Lectures and Other Public Programs at the Art Center

Upcoming Programs

Friday Night at the Art Center design

Fire Transforms Friday Night at the Art Center Opening Reception—Friday, September 23, 6-8 p.m. FREE
Join us at the Palo Alto Art Center for this special celebration of the Fire Transforms exhibition, curated by Rina C. Faletti, Ph.D. The exhibition, which runs from September 17-December 10, focuses on fire as an issue of climate crisis, with artists who engage curiosity, wonder, and attention toward fire’s transformative power and its realities of destruction, creativity, and beauty.

This free opening reception will include hands-on art activities, a chance to meet the artists and see the exhibition, and a cash bar provided by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation.

RSVP for free today. 

Fire Transforms Friday Night at the Art Center Members' Preview—Friday, September 23, 5-6 p.m. Members Only
Join us at the Palo Alto Art Center for an exclusive preview of the Fire Transforms exhibition for members of the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation. This preview will feature a chance to experience an exhibition walkthrough with guest curator Rina C. Faletti, Ph.D. 
 
Become a member of the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation if you would like to attend this event. 

Virtual Wellness Programs—every Thursday until August 25 at noon. FREE 
Join the Palo Alto Art Center for weekly virtual meditations with stress management consultant Julie Forbes, Ph.D. on Thursdays at noon until August 25. This series is presented in conjunction with Creative Attention: Art and Community Restoration. Register today for free.  

Past Programs

RESTART  Friday Night at the Art Center Opening Reception—Friday, July 1, 6-8 p.m.
The Palo Alto Art Center had a special celebration of the RESTART exhibition, our first juried show in more than a decade! The exhibition, which runs from June 25-August 20, explores the potential of art to promote healing and regeneration, and features work in a wide range of media by 44 artists from Northern California.

Check out our online photo album of the event.

RESTART  Friday Night at the Art Center Members' Preview—Friday, July 1, 5-6 p.m., Members Only
The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation hosted an exclusive preview of the RESTART exhibition, featuring a chance to experience an exhibition walkthrough with juror Patricia Hickson, Emily Tremaine Hall Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Become a member of the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation if you would like to attend future member events. 

Virtual Textile Talk with Alexander Hernandez—Wednesday, April 27, 11 a.m. — Watch the recording
The Palo Alto Art Center co-presented a Textile Talk by Creative Attention artist Alexander Hernandez with the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles and the New Museum Los Gatos. In this hour-long virtual discussion, Hernandez discussed his recent work, highlighting his experimental approach to textiles with non-traditional materials and techniques such as spray paint, found objects, and accentuation of rips, stains, and loose threads.  

Creative Attention Community Day Celebration—Sunday, April 10, noon-4 p.m., in-person
This free community event featured hands-on artmaking, an opportunity to contribute to a lobby mural labyrinth with artist Maia Scott, a drag performance led by Grace Towers, a tea ceremony with artist Paz de la Calzada, and more. 

Arbor Week Celebration—Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., in-person
Attendees celebrated California Arbor Week with the Palo Alto Art Center and Canopy. There were tree walks, a talk by Creative Attention artist Paz de la Calzada about the healing properties of trees, hands-on art activities, Canopy’s Exploration Station, and a special “Stump an Arborist” booth.  

Creative Attention Virtual Artist Residency Conversation with Christine Wong Yap and Marcel Pardo Ariza—Friday, March 4, 5 p.m. — Watch the recording
Our Creative Attention artist residents gave a virtual presentation about their work and their residencies in conjunction with Creative Attention.

Creative Attention Virtual Opening Reception—Friday, January 28, 6:15-8 p.m.  — Watch the recording
Our opening celebration of Creative Attention took place online. It featured a free special celebration of the exhibition, with a virtual walkthrough, a chance to meet and hear from artists in the show, hands-on art activities, and more.

Creative Attention Virtual Members’ Preview—Friday, January 28, 5-6 p.m. —  Watch the recording
Our exclusive preview of the Creative Attention exhibition featured a chance to meet the curator Ann Trinca and to participate in flash talks by Creative Attention artists.

Virtual Special Event Featuring The Art of Disability Culture Artist Sky Cubacub —  Friday, December 3, 1 p.m. 
The Palo Alto Art Center, the Museum of Craft and Design, and the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability presented Cripping Your Fashion, a virtual MakeArt Lab collaboration, in conjunction with The Art of Disability Culture and Mode Brut exhibitions. This free DIY, personalized garment alteration workshop was facilitated by Rebirth Garments founder Sky Cubacub (They/Them/Xe/Xem/Xyr). The event was held in Zoom meeting format so participants could interact with the artist and each other. ASL, live captioning, and audio description were provided. 

The Art of Disability Culture Hybrid Community Day Celebration — Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, noon-4 p.m. — Watch the recordings
Attendees learned about The Art of Disability Culture exhibition in this unique hybrid onsite and online community day celebration. There was an exhibition walkthrough with the curator, art activities, and performances by Northern California’s only stuttering female comedian Nina G, artist Maia Scott, and Bay Area native, African, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, Producer, Choreographer, Actor and Dancer Antoine Hunter.

