Public Art Commission

Purpose

The Public Art Commission oversees Palo Alto’s temporary and permanent public art programs. The primary duties of the Commission are:

  • To advise the city in matters pertaining to the quality, quantity, scope, and style of art in public places
  • To periodically review the capital improvement program with the staff for inclusion of works of art in various projects
  • To devise methods of selecting and commissioning artists with respect to the design, execution, and placement of art in public places and to advise staff on the selection and commissioning of artists, and the amounts to be expended on art in public places
  • To advise and assist staff in obtaining financial assistance for art in public places from private, corporate, and governmental sources
  • To review plans for the installation of art in public places and review the inventory of art in public paces
  • To act as a liaison between local artists and private property owners desiring to install works of art on their private property in public view

Meet the Commission

Chair: Nia Taylor
Vice Chair: 
Loren Gordon
Staff Liaison: 
Elise DeMarzo, Public Art Program Director, (650) 617-3517
Council Liaison: 
Tom DuBois, Mayor 

Commissioners: 

GORDON, Loren

Loren Gordon

Term Expires: 05/31/2024 

Bio: Loren and Mike Gordon moved to Palo Alto in 2001. They have raised two children here enjoying the open space offered by the parks, programs hosted at the Art Center and the public libraries, and outdoor fun at Foothills Park. Prior to moving to Palo Alto, Loren lived in San Francisco where she worked at Montgomery Securities, and volunteered for several organizations including SFMoMA. Loren’s local experience includes past board member of Gamble Garden, serving as co-chair of the Spring Tour twice, board chair of the Cantor Art Center’s Membership Executive Council, volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, executive committee member of the Silicon Valley Branch of Human Rights Watch organization, and proud member of the Bay Area Beautification Service Team.  She is currently serving as Vice Chair.

MIYAJI, Ben 

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Term Expires: 05/31/2024

Ben Miyaji is serving his third term on the Palo Alto Public Art Commission. As the PAC commissioner he served as both Vice Chair and Chair leading the Commission's efforts with the passing of the “Percent for Art in Private Development” ordinance, the Public Art Master Plan, and Code:ART. He invites all Palo Alto residents to attend commission meetings and to participate in the community discourse around public art in Palo Alto. Additionally, Ben was appointed to the San Jose Arts Commission in 1992, where he served seven terms. He was Chair of the Mineta San Jose International Airport Public Art Master Plan Steering Committee in 2004 and Ben was Metro Newspaper’s 2004 Public Art Person of the Year.

SHEN, Hsinya

Photo of Commissioner Shen

Term Expires: 05/31/2023

Bio: Hsinya's family moved to Palo Alto in early 2000. Having been a champion of the arts all her life, she treasure the opportunity to support Palo Alto’s efforts to make the city more artistic, welcoming, engaging and supportive through its public art initiatives. Additionally, she practices law and serves on the board of a community bank. She studied Philosophy and Art History at Wellesley College and Law at Georgetown University. 

TAYLOR, Nia 

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Term Expires: 05/31/2023

Bio: Nia Taylor was born and raised in Palo Alto, although she spent six years after high school on the East Coast. She is an artist, educator and community activist who spends her days teaching children in both formal and informal settings throughout the Peninsula. She joined the Public Art Commission so that she could help make Palo Alto a beautiful and attractive city to work, live and visit, thanks to its diverse collection of public art. When she am not attending Public Art Commission meetings or working, she likes to spend her time traveling, reading a good book, baking and being active. She is currently serving as Chair.

WALTUCH, Lisa

Photo of Commissioner Lisa Waltuch

Term Expires: 05/31/2024

Bio: Lisa Waltuch is a designer, creative director, and artist. She incorporates artifacts from people’s lives (text, photos, iconography, textiles) into her work so she can tell stories through a visual medium. Lisa grew up in this area attending Gunn High School and Stanford, left for 20 years for grad school and a career in New York and Costa Rica, and in 2020, moved back to Palo Alto with her husband and three kids. Lisa joined the Public Art Commission in 2021 and is excited to foster work that brings the diverse groups in our community together.

Upcoming Meetings

Regular meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. 

Watch and Participate in Meetings

Meetings are broadcast live online and on cable TV.

Members of the public who wish to participate in meetings can find instructions on the top and bottom of individual agendas or by clicking the drop-down below. To ensure participation in a particular item we suggest calling in or connecting 15 minutes before your item is scheduled to begin.

How to Participate in a Virtual Public Meeting

Members of the Public may provide public comments to teleconference meetings via email, teleconference, or by phone.

  1. Written public comments may be submitted by email to pac@cityofpaloalto.org.
  2. Spoken public comments using a computer will be accepted through the teleconference meeting. To address the Council, click on the link below to access a Zoom-based meeting. Please read the following instructions carefully.
    1. You may download the Zoom client or connect to the meeting in- browser. If using your browser, make sure you are using a current, up-to-date browser: Chrome 30 , Firefox 27 , Microsoft Edge 12 , Safari 7. Certain functionality may be disabled in older browsers including Internet Explorer.
    2. You may be asked to enter an email address and name. We request that you identify yourself by name as this will be visible online and will be used to notify you that it is your turn to speak.
    3. When you wish to speak on an Agenda Item, click on “raise hand.” The Clerk will activate and unmute speakers in turn. Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak.
    4. When called, please limit your remarks to the time limit allotted.
    5. A timer will be shown on the computer to help keep track of your comments.
  3. Spoken public comments using a smart phone will be accepted through the teleconference meeting. To address the Council, download the Zoom application onto your phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and enter the Meeting ID. Please follow the instructions 2.1-2.5.
  4. Spoken public comments using a phone use the telephone number listed below. When you wish to speak on an agenda item hit *9 on your phone so we know that you wish to speak. You will be asked to provide your first and last name before addressing the Council. You will be advised how long you have to speak. When called please limit your remarks to the agenda item and time limit allotted.

See the current agenda for Zoom meeting details.

Resources

  • The Public Art Commission is a five-member body (in accordance to Ordinance # 5503) appointed by the City Council.
  • Terms are for three years and commence on May 1. See PAMC Sections 2.162.18, and 2.26.