PALO ALTO, CA–Visitors to the Palo Alto Art Center will have the unique opportunity to watch artist Linda Gass create vibrantly colored silk paintings and other artworks inspired by the environment as she begins the second phase of her Creative Ecology residency beginning in September. Visitors will also have a chance to participate by using the technique of silk painting, contributing to a community quilt.
Her in-the-gallery residency at the Palo Alto Art Center will take place Fridays, Sept. 11 and 25, Oct. 9 and 23, 1-5 p.m.; Saturdays, Sept. 12 and 26, Oct. 10 and 24, 1-5 p.m.; and Friday Night at the Art Center, Sept. 18, 7-10 p.m.
During the month of July, the Art Center and the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo worked with Gass in the first portion of her residency during six sessions at Cooley Landing, in which more than 140 people of all ages engaged in art and science activities.
The activities were designed by art and science educators to help participants observe nature, record what they saw and use their imaginations. Participants investigated the mud and water of Cooley Landing using microscopes, and then documented and drew what was seen. They also identified and drew natural and manmade landscape elements using cardboard view finders, and recognized birds and plants native to this unique ecosystem during walks through the marshes and sketched them.
Gass also worked with participants to create a temporary land art installation marking the historic shoreline of Cooley Landing.
“Our hope is that those who participated can continue to use these tools on their next visit to Cooley Landing, or on their next trip to their local park or open-space environment,” said Gass.
Gass’s effort is part of Creative Ecology: Exploring Our Environment with Art, Science, and the Community, an innovative program promoting appreciation of the natural world through scientific inquiry and the creative process. The effort includes artists, educators, and the larger community, and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and made possible through a partnership between the Palo Alto Art Center and the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo. There will be four separate artist residencies as part of Creative Ecology.
Gass, who was awarded the first residency, has said that she is inspired by the connections between people, water, and land that sustain them. “I visually juxtapose vulnerability and resilience, past memory and future possibilities,” she added.
Each artist residency is divided into three unique phases. The first phase takes place in the field at a local open space preserve and engages different community groups and the public in a range of activities. During the second phase of each residency, artists will take inspiration from their time in-the-field, creating new work on-site at the Art Center. The third phase of the residency will culminate their artwork and will be presented in an exhibition with related programming.
An exhibition featuring the artwork created by Gass and the public will be held Nov. 14, 2015-Jan. 22, 2016. An artist reception for Gass will be held at the Art Center on Nov. 19, 6-8 p.m., and is open to the public. Gass will also be presenting a free public lecture Jan. 13, 7 p.m., at the Art Center.
About Artist Linda Gass
Los Altos-based artist Linda Gass, winner of the prestigious 2012 Fleishhacker Eureka Fellowship Award, creates art about land use and water issues in California and the American West. She graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Mathematics and MS in Computer Science, and has been creating art for more than 17 years. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been published in books and magazines, including 500 Art Quilts, The Map As Art, Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, and American Craft. She is also an artist-in-residence in the Cubberley Artist Studio Program in Palo Alto.
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.
About the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo:
The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, Division of Arts and Sciences, City of Palo Alto has an 80-year legacy of inspiring a passion for science, an appreciation for nature and a love of exploration. The JMZ experience can change children’s lives by introducing them to science and nature at a formative state. We provide enhanced experiences for children, from birth to middle school, offering direct access to nature and science through undirected play and exploration.
The JMZ currently serves as a primary resource for science and environmental learning for 8 of 12 Palo Alto elementary schools and for Willow Oaks School and Brentwood Academy in the Ravenswood School District. By using a trained staff of science educators who provide STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, in-depth hands-on programs reach 16,700 students each year. Educators travel to elementary classrooms in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Mateo and throughout the region to provide core science classes that complement school district curriculum.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.