Paz de la Calzada


An abstract wall painting in shades of greens and beige and with a root-like drawing on the wall of the gallery  

El Palo Alto Medicine, 2022. Site-specific mural. Courtesy of the artist.

A vitrine with bottles of tinctures and a jar with redwood leaves, a sketch notebook, charcoal, an old photograph of El Palo Alto, and a printed poem on a postcard

El Palo Alto Medicine, 2022. Redwood tea and tincture. Related Objects. Courtesy of the artist.

Embodied in this project is the city of Palo Alto, its communities, their stories, and its ecology. It is inspired by the story of El Palo Alto, the oldest redwood tree in the area and the one that gives the city its name. In collaboration with local community garden members, Paz de la Calzada created herbal remedies using the leaves from this legendary, ancient, and iconic redwood tree, and from plants and herbs around the Palo Alto Art Center. An extraction of the pigments was used to paint the mural in the gallery. 

This project highlights the connection between plants and human life and the role that community gardens have in enhancing the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of a community. 

About the Artist

Paz de la Calzada was born in Spain and received a BFA at the University of Salamanca and her MFA at UNAM, Mexico City. She came to the Bay Area in 2003 as an Artist in Residence at Djerassi. Her public art project The Nomadic Labyrinth was a recipient of the Cultural Equity Grant by the SF Arts Commission. Her work has been shown at the De Young Museum, YBCA, San Jose Museum of Art, the Fundacion Caixa Galicia in Spain, and the Leon Trotsky Museum in Mexico City.

Interview with the Artist