residency will culminate with their artwork presented in an exhibition with related programming.    

An exhibition, King Tides and Elusive Rails, featuring the artwork created by Tomb during his in-the-gallery residency, will be on display April 26-July 3. An exhibition walk-through and reception with the artist will be held on April 29, 7-8 p.m. Tomb will also be presenting a free public lecture June 9, 7 p.m., at the Art Center.

Last Updated February 3, 2016