King Artist Residency
In 2021 the City of Palo Alto Public Art Program launched the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King artist residency program, engaging the community in conversations about equity, inclusion, and belonging in Palo Alto. In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, for whom King Plaza is named, the Council asked the Public Art Commission to consider commissioning a permanent work signaling the City’s commitment to race, equity, and belonging. The Public Art Commission is committed to a permanent platform for ongoing conversations about equity, inclusion, and belonging in Palo Alto through the arts. As a result, the King Artist Residency Program was established.
The 2022 King Artist Residency: Rituals of Resilience
Te Veo, Te Escucho, Te Honro (I see you, I hear you, I honor you), Rayos Magos, 2022
Artist Rayos Magos, a San Jose-native Latinx mixed media artist, was approved by the Public Art Commission as the first Artist-in-Residence with the City of Palo Alto Public Art Program. His residency, Rituals of Resilience, included a six month community engagement process sparking conversations about culture, identity, belonging, and resilience, with a special focus on amplifying voices of Latinx and BIPOC community members and mental health service providers.
Rayos' documentation of personal stories and learned experiences has resulted in a final temporary sculptural artwork called Te Veo, Te Escucho, Te Honro (I see you, I hear you, I honor you) and will temporarily remain on view on King Plaza for approximately nine months. Artist Rayos Magos created a free downloadable Rituals of Resilience Artbook(PDF, 4MB). Use this artbook to color, draw, or express your thoughts about your rituals of resilience.
Rituals of Resilience: Community Engagement
During the first six months of artist Rayos Magos' residency he led extensive outreach and engagement with Palo Alto communities in creative ways, including gathering and documenting Latinx/BIPOC stories, connecting with local mental health non-profits, facilitating multiple community art making workshops, conducting interviews with diverse community members and service providers, and creating interactive art to gather more community responses. Rayos Magos' Community Engagement Report(PDF, 272KB) provides an in-depth summary of the artist's goals, methodology, scope, as well as synthesized themes and findings from his outreach.
The 2023 King Artist Residency: Artist Kirti Bassendine
Artist Kirti Bassendine has been approved by the Public Art Commission as the next Artist-in-Residence with the City of Palo Alto Public Art Program to start in February 2023. The Artist’s Residency project will focus on diverse underserved communities residing and/or working in Palo Alto and experiencing socio-economic or housing instability. The project goal is to spark conversations about inclusion, equity, and a sense of belonging, and will result in a final temporary artwork displayed on King Plaza.
Artist Kirti Bassendine