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


Subject :

New Exhibition at Palo Alto Art Center Explores the Connection between Art and Science
Artwork Explores Impact of Changes to the Landscape at Cooley Landing
Contact : Ken Heiman    6506173511

PALO ALTO, CA–An exhibition featuring new works created by Creative Ecology artist Linda Gass opens on Nov. 14 at the Palo Alto Art Center. Her new works feature aerial and microscopic views of the landscape of Cooley Landing in East Palo Alto and they explore the themes of what lives in the water and sea level rise. Two community art projects, led by Gass, will also be shown. The first consists of photographs of a community-built land art installation marking the historic shoreline and filling of wetlands. The second is a quilt comprised of 66 colorful silk paintings created by community members and reflecting the natural environment of Cooley Landing.

Gass completed the first part of her three-month residency in July, working with educators, students and the general public, exploring Cooley landing in East Palo Alto and engaging in art and science activities. The second phase of her residency involved taking inspiration from time spent in-the-field and creating a new body of work on-site at the Art Center.

The artwork created by Gass and the community will be exhibited Nov. 14, 2015-Jan. 22, 2016. An artist reception for Gass will be held at the Palo Alto Art Center on Nov. 19, 6:30-8 p.m., and is open to the public. Gass will also be presenting a free public lecture Jan. 13, 7 p.m., at the Palo Alto Art Center.

Her 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.

"Science, nature and the community all came together to inform and inspire the artwork in the exhibition," says Gass. "I was touched by how people responded to what they saw, the drawings they made in their field notebooks, and the conversations I had with them. Much of the artwork I'm showing is a true collaboration with the community."

While in the field, participants investigated the mud and water of Cooley Landing using microscopes, documented and drew what was seen; identified natural and manmade landscape elements using cardboard view finders, and drew those elements; 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.

For the exhibition, Gass has created intimately-scaled stitched paintings and substantial land-art installations that explore the water and landscapes. She strives to create beautiful artwork with a message—work that engages the viewer and promotes awareness and action around the conservation of land and water.

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 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.