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


PRESS RELEASE 07/31/2014
Subject :

Palo Alto Art Center Artist-in-Residence Program 2014-15 to Feature Rapidly Emerging Artists
Contact : Ken Heiman, Marketing Coordinator, Palo Alto Art Center    650.617.3511
AIR Artists Cristina Velazquez and May Wilson
Palo Alto, CA – A quartet of emerging artists known for transforming everyday items into works of art, investigating the beauty of mass-produced media objects, and exploring the power of community engagement, will participate in the Palo Alto Art Center’s Artist-in-Residence Program 2014-15.

“The Palo Alto Art Center is honored to launch our new artist-in-residence program with these four artists, all of whom challenge us to see conventional materials and unconventional subjects in new and compelling ways,” said Karen Kienzle, Director of the Palo Alto Art Center. 

Kienzle said that as part of the program, visitors will be able to view the creative process firsthand as the artists develop their work at the Art Center in preparation for their culminating installations. Visitors will also be able to engage the artists in conversation to learn more about the artwork, ideas and the artistic process.  The first installation will run from Oct. 7 through Dec. 23; the entire program will extend through summer 2015.

Cristina Velázquez’s residency will involve repurposing obsolete videotapes into materials for knitted sculptures; May Wilson and Lauren CiCioccio will explore the medium of textiles as a sculptural material in a collaborative residency; and Joel Daniel Phillips will create large-scale, drawn portraits that capture the emotional resonance of his subjects.

Participating artists were selected in a competitive process by a team consisting of Art Center staff members from the exhibitions, education, and studio program areas.  Participating artists for the 2014-15 year are: Cristina Velazquez, Lauren DiCioccio and May Wilson (working collaboratively on one installation), and Joel Daniel Phillips.

Cristina Velázquez is an installation artist who reuses and transforms everyday objects into works of art.  She was born in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. in 1987.  Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at venues including Gallery nine5, Art Ark Gallery, Meridian Gallery, Euphrat Museum at De Anza College, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, and MACLA.

May Wilson uses whimsy to frame her work, frequently using materials in a mischievous manner that alludes to industry.  She is based in San Francisco and has presented her work nationally.  In 2013, she was a recipient of the Investing in Artists grant through the Center for Cultural Innovation and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in New York.  Wilson is currently a Graduate Fellow at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, Calif.

Lauren DiCioccio’s intricate embroidered objects investigate the beauty of mass-produced media objects facing obsolescence: newspapers, magazines, office papers, and plastic bags.  Her works have been exhibited at The Bellevue Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.  Her work is represented by Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco and Tomlinson Kong Contemporary in New York.  In 2011, she was an artist-in-residence at Recology in San Francisco.

Joel Daniel Phillips works in life-size, charcoal portraiture.  His work captures not only the detailed physical attributes of his subjects, but their emotional characteristics as well.  Joel is a recipient of the Wes Nishimura Memorial Art Scholarship and the Ludington-Parshall Art Award from the Santa Barbara Art Association.  He has presented work in solo and group exhibitions across the U.S. and is currently represented by Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.  Phillips is also the recipient of a Helene Wurlizter Foundation Residency Grant in 2014.

The Palo Alto Art Center is located at 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto.  Admission is free.  Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.  The gallery is closed on Mondays. For more information, call 650.329.2366, or visit

The Artist-in-Residence Program was established to reinforce the mission of the Art Center, and to build important connections between the recognized exhibition and studio programs and the community.  Through this program, the Palo Alto Art Center will actively collaborate with artists throughout the region.  During their residency, participating artists will engage with community members in a variety of Art Center programs, culminating in an installation project.

The Palo Alto Art Center’s Artist-in-Residence Program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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.

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