Upcoming Exhibitions


June 25-August 20, 2022

 RESTART logo in dark blue capital letters with a light-blue swish under the letters

How can we restart and rebuild after the pandemic and the related personal and community crises? Now more than ever, we crave opportunities for healing, connection, and restoration. And we acknowledge the vital power of art as a tool for promoting resilience, hope, and renewal. 

RESTART showcases how art can promote healing and restoration. The first juried exhibition in more than a decade at the Palo Alto Art Center, this exhibition continues themes explored earlier in the year with the exhibition Creative Attention: Art and Community Restoration (on view January 21-May 21, 2022). The exhibition includes work in a wide range of media by artists from throughout Northern California. 

RESTART’s juror is Patricia Hickson, the Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Hickson oversees the post-war and contemporary art collection and acquisitions, organizes special exhibitions, and leads the MATRIX program, a series of changing exhibitions of contemporary art. Her thirty-plus MATRIX projects—three per year—have featured an international roster of artists. Hickson reflects, “What a delight it has been to serve as the juror for Palo Alto Art Center’s RESTART exhibition, which has reconnected me to the Bay Area’s distinctive contemporary art scene since working at the San Jose Museum of Art twenty years ago. In addition, the show’s relevant and timely theme—the transformative power of art during challenging times—serves to illustrate humanity’s strength, connection, and engagement through the visual arts.” 


Heidi Alonzo Fiorenza Gorini   Melissa Mahoney
Ric Ambrose   Ricky Gumbrecht Erin McCluskey Wheeler 
Janis Anton Ellen Gust Zoe Mosko
Erica Barajas Michael Hall Mundi
Katya Bloshkina Charlotta Hauksdottir    Beril Or
Shirley Bunger Alexis Javellana Hill
Kaytea Petro
Brian Corral Joyce Hsu Ferris Plock
Valerie Corvin Peter Ivanoff
Misty Potter
Daisy Crane
Laura Johnston
Priyanka Rana
Adrienne Defendi Sarah Klein
Alexander Rohrig
John Eames Sammy Koh
Miki Shim and Lance Rutter
Donna Fenstermaker   Danym Kwon Dennis Sopczynski
Patrick Fenton Matthaus Lam
Nina Temple
Janey Fritsche Charles Lee Badri Valian
  Kristin Lindseth


Climate Connections exhibition series

Academic Year 2022-23

Aligning with the City of Palo Alto Council’s current-year priority on climate change, Climate Connections presents a year-long series of exhibitions and public programs showcasing the role of art, creativity, and cultural institutions in creating opportunities for education and inspiration on the topic of climate action.

Fire Transforms

September 17-December 10, 2022

In recent years, “megafires” in California have transformed our lives and our landscapes. “Fire season” used to mean a predictable annual period of hot, dry weather, low humidity, and brown hillsides, from August to November, when fire danger was historically highest. Now, fire season can start in early spring and keep burning into the new year. We may feel puzzled and afraid, struck with “climate fatigue,” an underlying feeling of dread that the endless cycle of wildfires will never end. This connects us to bigger pictures of environmental change around the world. How can we transform our fear, sadness, anger, and confusion into comfort and clarity?

Thankfully, we have artists to help us explore, reflect, and try to make sense of these new realities. In Fire Transforms, artists creating a wide range of work nudge us into new ways of “seeing” fire. Photographers face wildfire directly, revealing the flames up-close, or the detailed remains of a burned home. In weavings, drawings, and sculptures, artists show how science can calm us with knowledge. In miniature scenes in tiny suitcases, we learn how firefighters fight and prevent fires. In paintings of nature’s comeback, we see how black changes to green over time. In architectural drawings, house plans present options for rebuilding destroyed neighborhoods and towns. And in fire-hued abstractions, in paper and wire mesh screens, and in paintings of Native American fire dances, fire becomes a creative tool for reflection and beauty. All these artists engage curiosity, wonder, and attention acknowledging how fire’s transformative power works through its cycles of destruction and creativity.

This exhibition will be guest curated by Rina C. Faletti, founding curator of Art Responds. 

I Am Water

January 21-April 8, 2023

Up to 60% of the human body is water, with the brain and heart composed of 73% water. This precious liquid is finite and is us. We are water. I Am Water explores this topic through the work of approximately ten artists from California and beyond. Artists include Bay Area-based Linda Gass, who creates painted textiles that document her relationship to the landscape around her, particularly on waterways; New Mexico-based Basia Irland, who has dedicated more than forty years to art that addresses the preciousness of water, rivers, and watersheds; and Ohio-based John Sabraw, who collaborates with engineers and watershed experts to remediate polluted streams and creates luminous paintings made with iron oxides from acid-mine drainage.

The exhibition will be curated by Patricia Watts, founder and curator of ecoartspace, a platform for artists addressing environmental issues for more than two decades. Watts has curated three water exhibitions in California and in 2021 curated eleven water-focused artworks on billboards in Brooklyn, New York. 

Cultural Kaleidoscope and Youth Art

April 29-May 27, 2023

Our annual showcase of youth creativity features artwork by students of all ages in Palo Alto Unified School District as well as artwork created in the Art Center’s artist-in-the-schools program, Cultural Kaleidoscope.


Summer 2023

This juried exhibition will feature work in a wide range of media inspired by the earth and environment, promoting climate action. 

Advance Exhibition Schedule

To learn more about our upcoming exhibitions, view our advance exhibition schedule(PDF, 240KB)