News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Veteran and artist Ehren Tool makes hundreds of ceramics cups while in residence
Contact : Rebecca Barbee, Marketing & Operations Manager, Community Services    650.617.3530
Left image: Ehren Tool, Cup, Clay with glaze Right image: Artist Ehren Tool Photo: Michael Swain
Palo Alto, CA – From June 7 – 29, veteran and Berkeley ceramic artist Ehren Tool will work onsite, creating hundreds of wheel-thrown ceramic cups using imagery and objects collected from veterans and their families from the local community. As the cups are created, fired, and glazed, they will be displayed in the gallery, with the final exhibition on view from July 1–September 7. Featuring the hundreds of wheel-thrown ceramic cups and a selection of monotypes, the exhibition honors our community of veterans and highlights their shared experience.

Ehren Tool creates ceramic objects that promote awareness and dialogue about the consequences of war. "I decorate cups with images of war and violence. The use of these icons reveals how abstract war is for most of our culture—so abstract in fact, that somehow it's OK to use images of war as toys," says Tool.

The cups Tool creates are wheel-thrown and feature decal-produced and embossed images and symbols related to war, violence, and the veteran experience. Notably, Tool has given away most of these cups, offering more than 15,000 to members of various communities since 2001.

Tool has exhibited his vessels at institutions such as the Oakland Museum of California, the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, the Berkeley Art Center, the Bellevue Art Museum, the Euphrat Museum of Art in Cupertino, and the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University. He received his MFA from the University of California, Berkeley and his BFA from the University of Southern California.


Artist-in-Residence Program with Ehren Tool
Saturday, June 7 – Sunday, June 29, during Gallery Hours *
Palo Alto Art Center, Glass Gallery
Drop by the Art Center to visit with Artist-in-Residence Ehren Tool as he works at the potter's wheel in his temporary studio, making hundreds of ceramic cups each day!
*Please check our website for information about Gallery Hours and parking. Please note: the Art Center cannot guarantee that Ehren Tool will be on site working at all times.

More Cucking Fups: A Slide Presentation by Artist-in-Residence Ehren Tool
Thursday, June 19, 6 p.m.
Palo Alto Art Center, Meeting Room
Meet veteran and ceramic artist Ehren Tool, view slides of his work, gain insight into his artistic practice, and take a peek at new works in progress!

FREE Community Family Day & Closing Celebration
Sunday, September 7, 12 noon – 4 p.m.
Palo Alto Art Center

Veteran Artists Panel with Artist-in-Residence Ehren Tool, Drew Cameron of Combat Paper, and others!
Sunday, September 7, 3 – 4 p.m.
Palo Alto Art Center, Meeting Room
Celebrate the closing of the Containers of Community: Ehren Tool exhibition with the artist, who will be distributing the cups at the event to veterans and others who contributed images and objects to the project. Join us for a panel including Ehren Tool—along with other veteran artists—who will discuss the importance of art in the lives of veteran artists and the broader veteran community. Participate in hands-on activities for visitors of all ages, enjoy refreshments in our outdoor Sculpture Garden, and see the Dana Harel: Between Dreams and Nightmares exhibition in the Main Gallery before it closes.


Combat Paper exhibition
August 27 – September 28
Palo Alto Art Center, Meeting Room
View a selection of mixed-media works by San Francisco artist collaborative Combat Paper. Working in communities affected by warfare, Combat Paper leads hand papermaking workshops for veterans and uses papermaking processes to transform uniforms and artifacts into art.

Two-day Hand Papermaking Workshop for Veterans* with Combat Paper
Saturday, September 6, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (12 noon - 1 p.m. break)
Sunday, September 7, 12 noon - 3 p.m.
*Interested veterans must register in advance; space is limited. For more information or to register, contact the Palo Alto Art Center by email:, or call: (650) 329-2366.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund supported by generous grants from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation.

About The Palo Alto Art Center:

The Palo Alto Art Center is your place to discover art. See, make, and be inspired because everyone is an artist. Created by the community, for the community in 1971, the Palo Alto Art Center provides an accessible and welcoming place to engage with art. We serve approximately 70,000 people every year through a diverse range of programs.

The Palo Alto Art Center, Division of Arts and Sciences, City of Palo Alto is funded in part by grants from Silicon Valley Creates and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation. The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation gratefully acknowledges support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Yellow Chair Foundation, private donations, and members.