The Art of Disability Culture Hybrid Friday Night at the Art Center opening reception — Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, 6-8 p.m. — Watch the recordings
The Art Center hosted a hybrid, accessible celebration of The Art of Disability Culture. This event featured in-person and virtual exhibition walkthroughs, a chance to hear from exhibiting artists, hands-on art activities, a spoken word performance by award-winning author Joy Elan, and a specialty cocktail (Reasonable Accommodation) and bar provided by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation.

Black American Art History: People, Places, and Things — Fridays, June 11, July 9, and August 13 at 5:00 p.m. — Watch the recordings 
In these free virtual Friday evening presentations, The Black Index exhibition curator Bridget R. Cooks offered a thematic overview of art by Black American artists from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

Black Creativity and Mentorship: A Conversation Between Diana Pumpelly Bates and Titus Kaphar — Friday, July 16, noon 
Acclaimed San Jose artist Diana Pumpelly Bates and internationally recognized artist Titus Kaphar participated in a conversation about Black creativity, artistic inspiration, and the importance of mentorship. This conversation was moderated by The Black Index exhibition curator Bridget R. Cooks. Co-sponsored by the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco. 

The Black Index Publication Launch — Friday, June 18, noon — Watch the recording
The Palo Alto Art Center and Hunter College Art Galleries hosted a virtual book launch celebrating The Black Index, co-published by the Hunter College Art Galleries and Hirmer Verlag. This free event featured a conversation with the publication editors, Bridget R. Cooks, curator of The Black Index and Sarah Watson, Chief Curator of the Hunter College Art Galleries with appearances by catalogue contributors Re'al Christian, CalvinJohn Smiley, Vivan Smig, and Ella Turenne. A discussion followed focused on the Redaction font commissioned by Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts and featured in The Black Index with the designers who created it: Forest Young, Global Principal and Head of Design at Wolff Olins and Jeremy Mickel, Type Designer and owner of MCKL; moderated by Stephen Coles, Associate Curator at Letterform Archive in San Francisco.

Artists Lava Thomas, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle and Bridget Cooks in Conversation—Friday, June 4, 5 p.m. — Watch the recording
A special conversation with the two Bay Area artists included in The Black Index. Exhibition curator Bridget R. Cooks led a conversation between artists Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle and Lava Thomas about their work, The Black Index exhibition, and the role of artistic representation in acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating Black women. 

Virtual The Black Index Friday Night at the Art Center opening reception—Friday, April 30, 2021—6:15 p.m. — Watch the recording
The premiere of The Black Index at the Palo Alto Art Center was celebrated with a virtual walkthrough by exhibition curator Bridget R. Cooks, a redaction poetry activity with playwright Leelee Jackson, and a concluding presentation by Palo Alto author Julie Lythcott-Haims.

Where the Heart Is: Jiha Moon Artist Lecture  Hear Artist Jiha Moon
Jiha Moon (b. 1973) is from DaeGu, Korea and lives and works in Atlanta, GA. Her gestural paintings, mixed media, ceramic sculpture and installation explore fluid identities and the global movement of people and their cultures. She says “I am a cartographer of cultures and an icon maker in my lucid worlds.” She takes cues from wide ranges of history of Eastern and Western art, colors and designs from popular culture, Korean temple paintings and folk art, internet emoticons and icons, fruit stickers and labels of products from all over the place. She often teases and changes these lexicons so that they are hard to identify, yet stay in a familiar zone. 

Where the Heart Is: Maria Paz Artist Lecture  Hear Artist Maria Paz
Maria Paz (b. Quilpue, Chile) is a self-taught Latinx sculptor based in Oakland, California. Her work explores the bond broken with her home country and how her experience as an immigrant in the United States has shaped a multiplicity of identities within her. By painting visions of Chile, her ancestors and her higher self, Paz archives her personal history on her ceramic vessels as an act of resilience. Each piece tells a different story, often telling several, many of which are brightly colored in an homage to the palette of Latinx culture in the Americas. 

Where the Heart Is: Yulia Pinkusevich Artist Lecture  Hear Artist Yulia Pinkusevich
Yulia Pinkusevich is an artist and educator born in Kharkov, Ukraine (USSR). Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, her family fled the eastern block as refugees, immigrating to New York City. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts from Stanford University and Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, graduating both universities with highest honors. Yulia has exhibited nationally and internationally including site-specific projects executed in Paris, France and Buenos Aires Argentina. Yulia’s art is in the public collection of the De Young Memorial Museum, Stanford University, Facebook HQ, Google HQ and the City of Albuquerque. 

Where the Heart Is: Lien Truong  Hear Artist Lien Truong
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Lien Truong's practice examines cultural and political ideologies; and the visual and material hierarchies intertwined in the formation of histories and belief systems. Her work has been presented in exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery; North Carolina Museum of Art; Station Museum of Contemporary Art; Weatherspoon Art Museum; Oakland Museum of California; Art Hong Kong; Sea Focus, Singapore; Southern Exposure; Nhasan Collective and Galerie Quynh in Vietnam; Turner Carroll Gallery; Patricia Sweetow Gallery and 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel. She was a recipient of a 2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant; fellowships from the Institute of Arts and Humanities and the North Carolina Arts Council; and residencies at the Oakland Museum of California and the Marble House Project. Reviews and mention of her work are included in Art Asia PacificThe San Francisco ChronicleHouston ChronicleOakland TribuneNew American Paintings, and ARTit Japan. Truong is an Associate Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.