PALO ALTO, CA–The Palo Alto Art Center and Junior Museum & Zoo will pay homage to the region’s feathered friends beginning in January as Creative Ecology artist David Tomb begins his residency by conducting art and science in-the-field activities with the public at the Palo Alto Baylands that include spotting, identifying and drawing native birds, learning about King Tides, and contributing to a community bird collage.
In his residency at the Palo Alto Art Center, self-proclaimed “bird nerd” and artist David Tomb shares his passion for birds in hopes of promoting conservation through art and science. In his residency at the Palo Alto Baylands, Tomb will engage community members of all ages in exploring and drawing birds and their habitats, particularly in response to King Tides. Tomb’s commitment to birds began in childhood, and now involves significant field research and travel, as well as studying and drawing bird skins in museum collections. His resulting installations feature delicately rendered bird paintings with mixed-media collage, and even sound.
Tomb’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.
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.
Following Creative Ecology artist Linda Gass, who focused on the environment of Cooley Landing in East Palo Alto and completed her residency in November, Tomb is the second of three artists participating in this program.
“Whether in the delta on a cold winter morning or sweltering in the humidity of a tropical rainforest, nothing is better than being in the field watching birds,” says Tomb. “That is the real inspiration for my work.”
Tomb’s commitment to birds began in childhood, and now involves significant field research and travel, as well as studying and drawing bird skins in museum collections. His resulting installations feature delicately rendered bird paintings with collage and mixed-media, found objects and even sound.
Tomb, along with an art educator from the Palo Alto Art Center and a science educator from the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, will lead a series of activities, open to the general public and focused on the habitat and behavior of birds in the Palo Alto Baylands. He will be in-the-field at the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center on the following dates: Sunday, Jan. 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (King Tide); Tuesday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (King Tide); Wednesday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 24, 10 a.m-1 p.m. (King Tide); and Wednesday, Jan. 27, 1-4 p.m.
About Artist David Tomb:
San Francisco-based artist David Tomb received his B.F.A. from CSU Long Beach. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Fresno Art Museum, Electric Works, the Triton Museum of Art, San Francisco Public Library and the University Museum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and group exhibitions at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, the Arkansas Art Center, and the Naples Museum of Art. Tomb’s work is included in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California, the Huntington Library, and the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
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.
# # #